November 24, 2017

Museums After-Dark: 7 Overnight Family Adventures

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Photo Credit: Philadelphia Zoo

I was on a flight home from Orlando over the weekend and while flipping through Washington Flyer magazine, I spotted a blurb on the KidSpy Overnight program at the International Spy Museum in Washington, DC. It seems like new, fun overnight programs for kids keep popping up, so I thought I’d re-visit this topic with seven new overnight adventures for kids. Take a look.

  • Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum (St. Michael’s, MD): Through the Lighthouse Overnight Program, you and your kids will not only get a full tour of the Hooper Straight Lighthouse, but will learn about the lifestyle and duties of lighthouse keepers and will even refer to other participants as “Keeper” (e.g., Keeper Kate). Group programs are held several months each year and can book up to a year in advance. Cost: $650 for a group of up to 15 people.
  • International Spy Museum (Washington, DC): Every few months, the ever-popular International Spy Museum opens its doors to kids ages 9 to 13 for KidSpy Overnight: Operation Secret Slumber. Complete with super-secret tricks of the trade, like infrared night goggles, secret identities and intelligence gathering, your kids will love this unique overnight experience. Cost: $115 per person.
  • Missouri Botanical Garden (St. Louis, MO): Join Shaw Nature Reserve staff for the Family Overnight Sampler to read Little House books, play games and complete crafts. This program is best for kids ages 5 to 12 and the next program takes place on Friday (12/2). Cost: $48 per person.
  • National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum (Cooperstown, NY): Kids ages 7 to 12 can get an exclusive tour of the museum as part of the Extra Innings Overnights program. They’ll sleep amongst the plaques honoring sports heroes and enjoy special hands-on programs throughout the museum in Upstate New York. Cost: $49.95 per child / $39.95 per adult.
  • Philadelphia Zoo: Once every couple of months, kids ages 5 to 12 can get up close and personal with the zoo animals as part of the popular Night Flight program. In December, stop in for the Give Thanks for Animals program, complete with a visit to an animal house, special craft and a chat with a zoo keeper.  Cost: $60 per person.
  • St. Louis Science Center: Kids and parents can enjoy monthly Camp In events, complete with a planetarium show, hands-on activities, science demonstrations, and plenty of time to explore the galleries. Many programs are available for Girl Scouts and Webelos (Webelos can earn their Scientist badges). Cost: varies.

Want to spend the night at a zoo, on an aircraft carrier or in an aquarium? Then check out my post from over the summer with nine more overnight programs for kids.

Have you ever enjoyed an overnight program at a museum, zoo or aquarium with your family? I’d love to hear about your experience.

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