Whether you enjoyed watching the movie Night at the Museum, starring Ben Stiller, or reading the Milan Trenc book, the experience left many of us wanting to hang out in a museum after hours – especially ones in Washington, D.C.
Just imagine being able to stare at renowned exhibits for as long as you want with no crowds! Seems like a dream, right?
Well, thanks to the Smithsonian Associates, your chance is coming up soon.
Smithsonian Sleepovers give patrons the opportunity to sleep in their favorite museums — Photo courtesy of Smithsonian Associates
Take your pick and rest your head in the halls of either the National Museum of Natural History, the National Museum of American History or the National Portrait Gallery for the next Smithsonian Sleepover event:
National Museum of Natural History
How many of us can say we've slept under a North American right whale? Probably not too many of us. But if you choose the National Museum of Natural History, that's exactly where you'll be laying your sleeping bag.
Upcoming sleepovers are set for May 15, June 13, June 26 and July 3 and include exploring exhibits through interactive activities, making crafts and watching an IMAX film.
National Museum of American History
Bring your thinking cap to the National Museum of American History to solve an epically huge mystery while visiting the exhibits on May 30, July 18, Aug. 1, Aug. 7, Aug. 14 or Aug. 28.
Six objects have been stolen, and participants will use clues to discover what's been taken throughout the event.
National Portrait Gallery
Participants in the National Portrait Gallery will learn about the faces that line the walls of the museum and create some unforgettable art of their own during a one-night-only gallery exhibition. They will also get to play games and take part in a guided journey throughout the museum before going to sleep.
Upcoming dates include July 25 and Aug. 22.
The Smithsonian Associates, a group dedicated to putting together educational programs based off of the museums' exhibits and collections is currently celebrating its 50th year. The sleepovers have become an annual event they put on.
Both sleepovers for the National Museum of Natural History and National Museum of American History are for children ages eight to 12. Tweens and teens must be between 10 to 14 to participate in the National Portrait Gallery event.
While these events are geared towards children, adults do get to stay to supervise kids they bring with them. Up to 150 people are allowed to be in each sleepover.
Even though the museums during the day are free, these special events require admission. Tickets are $135 for general admission and $120 for Smithsonian Associate members. The price covers a late-night snack, light breakfast, arts and crafts activities, interactive exploration and exclusive access for activities.
Pre-registration is required. To register, call 202-633-3030 or go to the Smithsonian Associates' box office in the S. Dillon Ripley Center at 1100 Jefferson Dr. SW, Suite 307. Spaces go quickly, and there are no refunds if you have to cancel.
Guests may park their vehicles at each museum except the National Museum of American History.
Just be sure to remember the wise words of security guard Cecil (aka Dick Van Dyke): "Don't let anything in or out."