It’s a classic New York evening: champagne, music, dinner…and sleeping bags. The American Museum of Natural History is hosting its first ever sleepover for grown-ups, and it’s going to be quite a night.
You can roam its dark, near-empty halls containing herds of elephants, lions, giraffes, and looming dinosaur skeletons.
You can even explore the heavens and hurtle through Jupiter’s atmosphere, peer at dark matter holding galaxies together, and watch the beginning of the universe as the awe-inspiring Dark Universe Space Show is played out high above you.
The event – which is limited to 150 people – is intended to build on the successful A Night at the Museum sleepover program that has brought tens of thousands of kids and their families to explore the Museum after dark since 2006.
Brad Harris, senior director of visitor services at the museum, said: “My advice to participants would be to relax and enjoy the experience.
“There is plenty of time to see all of the public spaces. Ask questions – the staff is around to help with the science as well as to give directions
“Personally, I think that the animal dioramas in the Hall of African Mammals show well at night but also because you can stand alone in front of them. I think that being alone or perhaps with a friend viewing the dioramas is quite a unique experience.”
The event on August 1 begins at 6:30pm with a champagne reception accompanied by the 12th Night Jazz trio.
Then it’s on to the behind-the-scenes access and fascinating exhibits, such as The Power of Poison presentation with curator Mark Siddall; the Spiders Alive! show, where you can see more than 20 species of live arachnids; and a live animal demonstration in the Kaufmann Theater.
A three-course dinner will also be served and, as the evening winds down, the participants will be able to unroll their sleeping bags and curl up under the spectacular 94ft blue whale in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life.
Harris said: “The sleeping area is confined to the Milstein Hall Of Ocean Life. In that hall you will be sleeping under a 94ft blue whale but there are dioramas within the hall which you can sleep next to such as dolphins, sharks, the squid and the whale or a polar bear.”
And for insomniacs, there’s even a Lunar Lounge in the Gottesman Hall of Planet Earth, which will be open from 1.30am to 7am, equipped with charging stations and tea service. Wake-up is scheduled for 7am with a breakfast snack and the event ends at 9am.
Harris added: “I think the typical ticket buyer will be coming to experience the Museum in a more up-close and intimate way, and we hope that they enjoy the experience.
“This is a one-of-a-kind evening centered in an iconic New York City location. “We think this offers visitors an intimate adventure of discovery that is unlike anything they have seen before.
“Imagine the looks you’ll get from your friends and co- workers when you tell them you slept under a blue whale and watched the birth of the universe and the formation of dark matter on Friday night.”
The sleepover costs $375 per person ($325 for members). For more information call 212-769-5200 or visit here.