The 2006 Ben Stiller movie about spending an impromptu night at New York City’s American Museum of Natural History involved hijinks, monkeys, an army of Lilliputians, and the late, great Robin Williams on horseback as Theodore Roosevelt.
In reality, the joint’s official overnights are a bit more sophisticated, complete with champagne, a buffet dinner, live music, comfy cots, and more.
We know these details because the museum recently advertised that there still are spots available for its adults-only Friday night sleepover extravaganzas on May 5 and June 30. Fittingly, the event is dubbed, “A Night at the Museum.” (For those of you who don’t geek out over recent films, that also was the title of the first of three Stiller movies that dealt with this theme.) The cost of the real-life event: $350 per person, and $300 for museum members.
According to the museum’s website, the night begins at 6:30 p.m. and ends at 9 a.m. the following day.
The party kicks off with bubbly and live jazz at a reception for 200 overnighters in Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Hall. Next up: a buffet dinner with wine and beer. Guests are encouraged to roam the halls of the museum, exploring exhibit halls with virtually unrestricted access. Even the museum’s newest exhibit, “Mummies,” which has the largest collection of Egyptian and Peruvian mummies in North America, is fair game.
For those who prefer more organized events, there are special lectures by museum personnel, live-animal presentations, and a fossil fact-finding tour by flashlight.
After a late-evening snack, overnighters can grab cots and unroll sleeping bags beneath the blue whale in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life. In the morning, everyone receives a light breakfast before the party breaks up. So long as participants don’t mind the lack of showers, they can stay at the museum throughout the day.
It’s worth noting that museum policies forbid sleepover attendees from bringing with them outside food or drink—a detail that means guests can’t sneak in flasks of their favorite Scotch or anything more illicit.
Considering the experience means spending the night with a bunch of mummies and a 65-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus Rex, who needs the hard stuff anyway?