Museums at Night 2014 – Sleepovers!

Skeleton silhouette
Fancy 40 winks under the watchful eye of something like this?

Museums at Night is a weekend festival of special museum events across the country – and Europe – taking place on the weekend of 15th-17th May 2014.

I’ll be running another post with my pick of the best Museum at Night events for families with younger children. But first I wanted to highlight the sleepovers happening that weekend – be warned, places will be limited so get in there quick! The Golden Hinde and Sudbury Hall events are already fully booked.

A museum sleepover is great fun, generally combining activities, games and stories with a night hunkering down in one of the galleries. They’re a great way of adults and children having some special time together – and a fantastic treat or birthday present/party idea. I’ve worked on a museum sleepover before, and there wasn’t a dull moment – it was so hands on and varied, everyone enjoyed it.

Here’s the list of sleepovers happening across the country:

1. Animal Sleepover for Families
Powell-Cotton Museum, Birchington, Kent
Saturday 17 — Sunday 18 May 2014, 8pm-9am

Listen to the evening chorus and search for creatures in the garden, followed by activities in the museum, including movement, memory and alphabet games. Create your own diorama box and storytelling before settling down to sleep under the watchful glazed gaze of 500 African mammals.

Camping out at the Powell-Cotton museum
Camping out at the Powell-Cotton Museum Photo credit: Powell-Cotton Museum
Suitable for ages 7-13.

Cost: £35 adults, £30 children, £120 family ticket.
More info:

2. Georgian Masked Ball and Sleepover
Kensington Palace, London
Friday 16 May 2014, 6pm – overnight

An evening of mask-making and dancing, bedding down in one of the palace rooms. A breakfast fit for royalty is promised!

Recommended for children aged 7-11
Cost: £60 per ticket.

3. Sleepover at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard 2014
Friday 16 – Saturday 17 May 2014, 6:30pm-11am

Design your own Royal Navy poster, play the giant battleship game and laser quest, catch a movie in the cinema and then sleep over in the historic building of Action Stations which is over 150 years old.

Suitable for ages 5-13.
Cost: £20 per child including light refreshments – accompanying adults free.

4. Sleepover at the Rotunda!
The Rotunda – William Smith Museum of Geology, Scarborough, North Yorkshire
Friday 16 – Saturday 17 May 2014, 7pm-9am

Suitable for ages 7-10
Cost: FREE.

5. Sleep on the Wild Side
Peterborough Museum, Cambridgeshire
Friday 16 — Saturday 17 May 2014, 7pm-9am

Themed activities, specimen handling, craft and stories before bedding down amongst Jurassic reptiles, Ice Age mammals and fenland birds.

Suitable for ages 6-12.
Cost: £18.00 children, £12.00 adults. Snacks and breakfast included.
More info:

6. Victorian Family Sleepover
Bersham Heritage Centre, Wrexham, Wales
Friday 16 — Saturday 17 May 2014, 7pm-9am

Suitable for families with children aged 7 – 11.
Cost: £7.50 per child, £5.00 per adult including breakfast. Please book by 10/05/14.
More info: www.​wrexham.​gov.​uk/​heritage

More information about Museums at Night, and a searchable database of all events taking place, is available from their website:

Let me know if you visit any of these special events, or what you think of museum sleepovers! I’d love to do the Kensington Palace sleepover with my daughter, although I don’t think at 7 months pregnant I could sleep on the floor. Maybe they would let me lie in one of the princesses’ beds, just for one night?


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