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Take Three: Museum Sleepovers

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Natural History Museum in London.

Natural History Museum in London.

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Children in the demi-tunnel at Plymouth's National Marine Aquarium as part of a mock "sleeping with the sharks" evening.

Children in the demi-tunnel at Plymouth's National Marine Aquarium as part of a mock "sleeping with the sharks" evening.

Rob Gillies

A Night at the Museum

A Night at the Museum

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Natural History Museum in London.

Fancy sleeping with the dinosaurs? Nicola Brady has found three museums where you can spend the night among the exhibits...

Natural History Museum

Where: London, UK

Why: It's not only kids who get to lay their sleeping bags in the shadows of dinosaurs. While the Natural History Museum in London organises regular sleepovers for children, there are special evenings just for grown-ups. The events are just a tiny bit different, of course - there's a bar, for one, you get a three-course dinner, and the range of events running throughout the night have a slightly more adult twist. You can sit in on a science show, where you'll learn about gruesome forensics and the sex lives of insects. Then there's stand-up comedy, live music, a dinosaur drawing class and a monster movie marathon that runs all night. Between all of that and nosing at the various exhibits, it'll be a wonder if you find your sleeping bag at all.

How: 'Dino Snores for Grown-Ups' costs £180pp (€229). The kids' sleepovers are £60pp (€76). The dates for 2015 will be announced on their website soon. Fly to London with Aer Lingus (aerlingus.com) from around €30 one-way.

See: www.nhm.ac.uk

National Marine Aquarium

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Children in the demi-tunnel at Plymouth's National Marine Aquarium as part of a mock "sleeping with the sharks" evening.

Children in the demi-tunnel at Plymouth's National Marine Aquarium as part of a mock "sleeping with the sharks" evening.

Rob Gillies

Children in the demi-tunnel at Plymouth's National Marine Aquarium as part of a mock "sleeping with the sharks" evening.


Where: Plymouth, UK

Why: Ever wonder what fish get up to at night? You can find out as you hunker down to sleep next to the tanks at the National Marine Aquarium. The night includes educational games and activities, a big screen movie, and arts and crafts. There's a twilight tour of the aquarium, and experts are on hand to answer any questions about the creatures behind the glass, including seahorses, sharks and a rather special Loggerhead turtle.

How: 'Sleeping with the Sharks' costs £40 (€51) per child, and £30 (€38) per adult, and is suitable for children aged 5-15. The next sleepovers are on Friday, February 20, and Friday, April 3, 2015. Fly to Exeter with FlyBe (flybe.com) from around €21 one-way.

See: www.national-aquarium.co.uk

American Museum of Natural History

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A Night at the Museum

A Night at the Museum

A Night at the Museum


Where: New York, USA

Why: There's no guarantee that the exhibits will come to life, but it is possible to live out your very own Night at the Museum, just as Ben Stiller did in the popular movie. On special nights, when the doors of the American Museum of Natural History close, beds are rolled out and families settle in for their own night-time adventure. You'll explore the exhibits by torchlight, walk among the dinosaurs and discover the base of a striking volcano. There's also a live animal show, where you can learn about the habitats of bats, wolves and birds of prey. You may even sleep under the iconic model of a 94-foot-long blue whale, suspended from the ceiling. It's a thrilling sight at any time, but drifting off under it in the quiet of night would be something very special indeed.

How: 'A Night at the Museum' costs $145pp (€116). Sleepovers are for children aged 6-13, and they must be accompanied by an adult. Check the website for 2015 dates. Fly to New York with Aer Lingus (aerlingus.com) from €249 one-way.

See: www.amnh.org

NB: Prices subject to change/availability.

Irish Independent