First Adult Overnight

By Carolyn Belardo

Kids have been doing it at the museum since the mid-80s, and now adults can do it too. We’re talking about the Academy’s first-ever adult overnight experience, where wearing pajamas in a museum is totally appropriate.

On Saturday, March 7, adults 21 years and older are invited to bring their sleeping gear and sense of adventure for a night that will surely be described in family lore as “a break in the routine.”

The evening starts with your choice of beer or wine followed by behind-the-scenes tours of the 18 million plant and animal specimens (don’t worry, you won’t see them all), close encounters with some of the museum’s live scorpions, birds of prey, lizards—whatever happens to be awake—and lots more activities that only the Academy can provide.

The Academy has been hosting people in PJs since 1986 with the start of the Safari Overnight program for children. Since then, thousands of kids and their parents, scout groups and their chaperones, and others have enjoyed the experience.

We caught up with Jill Lim, the Academy’s manager of adult and strategic programs, as she was putting the finishing touches on plans for the big night in March.

Jill Lim holding owlJill Lim with a favorite owl. @ Kyle Cassidy

Q: How is this adult overnight different from the Safari Overnights?

A: It’s for adults only! This means we can serve alcohol, tell you more of our dark ghost stories, and keep you up late with a midnight movie! Honestly, adults are no different than kids. They want to go behind the scenes with flashlights, stay up late watching a movie, hear scary stories, and sleep under T. rex.

Q: Is this just for couples or can we make it a girls’ night out?

A: It is for anyone: couples, families with adult kids, or groups of friends. Any adults 21 and older can attend.

Q: What will we be doing all night?

A: Our guests will go on a behind-the-scenes tour to see one of our specimen collections, hear “ghost stories” about our early explorers, get up close to our live animals, visit the bar, eat fajitas, watch a bad sci-fi film, and more before cuddling up to sleep under T. rex. It’s going to be a fun evening!

Q: Is the museum haunted?

A: No comment.

Q: What should I tell my kids if they’re jealous that mom and dad are sleeping at “The Dinosaur Museum?”

A: Tell them you’ll bring home something from the Academy Shop for them to play with and then call our reservationist at 215-299-1060 to book a Friends and Family Overnight!

Q: Will I be the only one wearing curlers in my hair when I get in my sleeping bag?

A: Doubt it. I look forward to seeing the variety of nerdy pajamas that evening too.


You can find full details of the Adult Overnight, including registration information, on our website. Yelp is our media sponsor.

The next overnight when kids are allowed is Saturday, Feb. 21, on the heels of the third installment in the “Night at the Museum” film franchise. For information about the family Safari Overnight, visit our website.

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