1. How many people can attend a Smithsonian Sleepover?
The sleepover can accommodate up to 150 people.
2. How many chaperones are required to participate with a group?
Each group must have one adult supervisor for every three child participants.
3. How old must a chaperone be?
A chaperone must be at least 21 years old.
4. Are the exhibits and programs handicapped-accessible?
Yes, all sleepover activities are handicapped-accessible. The museum’s Constitution Avenue entrance is handicapped-accessible.
5. Are younger and older siblings allowed to participate?
No, younger and older siblings are not permitted to participate, unless they are between the ages of 8 and 12 years old and have also registered for the Sleepover.
6. Can I bring a birthday cake or cupcakes to celebrate my child’s birthday at a sleepover?
No, we are not equipped to handle this activity.
7. When do I receive confirmation for the sleepover?
You will receive an email confirmation immediately after you register. Please print it out and bring it to check-in along with your completed participant release forms.
8. Can we increase the number of participants in our group?
Space is very limited. If you want to increase your group size or make changes to your reservation, please call 202-633-3030 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m, Monday-Friday. If spaces are available, payment is due immediately and accepted over the phone.
9. What if someone in our group cancels?
There are no refunds.
10. What time is the sleepover?
Check-in for the sleepover begins at 7 p.m. and goes from 7:30 PM to 8:30 AM the following day.
11. Where do we park?
Overnight parking will be in the parking lot behind the Natural History Museum. You can enter from Constitution Avenue on the west side, at the guard booth between 10th and 12th Sts., N.W. You must enter the museum on Constitution Avenue. Cars cannot be left on the street overnight. Your name will be left with the security officer at the parking booth. You will receive a pass when you arrive, which should be placed in the window of your car. Please limit the number of vehicles, as the number of spaces is limited. There is no additional charge for parking. The parking lot will open to participants at 7 p.m. Guests must remove their car from parking lot by 9 a.m. the following morning or they will be subject to being towed or receiving a fine.
12. How do we check in?
Check-in is from 7 to 7:30 p.m. in the Sant Ocean Hall near the Explorer Theater. Everyone who attends a sleepover needs to check in at “will call” to submit their party’s release forms and receive a wristband to wear throughout the event. Families who have pre-registered will be listed on our roster and will need to give the name under which the reservation was made.
YOU MUST BRING A SIGNED RELEASE FORM FOR EACH PERSON IN YOUR
PARTY WHEN YOU CHECK IN.
After receiving your wristbands, you will be shown to the Explorer Theater to store your overnight gear. All participants must attend orientation, which will start at 7:30 p.m. in the Atrium Café.
If a participant needs to leave between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m., please contact a staff person during the sleepover. Children must be in the company of an adult throughout the sleepover. If an adult must leave and no other adult from the group is present, the entire party may be asked to leave.
13. What types of food will be served?
Overnight guests are strongly encouraged to eat dinner before arriving for the program. An evening snack may include cookies, fruit, animal crackers, juice, coffee and tea. Breakfast will include fresh fruit, bagels and cream cheese, milk, muffins, pastries, coffee, tea and juice. Not every item listed will be available at every sleepover—this is merely an example. Under no circumstances can the food provided be taken outside the designated eating areas.
14. Can we bring our own food and beverages?
No outside food or beverage will be allowed, except:
If a guest has severe food allergies or specific dietary needs, he/she may bring a nonperishable snack and breakfast in a heavy-duty plastic container (not a plastic baggie), labeled with the guest’s name. We can’t take responsibility if it is lost or stolen.
Any food not meeting these criteria or that is found in an exhibition hall will be confiscated. Any guests needing to bring in food should notify registration when ordering tickets and also the overnight staff upon arrival. Any special medical needs also should be noted then.
15. What if someone gets sick during the sleepover?
Please notify a sleepover staff member. Appropriate action will be taken.
16. Can we leave early?
Yes, participants may leave early if needed. However, all participants from the group must leave unless another adult from the party remains with the children. No children may be left without an adult chaperone.
17. Where do we change into our sleeping clothes?
Restrooms are available on the same level as Ocean Hall, adjacent to the sleeping area, as well as on the lower level.
18. Where do we sleep?
Guests will sleep on the marble floor in the Sant Ocean Hall (with Phoenix the Whale).
19. The next day
The Family Store will open at 8 a.m. the morning after the sleepover. Participants are welcome to explore the museum after opening time at 10 a.m. If you want to stay, please put your gear in your cars before returning to the museum.
21. Security and emergencies
The Smithsonian Office of Protection Services has staff members inside the building 24 hours a day. However, we highly recommend leaving your valuables at home or keeping them on your person at all times. The Smithsonian does not take responsibility for lost or stolen items.