Smithsonian Sleepovers at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Join fellow adventurers at one of the world's most visited museums for a night of fun!

Wander through the Fossil Hall, where dinosaurs cast giant shadows. Learn about Earth's past and discover the ocean's aquatic wonders. Visit pollinators and walk softly past mysterious mammals. Participate in games and challenges, immerse yourself in hand-on crafts and even learn how to eat like a T-Rex while playing The Game of Survival.

Upcoming Dates

The following 2024 dates are on sale!*

*These events are designed for children ages 8-14 and their adults (21 or older). There must be at least one adult per every five children in every group that registers. No adults can register without children.

Overheard @ Night!

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This event is intended for children ages 8 – 14 and their adults (21 or older). There must be at least one adult for every five kids in any group that registers. No adults can register without children.

  • Registration will end at 12 a.m. ET on the day of the Sleepover.
  • Advance registration is required for all Sleepovers. There will be no registration at the door.
  • For Military Families: A reduced rate is available for active-duty U.S. military personnel and their families. Please call 202-633-3030 (Monday - Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET) to receive Military Promotion pricing
  • Group sales are available for 10 or more people. Call 202-633-3030 (Monday - Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET) to book your group.
  • Note: Registrants will be asked to complete a waiver/release form and have an opportunity to purchase a Smithsonian Sleepovers t-shirt for you and your party during the order process.

Registration Fees

Important Note: 2024 prices do not include Smithsonian Associates member discounts.

General Admission Group
Sleepovers $150.00 $100.00

Getting to the Museum

Street Address

  • The museum is located at the intersection of 10th Street and Constitution Avenue NW in Washington, D.C. 20560

Museum Entrance

  • Attendees must enter and exit through the entrance at 10th St. NW & Constitution Ave. NW.



The closest Metro stations to the museum are the Federal Triangle Metro station, located on the Blue, Orange, and Silver lines; the Archives/Navy Memorial station on the Green and Yellow lines; and the Metro Center station on the Red line.

Driving & Parking

There are no Smithsonian Institution public parking facilities on the National Mall.

On-street meter parking options are available. Carefully check the days and hours of enforcement for on-street meter parking options posted on the parking meters and curbside signs. There are designated parking spaces for people with disabilities around the National Mall.

Rules of Conduct

To make everyone’s evening enjoyable, we ask that guests follow these rules:

  • Guests are strongly encouraged to eat dinner before arriving for the program.
  • All participants must attend orientation, which starts at 7:00 p.m. in the café.
  • No food or drink is allowed outside of the café.
  • Running and yelling are not permitted in the museum.
  • Chaperones must stay with their children throughout the entire event. Chaperones are responsible for the behavior of their group.
  • Children are not permitted to play on stairways, escalators, or elevators, and are expected to be courteous.
  • Neither chaperones nor children may visit areas of the museum that are off-limits.
  • Inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated.
  • Alcohol is not allowed on the premises. Violators will be asked to leave.
  • Cell phones should be put on vibrate or silent mode.
  • Respect your fellow attendees.

What to Bring

Bring the following to your sleepover:

  1. Sleeping bag, camp pad, or battery operated and hand pump air mattress. Cots will not be provided.
  2. Pillow
  3. Toothbrush and toothpaste
  4. Name tags to label your belongings
  5. Washcloth and small towel
  6. Comfortable clothing for the night. We recommend sweatshirts and warm clothing.
  7. Walking shoes. You will be walking throughout the museum.
  8. Reusable water bottle. There are water refill stations located throughout the museum.
  9. Earplugs and a night mask. The lights are not completely turned off.
  10. Make sure your phones are charged or bring a portable charger. There are limited accessible outlets to recharge cell phones.

What not to bring for the Sleepover:

  1. Please leave your handheld game systems, music players, and all other electronic devices at home.
  2. Roller shoes are not permitted in the museum.
  3. Tents or plug-in mattress inflators are not permitted.
  4. No alcohol, firearms, or weapons of any kind are permitted.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How many people can attend a Smithsonian Sleepover?

Each of our Smithsonian Sleepovers can accommodate around 200 people. Note that we limit the capacity to ensure participants experience no long lines or waiting time to enjoy activities and have a memorable overnight experience in the museum.

2. How many chaperones are required to participate with a group?

Each group must have one adult supervisor for every five 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 activities are handicapped-accessible. The museum's Constitution Avenue entrance is handicapped-accessible.

5. Are younger and older siblings allowed to participate?

Younger and older siblings are not permitted to participate unless they are between the ages of 8 and 14 years old and have also been registered for the sleepover.

6. Can I bring a birthday cake or cupcakes to celebrate my child's birthday at a Smithsonian Sleepover?

Unfortunately not, as 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 bring it to Check-In along with any outstanding release forms for your group.

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 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. ET, 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 is between 6:30 and 7 p.m. After orientation, the sleepover occurs from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. the following day.

11 Where do we load-in and out

Use the entrance to the Natural History Museum at Constitution Ave and 10th St. NW. If driving, you will have to pull up and unload curbside (on the street side of the barriers), then proceed to park your car.

12. Where do we park?

View nearby parking facilities
We recommend you call those companies to confirm if they will accommodate overnight parking and the fees associated.

13. How do we check in?

Check-in is from 6:30 to 7 p.m. in the Sant Ocean Hall near the Explorer Theater. Everyone who attends a sleepover needs to check in at "will call" to receive a wristband to wear throughout the event and submit their party's release forms if necessary. Families who have pre-registered will be listed on our roster and will need to give the name under which the reservation was made. 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 p.m.

14. What happens if we have to leave early?

If a participant needs to leave between 8 p.m. and 6 a.m., please contact a staff person during the sleepover. If an adult must leave and no other adult from the group is present, the entire party may be asked to leave.

15. Do I have to be with my kids all the time?

Children must be in the company of an adult throughout the sleepover. After bedtime, chaperones are responsible for keeping their group in the sleeping area.

16. 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, and water. 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.

17. 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 their name. We cannot 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 Customer Service when registering for the sleepover and the overnight staff upon arrival. Any special medical needs should also be noted at these times as well.

18. What if someone gets sick during the event?

Please notify Security. Appropriate action will be taken.

19. 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.

20. What happens the next morning?

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 car 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.