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The best way to learn a new language, such as French, is to immerse yourself in it. Forcing yourself to speak in French helps you to understand speech patterns, use slang correctly, improve your vocabulary … etc. You can learn also learn about French culture by living in France and partaking in local customs. The idea of using immersion for learning can be applied to any topic, even learning about a museum and its exhibits. The best way to do this is with a museum sleepover! The idea is not new and creates an exciting adventure for visitors. 

Although a museum sleepover is nothing like the movie Night at the Museum, visitors do get a personal view of the exhibits — and what goes on after hours. There are many reasons for having a museum sleepover, including a birthday party, a field trip or a corporate event. Visitors are given the opportunity to take their time exploring exhibits without the noise of a crowd or adhering to a schedule. There are also special activities and presentations to keep the little ones entertained. Sleepovers are also a great way to get people excited about their local museums. 

Museums all across the country have themed sleepovers. Many are designed for families with young children. The Field Museum in Chicago, Illinois, has the Dozin’ with the Dinos program (ages 6 to 12), where kids can camp out next to dinosaur skeletons and learn more about the museum’s science collections through hands-on activities. For die-hard baseball fans, The Extra Innings Overnights program (ages 7 to 12) at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, offers special access to the museum’s public areas as well as offering a snack and a movie in the Bullpen Theater.  For budding spies, The International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. offers the KidSpy Overnight: Operation Secret Slumber program (ages 9 – 13) where kids receive KidSpy® training, including donning disguises and cracking codes. There are also programs geared towards adults, such as the Dream-Over program at the Rubin Museum in New York City. Guests can sleep under a work of art chosen just for them. The program includes a snack and light breakfast, bedtime stories and dream discussions. 

These programs are a great way to get kids and adults alike excited about museums as well as learning about natural history, space, zoology, art and more. They make memories that last a lifetime and guests gain a new appreciation for exhibits and programs.