Last Saturday, my family slept at the Museum of Science with my son's Scout pack. This was not my first museum overnight. During my 10 years as a grade 4 teacher, I organized 10 overnight trips for our fourth grade students (The last few years we brought 170 people). To say I loved those trips would be an understatement. When other adults were worrying about the late night, sharing public bathrooms, and sleeping among a bunch of strangers, I was anticipating the fun and learning to come. I'm like a kid on these trips. Besides, who wouldn't like the opportunity to sleep with a T-Rex, or near a wave tank, or in an indoor playground?
This most recent trip did not disappoint. Our overnight schedule included an evening program, a design/ engineering workshop, a lightening show, a late night snack, an Omni show about dolphins and a live animal show (scorpions, hedgehogs and boa constrictors, anyone?) We also got to experience the exhibits when the museum was closed.
I know this isn't exactly a "get out in nature" kind of experience like I normally encourage. During a long, cold, New England winter, however, it's a nice change of pace. There are also several exhibits that specifically relate to natural topics and there's a live animal exhibit.
If you live in New England, I encourage you to organize an overnight for your class, home-schooled students, or scouts. Sure, you'll wake up exhausted, but you'll also have a unique, fun learning experience with your kids!
Have you ever experienced an overnight like this?