There's nothing easy about hosting a sleepover . Between whipping up snacks, providing entertainment, and getting a group of kids to bed, it can be an exhausting night for parents. So why not put the task in someone else's hands? There are many museums throughout the country that let kids young and old sleep among the exhibits, whether it's for a one-of-a-kind birthday bash or a special family weekend. Check out these 21 museums and plan an evening that your child will never forget.
American Museum of Natural History — New York
As the doors close and the lights dim, kids take a flashlight-lit tour through time . When it's time for bed, kids can fall asleep beneath the famous blue whale, next to African elephants, or at the base of a fake volcano.
Cost: $145 nonmembers, $135 members, $125 groups of 15 or more
Museum of Science — Boston
In addition to exploring the museum after hours , kids will participate in a number of educational and entertaining science activities. Featuring everything from hands-on experiments to a special planetarium show, it will be a night they will never forget.
Cost: call 617-589-0350
Chabot Space & Science Center — Oakland, CA
Before future astronauts fall asleep beneath the stars , they will learn about space through hands-on exhibits, special planetarium shows, and a private telescope viewing.
Cost: $90 nonmembers, $80 members
Cincinnati Museum Center — Cincinnati
Does your child want to explore caves? Or perhaps they have a special interest in dinosaurs? Chose from one of four themes  to create the perfect sleepover experience for you little one.
California Academy of Sciences — San Francisco
It's not just about the cold climate bird at Penguins and Pajamas . Kids will also learn about animals in the rain forest and meet Claude, the museum's albino alligator.
Cost: $99 nonmembers, $79 members
Carnegie Science Center — Pittsburgh
There's more to sleep than snoring. Before bedtime, kids will explore circadian rhythms  and hibernation, participate in a simulated sleep deprivation challenge, and make a mask to help them fall asleep.
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum — New York
Future sea explorers are needed to complete Operation Slumber . Kids will learn about the life of a captain as they spend the night aboard the Intrepid.
Cost: $120, $99 groups of 15 or more
Explora Science Center — Albuquerque, NM
In addition to exploring the museum halls after dark , kids can choose two experimental programs to participate in that night. Options include mirrors, magnets, vibrations, chromatography, light and sound, and Bernoulli’s principle.
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County — Los Angeles
A night of education and entertainment will be had by all who choose to spend a night sleeping among the fossils .
Cost: $60 nonmembers, $55 members or groups of 10 or more
Penn Museum — Philadelphia, PA
At 40 Winks With the Sphinx , kids will learn about the lives of explore ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Mayans through games, crafts, and hands-on exhibits.
Cost: $50 nonmembers, $40 members, $45 for groups of 21 or more
Museum of Science and Industry — Chicago
Kids can explore the museum at their own pace or participate in an after-hours scavenger hunt . They will also receive a special guided tour of the coal mine and U-5050 submarine.
International Spy Museum — Washington DC
During Operation Secret Slumber , kids will be sent on a seven-hour mission throughout the museum, which includes a simulated interrogation.
Costs: $115 nonmembers, $105 members and groups of 10 or more
Garden State Discovery Museum — Cherry Hill, NJ
Kids can spend the night in the storybook castle  or the museum's famous tree house. Girls can enjoy complimentary manicures, while boys can play with the creepy crawlers.
The Field Museum — Chicago
Kids travel around the world  by visiting exhibits, playing games, and hearing a series of bedtime stories before they fall asleep.
Cost: $63 nonmembers, $55 members
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! — New York
Kids with an interest in the unimaginable will love spending the night at one of the world's weirdest museums . After a flashlight scavenger hunt to find bizarre artifacts, kids settle into the Babe Ruth Theater for a movie and snack.
Cost: call 212-398-3133
Liberty Science Center — Jersey City, NJ
Kids will enjoy an evening of engaging activities , like climbing a fossil-studded rock wall, playing hide-and-seek with the animals, and creating a masterpiece with digital spray paint.
Wisconsin Maritime Museum — Manitowoc, WI
Get a firsthand taste of life in a submarine . After learning about sea life and exploring the submarine, kids will fall asleep aboard the USS Cobia.
Saint Louis Science Center — St. Louis
Whether they want to learn about the dinosaurs or the science of space, kids will enjoy a night at the St. Louis Science Center .
Costs: call 314-289-1459
Milwaukee Public Museum — Milwaukee, WI
At the Milwaukee Public Museum, each overnight is different . Themes range from an African safari to Egyptian mummies.
Cost: $47 nonmembers, $37 members, $42 groups of 15 or more
Smithsonian — Washington DC
Enjoy an evening at one of nation's most famous museums . After a night of crafts and IMAX movies, kids fall asleep under Phoenix, the museum's famous whale.
Costs: call 202-633-3030
National Aquarium — Baltimore
Kids can choose between a night with the dolphins  or a sleepover with the sharks . In addition to sleeping with their favorite sea creatures, kids will get a chance to stroll the catwalk, which hangs a few inches above the animals.
Cost: $155 nonmembers, $103 members