when my co-leader and i learned that there are sleepover nights at places like the l.a. zoo and various local museums, we thought that would make for a really fun outing for our girls. i mean, obviously. and so when we found an available date at the natural history museum that worked for us, we decided to go for it. it was a little pricey - $75 per person - but we figured it would be an awesome experience and totally worth it. right?
check-in time for the sleepovers is at 6:30. dinner isn't part of the program, so the girls and i stopped off for a quick dinner nearby and then made our way to the museum. we'd geared up for the night, with sleeping bags and and air mattress and our personal totes with pajamas and toothbrushes and clothes for the next day. and because there were three of us, we decided to bust out the ol' wagon so we could get all of our stuff out of the car in one shot.
i think she was trying to make like a dinosaur here.
i'm not actually sure why i got the frowny face from her sister, though.
once inside, we passed by fun stuff on our way to where we'd been assigned to set up for the night.
the agenda for the evening:
we were in the saber toothed-cat group.
it was a little weird to have the whole place practically to ourselves.
she loves when i pull her aside for selfies. can you tell?
although she's perfectly happy to photobomb me when i try to selfie it up without her.
our first activity took us behind the scenes, through employee-only areas and into a back room where the girls got to make goo.
this was the bean's prize for finishing it.
the included snack consisted of goldfish crackers, string cheese and water. yup.
and then we went outside with jessica for a tour of the tar pits. this was probably the most fun part of the evening, although it was a little hard to see much because it was so dark already.
throughout the park, there were small fenced-off areas where there was still tar bubbling up from below ground.
and the "tar pits" area, we learned, wasn't actually full of tar after all. it's mostly water in there, with trapped bacteria continuously bubbling up.
this lady was freezing her ass off, apparently. it was maybe 65 degrees out there, but homegirl was all bundled up.
jessica gave the girls a little history lesson on how the museum started, which they clearly thought was fascinating.
and then it was time to get our sleeping areas all set up, pajamas put on and teeth brushed before lights out. the old lady and i set up our air mattress, rolled out our sleeping bags, and checked out our view.
although if i looked to my left, i had a clear view of the creepy ass tiger and his skeleton. the old lady was not thrilled to see this later, when all the lights went out.
the next morning, we woke up fairly early and started packing it up to get outta there.
the "continental breakfast" consisted of several jumbo-sized bags of generic branded cereal, weak lukewarm coffee and a few granola bars. i think there was a costco box of croissants too, which was the highlight of the meal if you could get one.
and of course, the gift shop was open for business.
you can take home your very own wooly mammoth for a grand. sweet!
do i sound disillusioned about this whole thing? because hell yeah, i was. all of the adults who were with us for this outing were on the same page...we paid $75 per person for goldfish crackers, a craft project we do at home several times a year, and generic cereal. WUT.
however...the girls had a blast. they all raved about how much fun they'd had, how cool it had been to sleep over at the museum, and just enjoyed being together for the night. and while i would never, ever, ever recommend anyone to spend their hard-earned cash on this outing, i'm pretty glad for that. after all, that's what it's all about anyway, right?
seriously though...if you'd been considering this, don't. just pay the $12 and wander the museum during opening hours and then go home and have a great night's sleep in your own home. really. you'll be much better off.