Posts Tagged ‘museum sleepover’

We’ve had a bit of a crisis in sleepovers here in Ottawa.  There are two local museums that run wonderful sleepover programs…but unfortunately, one of them has been forced to close (only temporarily, but probably into early 2015) because of a mould problem. EDIT – Nov 2014 – they’ve decided to renovate and the museum will reopen sometime in 2017.

aviation sleepover

Gathering at the Aviation Museum in 2012. Sorry for the fuzzy photo, but it allows me to give you a taste without showing kid’s faces. =)

As you look into sleepovers, think about why you’re planning one. Of course, you want to provide an educational and enjoyable experience for the girls, but the biggest benefit of a sleepover is for the everyone to get to know each other in a new environment for a longer time. The girls (some of whom have never slept away) can try an overnight. And the Guiders have a chance to watch the girls and see who may need a little more prep before you take them on a two night sleepaway camp. We also try to look for a sleepover location that is close to home (just in case someone needs to abandon ship).

With that in mind…here are some sleepover ideas (if you add your ideas in the comments, I’ll edit them into this list later).

  • The Canada Aviation and Space Museum is open for business and has a top notch program. Try holding a Brownie Opening in the Hall of Honour (so fun!). You need to provide your own evening snack (granola bars) and morning breakfast (easily accomplished with muffins, an apple and a juice box).  And you get to sleep under an airplane! Cost works out to be around $25 per girl (if you have 25-30 girls and 5-6 leaders. Any more or less will increase the price – we had fewer girls so our cost was around $35 per girl). We slept under the Helicopters (it was dark enough to sleep, but there’s a small and well-lit washroom nearby) and it was great.
  • The Canada Science and Technology Museum is currently closed (Sept 23, 2014).  When they are open, they run a marvelous sleepover program.  We like their puzzle hunt program especially – it is very active, interesting, and good for tiring the girls out so they’re ready for bed.  Bonus is that there is a cafeteria and they provide coffee to adults in the morning with a breakfast of cereal and fruit.  And you get to sleep between trains.  Read this though to make sure you sleep in the right spot. Cost is around $38 per girl (includes breakfast only option).
  • Church Basements and community centres are great potential sleepover spaces, if you can book them.
    • PJ party...Have girls arrive at 7:00 in their PJs (bring sleeping bag stuff, toothbrush, etc), sing songs, watch a movie or do a spa/manicure night, introduce your teddy bear/sleep friend, play some games, go to bed by 9:30 or 10. Up by 7:30-8AM.  Breakfast and out by 9:30 or 10.  Done.
    • Drive in Movie – get boxes, have them decorate them like cars, watch a movie with popcorn, go to bed.  Up for breakfast.
    • Superhero Sparks Sleepover – themed evening with a cape to decorate.
    • My favourite is to have them put up a campsite inside!  Borrow some tents, teach them how to put up a dome tent.  Let them set up their beds.  Play some wide games like you’re outside. Do a candle (or flashlight) campfire. Done! They’ll love it.  (And you don’t have to dry out tents in your garage for days!)
  • Cosmic Adventures is an option. I know of groups that went and who loved it. “You can sleep anywhere… just not at the top or bottom of a slide.” Most Ottawa kids have been to Cosmic and it is a popular spot for kid’s birthday parties.  Cost is around $40 per child.
  • Funhaven is also an option (I honestly don’t know much about it, but found group sleepover info so included it here). It is also a hot spot for kid’s birthday parties so your kids may have already been there.
  • I’ve heard unconfirmed rumors that Skyzone and Laser Quest have sleepover options.

Please add to this list. What other ideas are out there?

Previous Sleepover Posts:

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Brownies slept over at the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa on Friday and it was one of the best sleepovers we’ve ever had.  We hit the jackpot with a session leader who reviewed our Key to STEM requirements and who took the time to work out a program for us.  The girls loved the program and were super interested.  The leader hit all the points in STEM – people in science, caboosh, Stargazing (we even got to go out to the observatory!), building up… the whole thing.  The program ended around 9:15, and the girls were asleep by 10PM.  Without shushing and goofing around.  Our Owl team is pretty good at settling the girls down to bed, but even we were surprised.  You hear nightmare stories of girls being up all night… but, we’ve never had that happen.

  • Pros: Excellent program, neat place to sleep, they feed you breakfast (with coffee and tea for leaders) in the morning.  Excellent cell service so I was able to send e-mails to parents to update them on our evening (because, as much as this first outing is for us to suss out how the girls will do on a longer trip…it is possibly the first time the parents have left their girls for a non-Grandparent sleepover).  And the museum provides sleeping mats (so you don’t have to deflate 20 Thermarests).
  • Cons: Expensive – we charged $30 per girl to cover most of it with the unit budget covering the rest.  But we were blown away with the program.  In our opinion, we got a great deal.

As a public service for future sleepovers… I thought you would appreciate some direction about where to put your bed.  Some spots are better than others and you can’t tell until the lights are out… and once they’re out, you can’t move people around.

Where to put your bed at your next sleepover at the Museum of Science and Technology.

It was a great night.  If you’re looking for more info, check out Brownie Sleepover, Night at the Museum and don’t forget to advise the Fire Department that you’re in a building that isn’t usually occupied.

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