This post was sponsored by Animal Jam who provided us with complimentary admission. We appreciate their support of Jersey Family Fun that allows us to share with families information about games and local overnight adventures families might enjoy.
Are your kids animal lovers? Begging you for a pet? Future animal rescuers? Introduce them to Animal Jam! Animal Jam is an educational interactive online game, presented by National Geographic that you can feel good about letting your kids play. Jersey Family Fun editor Jenn reviewed it in September and my daughter has played it quite a bit since then. Learning about animals while exploring online worlds with friends makes this mom happy. Can’t swing an inperson playdate – no problem! We set up a facetime for the girls to discuss their game plan, and get on the computers to play – and learn of course!
The developers at Animal Jam are passionate about kids and education, and have been across the country to promote their great game. Their latest stop was an overnight at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City – full of interesting animals and exhibits! Jersey Family Fun was honored to be invited along with other prominent bloggers for some “Night at the Museum” fun. My 9 year old daughter began packing the morning after I asked her if she was interested. My 5 year old son was out of luck though, as minimum age for the sleepover is 6. The days dragged on until Friday, when I picked Katie up from school on Friday and off we went to New York City for a mother/daughter adventure.
Our evening started at the classy Porter House steakhouse in Columbus Circle with a delicious dinner with a view, in the company of many local and national bloggers. The Animal Jam crew gave us our blankets and water bottles, and a brief update on this popular game. What a grown up treat to start the evening and fuel up with steak, fries, Shirley Temples for Katie and chocolate torte. With our bellies full we took our shuttle back to the museum, recovered our sleeping bags and pillows to begin our night.
Our Animal Jam group ventured to the Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals where we found our cots in front of the American Bison, Caribou, and Bears. After a quick change into pajamas, and finding a friend to partner with – we were off!
Let’s discuss walking around the American Museum of Natural History in pj’s. And socks! What an experience, since I’m usually in a museum burdened with a backpack, snacks, coats … and if you’ve ever been to the American Museum of Natural History, you know how crowded it can be. Imagine walking freely with whole exhibits to yourself. Worth the price of admission!
Most of the museum is open during the sleepovers. Nothing that we wanted to see was off limits, and you can imagine, what we went looking for was the main lobby, the Easter Island head, and T-Rex. We are definitely fans of the Night at the Museum movies! Along the way we came across the live animal demonstration of sea stars, along with a craft. The dinosaur room was busy with fossil finders using flashlights in the dark rooms. The Dark Universe Space Show was showing throughout the night in the Hayden Planetarium, and there were snacks available. We took our time wandering, and using the museum wi-fi and app to find our way to our ultimate goal – the Easter Island head! At the end of a desolate wing, there he was. Again – just imagine having a room to yourself in the museum!
You’ll find staff everywhere to help. Security guards, other “sleepover staff” and we even saw a special fossil finder helper on the dinosaur level. Staff will remind you of movie times, direct you to areas of the museum, and are overall exceptionally helpful. Lights out in the sleeping areas at midnight, but staff stay up and are available in the hallways. Don’t plan on sleeping much – we got a 7 AM wake up call of “Rise and shine!” A continental breakfast was available until 8 AM. Not done with the museum? Your sleepover admission includes admission for the following day as well! Alas, life goes on and we had classes and sports to get back to, so we said goodbye to our new friends, goodbye to Teddy Roosevelt and headed back to reality.
What was the best part? Finding “Dum Dum”! And having areas of the museum to ourselves.
Best part of coming home? Our gift of three months of Animal Jam! Once we finished our Saturday activities, it was right to the laptop for some online game time with virtual and real friends. With Animal Jam my children are inspired to learn about and protect animals, and our earth’s natural resources, a great way to spend a day when we’re stuck inside.
Want to go? Anyone can sign up for a sleepover with a group or individual. Information can be found here. Scouts, individuals, birthday parties – a sleepover could be just that unique experience you are looking for.
Click over to see the rest of our Family Travel to New York City series.
To arrange a feature on your location contact Jennifer Auer, Jersey Family Fun publisher.
In full disclosure, this post was sponsored by Animal Jam who provided us complimentary admission in order to make this post possible. All opinions are honest and our own and based on our experience.