Find out what hap­pens af­ter the lights go out at this grown-up sleep­over

Milwaukee Magazine - - Content - BY KRIS­TINE HANSEN

Mil­wau­kee Pub­lic Mu­seum’s sleep­overs for grownups.

BOOZE, CU­RA­TOR-LED TOURS of rare be­hind-the-scenes col­lec­tions and even a Mi­mosa-fu­eled break­fast are all part of what may well be the most in­ter­ac­tive ex­hibit at the Mil­wau­kee Pub­lic Mu­seum: adult sleep­overs.

“It’s kind of a new trend,” says mu­seum ed­u­ca­tor Mar­garet James about the events, un­doubt­edly in­spired by the Night at the Mu­seum tril­ogy of movies, star­ring Ben Stiller. The Amer­i­can Mu­seum of Nat­u­ral His­tory in New York City also hosts af­ter-hours events, but ac­cord­ing to James, “We were the first in the re­gion.”

The mu­seum will host two overnight events this year, on May 19 and Sept. 29, with tick­ets priced at $125 ($100 for mem­bers). Both are Fri­day nights and cap off at a cozy group of around 175.

Shortly af­ter guests put down their sleep­ing bags, cots or small in­flat­able mat­tresses, they’re handed two drink tick­ets and can so­cial­ize over wine, craft beer and cock­tails. The bar re­mains open un­til mid­night, paired with food sta­tions through­out the night. Plan­e­tar­ium and Dome Theater’s 3D shows run un­til lights out at 2 a.m.

“A lot of [the in­spi­ra­tion] came from our vis­i­tors and guests for the reg­u­lar overnights with fam­i­lies,” says James. Adults wanted a more un­scripted ex­pe­ri­ence, with­out kids in tow.

Sleep­ing ac­com­mo­da­tions are on the se­cond floor, in­clud­ing near the Na­tive Amer­i­can ex­hibit (“A Trib­ute to Sur­vival”), with the sound ef­fects turned off for a more peace­ful slum­ber. “We want peo­ple to think of it as an in­door camp­ing ex­pe­ri­ence – but don’t bring a tent,” she says.

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