Cool Bay Area sleepovers you can do with your child - 510 Families

Cool Bay Area sleepovers you can do with your child

Have you ever wanted to sleep over at a museum or aquarium? What about a zoo or amusement park? Well, great news — you and your kid can do it! I had a blast testing out many of these family overnights. You'll get a terrible night's sleep but make so many fun memories. Here are the quick details for some way cool Bay Area overnights you can book.

Crazy fun Bay Area sleepovers you can do with your lucky child - 510families
We're not taking a big family vacation this summer so it is my personal goal to drag my children to as many quirky Bay Area sleepovers as we can do before school starts up again! In general, these overnights are an expensive way to spend an evening on a floor in a crowded room, but they make up for it in specialness.

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Fairyland Summer Sleepover, Oakland

Fairyland Summer Sleepover and other wacky places to sleep in the bay area
Fairyland in pajamas — so fun!

Sponsor

Description: With rides, special performances, dinner, and a continental breakfast, a summer sleepovers create amazing memories for kids of all ages. Bring a tent to sleep on the lawn near the farm animals. Check in around 6pm. Bedtime at 9:30. Wake up at 6:30 am and check out at 8:15 am.

Ages: Recommended for ages 2 to 7.
Prices: $45 per person.
Food situation: Dinner and breakfast included along with dessert and popcorn snack.
Location: Children's Fairyland, Oakland

Live Aboard the USS Hornet, Alameda

Alameda's USS Hornet with kids
Tour the USS Hornet into the wee hours and sleep on a bunk!

Description: “Live aboard” is a family sleepover in real berthing units on an aircraft carrier — awesome! Price includes dinner and breakfast in the original crew's mess hall, personalized tours, shared berthing in the original crew's compartments, a ride in the flight simulator, and a certificate and coupon for a future visit! Bring a sleeping bag, pillow, flashlight, and toothbrush.

  • 2019 dates: June 1, July 13, August 30 with more added all the time
  • Our review of a sleepover on the USS Hornet.
  • Their website to check for dates and availability.

Ages: Ages 7 and up
Prices: $75 Museum Members/$100 per person/discounts for Scouts
Food situation: Mess hall meals included.
Location: USS Hornet Aircraft Carrier docked in Alameda

Oakland Zoo Sundown Safari

Oakland Zoo sundown safari family sleepover
Photo: Oakland Zoo sundown safari family sleepover

Description: Oakland Zoo hosts Sundown Safari for its family sleepover from 5pm to 10am the next day. Bring your own tent and camping gear. Safari-goers explore the Children’s Zoo on an exciting guided twilight tour with a special behind the scenes access. Afterwards create enrichment treats for one of the Zoo’s specially selected animals. Finish the evening around the campfire for s’mores before settling in for the night. After breakfast, feed the animals what you made them during some close-up animal encounters.

  • 2019 dates: July 6, 13, 20, 27 and August 3, 10, 17, 24, 31
  • Their website to check for availability and how to register. Registration requires a couple weeks notice and a fax machine.

Sponsor

Ages: Recommended for ages 4 to 10, older siblings welcome.
Prices: $80 per person for members or $95 for non-members; for groups of 5 or more $75 (members) or $90 (non-members). Price includes admission for the next day.
Food situation: Dinner and breakfast provided; BYO snacks.
Location: Oakland Zoo
Tip: Bring ear plugs!

Cal Academy of Sciences, San Francisco {415}

Penguins and Pajamas sleepover at the museum
Penguins and Pajamas sleepover at the museum

Description: Penguins+Pajamas sleepover at Cal Academy includes limited exhibits plus some special late-night activities like movies and planetarium visits. Guests sleep up close and personal with exhibits in sleeping bags on the floor in one of many rooms like the aquarium or African Hall. Arrive at 6pm and leave at 8am the next day.

Ages: Ages 5 to 17 allowed with one adult chaperone (over 25) per every 5 kids. No adults without kids.
Prices: $99 per person for members and groups $119 per person for non-members; includes admission for the next day.
Food situation: Dinner available for purchase; snack and breakfast included.
Location: Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

Monterey Bay Aquarium Seashore Sleepovers {ROAD TRIP}

Monterey Bay Aquarium and other great day trips from the Bay Area

Description:
Seashore Sleepovers are a special way to enjoy the Aquarium after hours—you can even sleep next to your favorite exhibit! Fun activities throughout the evening; explore the Aquarium on your own; sleep next to a favorite exhibit. In the morning, wake up with the fishes and enjoy a continental breakfast in the Cafe.

Ages: Ages 5 to adult.
Prices: $95 per person for members; $125 per person for non-members
Food situation: Dinner not provided; snack and breakfast included.
Location: Monterey Bay Aquarium

Sharks in the Dark at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, Vallejo

Description: Slumber party guests participate in a squid dissection, fun games about oceanic residents, a talk with one of our Shark Aquarists, and sleep in the Shark Experience PLUS Six Flags park admission for the next day and a commemorative tee shirt.

Ages: Ages 7 and up
Prices: $130 per person includes dinner and breakfast / Save $30 per person for private groups / Save with membership or season pass
Food: Dinner and breakfast included
Location: Six Flags Discovery Kingdom

  • 2019 dates: June 21 and August 3
  • Visit their website for details and registration.

Chabot Space and Science Center Slumber with the Stars, Oakland

Description: Thematic family sleepovers include hike, planetarium visit, and a related craft (like rootbeer for Father's Day). Expect late-evening access to exhibits. The recently enhanced version moves guests out of the “boring old conference room” and into the expanded observatory — and I haven't tested it out yet.  Clear nights offer late-night telescope visits.

Ages: Ages 4 and up
Prices: $85 per person includes dinner and breakfast / Save $10 for members
Food: Dinner and breakfast in the cafe are limited menu but with vegetarian options
Location: Chabot Space and Science Center

  • Upcoming dates: May 26, June 29, July 13
  • Visit their website for details and registration.

Packing list for these funky cool sleepovers:

  1. Eye mask and ear plugs for parents (make friends by passing out extras)
  2. Luna bar just in case the food is terrible
  3. Sleeping bag and pillow
  4. Sleeping pad or full-on air mattress (Not needed for USS Hornet; check for electricity before you pack the big behemoth!)
  5. Tent (for Oakland Zoo and Fairyland)
  6. Wagon (optional but hecka useful)

Also, please let me know if any chocolate factories start offering overnight accommodations and I'll be the first in line.

[Photos by Heather Flett except Oakland Zoo by Oakland Zoo; USS Hornet by Wendy Copley; Monterey Aquarium by jim g]


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2 thoughts on “Cool Bay Area sleepovers you can do with your child”

  1. OMG I don’t know if I have it in me to do any of these! I don’t even sleep when we do a campout in the backyard!

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