Cool Bay Area Sleepovers You Can Do With Your Child - 510 Families
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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.

Please note: My test drives of these experiences were pre-Covid, but these dates and rates are current. Check that you can meet all mask and vax requirements before you book and show up. Happy visiting!

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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summer campouts

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Fairyland Summer Sleepover, Oakland

Fairyland Summer Sleepover and other wacky places to sleep in the bay area
Riding Fairyland rides in pajamas is the best | Photo: Heather Flett

Description: With rides, special performances, dinner, and a continental breakfast, 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 6 pm. 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: $60 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.

  • Lots of 2022 dates! Several weekdays and weekend dates are available 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-$100 per person with discounts for Scouts
Food situation: Mess hall meals included.
Location: USS Hornet Aircraft Carrier docked in Alameda

 

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Oakland Zoo Sundown Safari – program on hold

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

Description: Oakland Zoo hosts Sundown Safari for its family sleepover from 5 pm to 10 am 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.

  • 2022 dates: None announced at this time.
  • Their website to check for availability and how to register.

Ages: Recommended for ages 4 to 10, older siblings welcome.
Prices: $100 per person for members or $110 for 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 6 pm and leave at 8 am the next day.

Ages: Ages 5 to 17 allowed with one adult chaperone (over 25) per every 5 kids. No adults without kids.
Prices: $129 per person with member discount; includes admission for the next day.
Food situation: Dinner available for purchase; snack and breakfast included.
Location: Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

Packing list for these funky cool sleepovers:

  1. Eye mask and earplugs 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 for Oakland Zoo by Oakland Zoo; USS Hornet by Wendy Copley]



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