Youngsters and their parents can make plans for an upcoming pajama party of sorts in the building that houses SUE, Egyptian mummies and the Pawnee Earth Lodge.
"Dozin' with the Dinos" is a popular family event frequently presented by The Field Museum in Chicago. Call it a type of Night at the Museum if you will without all the crazy antics and hi-jinks but with all the excitement of a learning adventure.
"These are always fun events," said Eduarda Briseno, public education manager for the education department at The Field Museum. "We introduce them to science and field museum research in a fun way. it's very hands on."
"Dozin' with the Dinos" allows families to stay overnight in the museum and take part in various workshops and exploration programs.
The event was first presented more than 25 years ago.
"It began as a very small event. There was about a 1 to 1 ratio of children to staff members and parents would drop the children off," Briseno said.
Through the years it's grown in popularity and now draws anywhere from 700 to 900 guests, she said. Guests travel to the museum from all parts of Chicagoland and neighboring states. Briseno said they host frequent guests from Northwest Indiana and Chicago's South Suburbs.
"And we get a number of repeat guests," she said.
The overnight experiences are held on Friday nights and are open to kids 6 to 12 years old.
Groups and families are frequent participants in the program as well.
"We require at least one chaperone for every three children," Briseno said, adding the age requirement of 6 to 12 is adhered to because workshops and projects are geared to that age range.
Participants of "Dozin' with the Dinos" are required to be at the museum at 5:45 p.m. for check-in with orientation beginning at 6:30 p.m. Programming is scheduled to run until 11:30 p.m. and bedtime is 1 a.m.
Briseno said depending on whether a standard or premium package is purchased dictates where individuals will sleep. If buying a Premium Package, sleeping quarters are in the Dinosaur Hall of Evolving Planet where participants also go on a behind the scenes tour with a museum scientist. Standard package sleeping quarters will be in an exhibit area on the main level. Cost for a standard package is $63 per person ($53 for Field Museum member). Premium Package cost is $75 per person ($65 for members).
Other than a snack between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. and a continental breakfast between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m. the next morning, food isn't served during the event. There are vending machines on the premises, however. Outside food and drink is not permitted. Food is also only permitted in certain areas.
According to Briseno, the workshops presented during "Dozin' with the Dinos" are meant to be engaging and educational.
Among workshops and programs kids will find interesting are Games from Around the World, an Insect Station, Origami Station, Egyptian Station, Dinosaur Station and many more.
"It's a blend of science and art activities," Briseno said.
The "Dozin' with the Dinos" program runs from January through mid- June. Upcoming Dozin' with the Dino overnight experiences are Feb. 8, March 1, 8, 15, April 5, 12, May 10 and June 7. Overnight experiences on April 12 and May 10 will feature special programming. On April 12, guests will see the temporary exhibit "Scenes from the Stone Age: The Cave Paintings of Lascaux" while May 10 guests will see the exhibit "Creatures of Light."
Reservations are required for the overnight program.