by Waverly W.
8 years old, Manhattan
Ahiri (age and location withheld)
Christian B., 9 years old (almost 10!) from Bloomfield, NJ
(*We met Christian on the night of our sleepover – he was happy to come along for our awesome kids’ news adventure!)
Waverly here! When my mom told me that the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) was letting kids’ news come along on a sleepover night, AND that I could choose a Kid Reporter to come along, I jumped so high I almost hit my head on the ceiling! You’ve probably read the story and seen the movie. And…if you’re like me, you’ve wondered if it really comes alive at night. This was my chance to find out. Here’s YOUR chance to read all about it and see just what it’s like to spend a night at the museum.
At first it was just me, Ahiri, and my mom…but after we checked in and went to pick some cots under the big blue whale (sooooo coooool!!!) we met up with Christian B., whose sister bought him a ticket for his 10th birthday (now THAT’S a birthday gift!). We told them about this site and asked if he wanted to hang out with us and help us write our story. He said YES right away, and we suddenly had another friend and reporter in our team.
Ahiri here! I was so happy when Waverly invited me to the sleepover night! First we came in and saw a checkout area, which looked like an airport. Then we watched a short movie about the sleepover and its rules. There were a bunch of kids under the whale where we saw the movie. I could tell it was going to be SO FUN and we could not wait to go explore. We took our activity schedule down to the cafeteria and began to plan our adventure while we ate dinner. We decided to start with an animal show with a live possum. It was so cute and we got the perfect picture of him kissing the lady that was holding him!
Next it was crocodile time!!! We went to the Crocs exhibit, and what do we see?! We saw LIVE CROCODILES right in the museum! We couldn’t take pictures because the flash would hurt their eyes and scare them so I would say you just have to see them for yourself. Waverly here!! I don’t think there’s anything cuter than the Slender-Snouted Crocodile that moved whenever we moved and followed us with his eyes! According to the information at the museum, “Little is known about these secretive crocodiles in the wild.” Well, this one was cute and we were told that he was not a baby and not fully grown yet…a Tween! We were curious where the museum got their crocs from, so my mom asked and was told that all the museum’s animals come from a place called “Reptileland” in Pennsylvania (Mom! I think we have another story idea!) and that there is a Zookeeper on call who lives nearby to care for them.
Christian here! My favorite part of the museum was the Crocs exhibit! They’re my favorite animal. I learned a lot about my favorite animal – before we went, we all just thought that crocs are mean and scary. There are 23 species of crocodiles, and only 6 are dangerous to humans! That doesn’t mean you should go find one and pet him…they have the strongest bite out of any animal in the world! One more thing—can you guess what is the crocodile’s closest living relative? Nope, not an alligator! Give up? It’s BIRDS! If you want to learn more about crocs and of course see some live ones, just get over to the museum before January 2nd!
Back to Ahiri: After that, we had a little snack of delicious cookies downstairs in the school lunchroom. This was better because we weren’t in school and it was nighttime! After the cookies, we were ready to find some fossils and explore the dinosaurs in the dark. It was so dark that we had to use flashlights!
Waverly: This part was sooooo cool!! All the kids had flashlights and we did this fossil hunt that was so fun! My dream job is to be a Paleontologist and this was just like being one. We each got a little booklet and then we were off to explore and look for clues and answers! I loved the giant shark jaws and really hoped they didn’t come alive later…
We learned something really cool while checking out the “Dinosaurs Among Us” exhibit — are you ready for this?? Dinosaurs once had FEATHERS! Proof:
Here we are in front of a life sized model of a Yutyrannus haul … who was covered in feathers! I don’t want to give away all the dinosaur discoveries that you can find out for yourself at the museum, so let’s just say you will be really surprised to learn what tiny animals have evolved from these huge ones!!
Next we watched a really cool 3D movie about the Artic people, animals, ice, effect of global warming and much more. Waverly here: I got tired and decided that I would wait until next time to find out if the museum comes alive at night!! Christian here: I wasn’t tired at all!! (Hmmm….see the picture….not so sure that’s true!)
Then we fell asleep on our cots, snuggled up in our sleeping bags under the big blue whale while listening to a late night bedtime story of, what else? “The Night at the Museum.” Waverly here: In the middle of the night, I could swear I saw that giant Titanosaur poke his head through the doorway of the Hall of Ocean Life…ok, that might have been a dream. It might not have been one, though! I was so tired out from all the fun stuff we did so there’s no way to know for sure.
In the morning, we woke up early and ran around in the dark with all the other kids and our flashlights, getting some last minute explorations in. We ate breakfast, visited the gift shop, and went back home. What a fun adventure!!!! We hope you all get the chance to sleep there one night too. Maybe we’ll see you there….we will be back for sure. For more info, go to
Thank you, AMNH!