Airbnb has joined forces with the Natural History Museum to offer guests of the popular ‘Dino Snores for Kids’ sleepovers a chance to stay at a new Airbnb Base Camp. Inspiring a future generation of explorers, ‘Dino Snores for Kids’ is a special sleepover, giving children aged 7 to 11 the chance to explore the Museum after dark while taking part in fun and educational activities. Upon booking a place at Dino Snores for Kids, the Museum will give guests the opportunity to win one of the 20 spots at the Airbnb Base Camp. The lucky winners will get to sleep in a specially designed camp area on the balcony of Hintze Hall at the Natural History Museum. As a guest of Airbnb, you will sleep beside a giant sequoia that is over 1,300 years old, overlooking the Museum’s brand-new star specimen: a 25.2 metre real blue whale skeleton that is suspended from the ceiling and plunges through the heart of the newly reimagined Hintze Hall. The Airbnb guests will be met by their very own explorer host, before enjoying a wide range of fun activities over the course of the night, which in our case included torch-lit trails, Dino-design t-shirt making, science show explaining how the universe works and the educative session with animal man in the morning. The ticket prices are adult £60, child £60 and member £54. The price tag includes all the activities and the breakfast at the museum, I think this would make perfect birthday or Christmas gift for children and adults alike. Each child must be accompanied by an adult, and the required ratio for adults to children is, as set by the Museum is: for 1 child- 1 adult required, for 2-4 children- 2 adults required, for 5-12 children-3 adults required, for 13-20 children- 4 adults required, for 21-28 children- 5 adults required, for 29-36 children- 6 adults required.
Now let me tell you about our “Dino Snore for kids” event. As we were lucky enough to be one of the Airbnb guests, we did not need to bring our sleeping bags. We only needed to pack our pyjamas, toiletries and our food to be consumed in the evening in the museum. The food bag needed to be clearly labelled with our names, so it would be easy to find it later. We came to the Natural History Museum with a bounce on our step trying to anticipate what we will experience. We queued up and went through the security check. I admit this put my mind in peace as we would be spending the night with these people. Once inside all of the children were given gift bags by Airbnb. It had a bottle, an activity book, a luggage tag, a pen and a winding torch. Most of the ids used the first and the latter straight away. We were all divided to teams and met our team leaders and team mates. Our food bags were placed in a special bag in our team’s colour. We were then shown our place to sleep the night. As we were Airbnb campers, our places were on the third level next to a 1300 years old giant Sequoia. The Airbnb camp was made in a true olden days’ camp style. This has added to the magical feeling of the night and we were feeling ourselves as a part of an adventure film. The camp host right away divided each child’s responsibility at the camp. We were shown the map of the camp and met by the camp fire to go to our activities of the night.
First activity of the “Dino Snores for Kids” event was a science show full of experiments, 3D shows, questions and answers and by true scientists working at the museum. This excited the kids very much as they learnt how our universe worked, how the human knowledge is progressing. The kids were called upon to the stage to be a model of the universe. The 3d shows made the experience that much closer to reality. Epi the scientist showed the kids real pieces of Moon and Mars, that are currently at the museum. They were shown in real examples what is the distance between planets and the crescendo of this was a real life comet making. We all came out wiser and hungry. So everybody went to the café area for our dinner. Our bags were carefully laid there by teams. So we could easily find our food. Hot tea, coffee and water were provided by the museum. After having a dinner we were all ready for the next adventure.
He next adventure was t-shirt designing. The children were explained how they could transfer their designs to the t-shirts (t-shirts were provided by the museum), they had a blast coming out with different designs and names. Then the staff explained to us parents, what to do with t-shirts at home to preserve the design the children did. We all left the t-shirts in named bags to be collected next morning. This kept our hands free for the next activity.
The next activity was the highlight of the night. Different teams were asked to find different clues in a dark dinosaur gallery. All of the children were provided with torches, pencils and papers to write down the clues they have found. Everybody loved this activity. Going round the gloomy gallery full of dinosaur fossils, we suddenly came across the lifelike T-Rex and some people let out a squeal. Little detectives did well and the activity finished. It was past 11p.m. and everybody was tired. So we all went to our sleeping areas. We went up to Airbnb camp base. We had a quite story time by the fire. Put our pyjamas, got ready for the night and fell asleep on our camp beds. That had clean sheets, pillows and warm blankets - what more to ask. We dimmed our lantern and the museum lights went off at midnight.
The next morning we were gently woken at 7a.m. We brushed our teeth and had our breakfast by the camp fire. There was tea and coffee readily waiting for us. The breakfast was served in camp tins that said “Adventure begins”. This cheered us up and we were ready for the next adventure.
After the breakfast we put all our things to our bags and made our way down. The final activity of the “Dino Snores with Kids” was the live educational session with Animal Man. He brought some animals to show to children, to let them touch and feel them. He explained how the animal kingdom worked. He had list of birthday children who he was calling one by one to hold a tarantula, pancake tortoise, a huge snake and more. He was very funny and informative at the same time. Me and my daughter we had a go at handling 3.5 meter long python, that weighed more than 30 kilos! This was the first time we held a snake in our lives!
After this activity we were all shown to where our things were. We collected our belongings and enjoyed an extra hour of browsing through the museum galleries, before it would open to the public at 10 a.m. We went through the galleries that would fill up quickly first, we went on to glance at the newly redone Hintze Hall and it’s new exhibits. We also made it upstairs to “The Vaults” to enjoy watching natures precious and semi precious formations. A truly treasure gallery indeed!
The “Dino Snores for Kids” was a phenomenal experience for both me and my child. We came out knowing a lot more than we did before; we came out with an experience of camping at the Natural History Museum. We lived through torch lit dinosaur trail and the privilege of walking through almost empty museum without the usual hassle and bustle to see some of the favourite exhibits. This provided us with opportunity to learn more and to appreciate more the fossils we were looking at. The phenomenal work done by the scientists inspired my child a lot, she could appreciate this thanks to the fact that we were in the museum during the night and could learn at our pace the next morning too. In this day and age we often break our heads as to what excite with or inspire with the young minds of our children. I believe “Dino Snore for Kids” is the answer. A perfect Christmas present, birthday gift or an experience they deserve paying their way with their exceptional behaviour and stars on their charts.
Go on and try it, we will remember this event for years to come!!!