Spent The Night In A Museum

"A museum is a place where one should lose one's head."
Renzo Piano

At the beginning of the year, I applied to become a member of the Visual Effects Society, and a few weeks ago, I was finally accepted.  There are many perks to being a member, like getting movie screenings at cool places or being invited to special workshops.  One of the offers I got this week was free admission to a California Academy of Sciences sleepover event called “Penguins + Pajamas (for Grownups)”.

Having gone to NightLife not too long ago and enjoying it, I thought it might be an interesting and possibly fun experience. 

When we got there, there was a line of people with backpacks and sleeping bags waiting to check in.

There was a screening of a Disney Nature documentary called “African Cats”.  When we checked in, we had to choose one of three locations to sleep in, the Aquarium, the African Hall, or the Islands of Evolution, but if we chose to see the screening, the Aquarium was not a choice because it had an earlier bed time.  We wanted to see the movie, so we chose the African Hall.

After checking in our stuff for the evening, we finally got to see the rainforest section of the museum.  Last time, it closed before we were able to get in.
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There was an amazing amount of wildlife to see in the rain forest dome.  Butterflies were just flying around us and all over the place.

The spiders and lizards on display were so interesting.
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After the rain forest, we finally saw the Planetarium show.  When we came for NightLife, it was sold out.  We were hoping it would be better, but we didn’t enjoy it that much.

We ventured into the African Hall where we would later be sleeping.  I remember all these animals from when I came to this place as a kid, but now they’re displayed in a less dated way.

We had dinner in the Moss Room, which was really nice.  They had a four course dinner with a wine pairing.
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After dinner, we set up camp in the African Hall.  We also met a really nice couple there and J told them about the website.
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Nearly everyone here saw the movie screening, and around 2AM, it was time for bed.

The morning wake-up call was at 6:30, so they could prepare the museum for the next day of business.  Some time while we were sleeping, they turned on the light to the penguin tank.
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Breakfast was included.  They offerred three kinds of eggs (plain, ham and cheese, and chorizo), some cereal, yogurt, fruit, and coffee cake.  Also, they also had some of the worst coffee I’ve ever tasted.

Included with the event as well was admission to the museum after 10, which we didn’t take advantage of because we were going to the Giants game later that day.

Overall, this was a unique experience.  I would probably not do it again, but it was fun to do the first time.  I’m glad I got to do this as a VES member because paying the normal admission price of $120/person seems a little steep to me.

At least once in my lifetime, I can say I woke up next to penguins and stuffed zebras.  That’s just a weird statement, isn’t it?  ...And to think, I could’ve slept with the fishes.
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