The activities and events listed on our site are run by people who have a passion for what they do. This is great for the kids who visit, as this passion is infectious and is what turns a good day out into a great day out. Show an interest in the the place you are visiting or the activity you are doing and you'll be surprised at the knowledge you can gather.
We list many Museums with interesting and inspiring workshops and family events - the Natural History Museum never fails to disappoint. Having read about the monthly Dino Snores event, we had to find out more...
Can you introduce yourself and tell us about your role?
I am the Museum's Visitor Events manager. I run all the ticketed evening events at the Museum, including our monthly sleepover, Dino Snores.
How did you come to work at the Natural History museum?
The Natural History Museum has always been my favourite museum and as soon as I saw the job advertised I knew I wanted it. Who wouldn't want to stay overnight at the Natural History Museum once a month?!
When and why did the very first Dino Snores event come about?
The first Dino Snores was in January 2010. It seemed like a totally unique way to engage children with Museum science; staying overnight, meeting our scientists face-to-face and sleeping under Dippy's tail is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure!
Can you describe a typical Dino Snores night?
A typical Dino Snores night is packed with fun-filled activities. The guests (usually about 500 of them!) arrive at 6.45pm. Straight away, they meet their guides for the night, set up their camp beds in Central Hall and get their first glimpse of Dippy. Then they have a briefing in the Darwin Centre before starting the three activities. The first activity is a fossil-casting workshop where they learn how palaeontologists at the Museum create plaster casts of fossils while making their very own fossil cast to take home. From there they head to the Museum theatre where one of our scientists and our fantastic Nature Live team will bring out amazing specimens like meteorites, angler fish or creepy crawlies. And as if that wasn't all exciting enough, there's also a torch-lit trail of the Dinosaur Gallery to look forward to! Lights go off at midnight and after breakfast in the morning, there is a live animal show in Central Hall where everyone gets to see skunks, snakes, meerkats and much more.
Midnight bedtime and hundreds of children under the museum roof - how do you and your team maintain decorum?
The team loves it! It's a long event but one that everybody at the Museum looks forward to. All of our staff are highly-trained and so passionate about the event that they genuinely enjoy helping to create fantastic memories for every Dino Snorer!
Out of all the children that have experienced Dino Snores have any left a lasting impression?
We have so many great visitors it's hard to choose. We get emails and letters every month telling us how much they've enjoyed the event. We even had one boy ring up the Chris Evans Breakfast Show on Radio 2 to tell him what a fantastic night it was.
Have you any top tips for parents planning to come to Dino Snores?
My three top tips would be:
Which dinosaur do the children seem to like best, and why do you think this is?
I think they probably love our T-Rex animatronic most of all. There's nothing quite like roaming the dinosaur gallery in the dark and spotting him roaring by torchlight - even the adults look a little afraid!
What is your favourite dinosaur, and why?
I love Dippy (I think everyone does!). He's such an iconic figure and makes a striking impression when you visit Central Hall for the first time.
Will you be sleeping over on the next Dino Snores event?
I certainly will - although with all the behind-the-scenes activity, there isn't much time for sleeping, especially after midnight when the dinosaurs wake up.
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