A night of adventure awaits you and your family
at a Smithsonian museum.

Smithsonian Nighttime Adventures: Dates at the
Natural History Museum

Upcoming Dates

Time: 7 to 11 p.m. (Check-in begins at 6:30 p.m., mandatory orientation at 7 p.m.)
Location: National Museum of Natural History, 10th St and Constitution Ave, Washington, D.C.

Smithsonian Nighttime Adventures
The crowds are gone, and the doors have closed. Finally, one of the world's most popular museums is your playground until nearly midnight!

Join other night owls as you immerse yourself in a unique Smithsonian experience. Wander through the Natural History Museum’s galleries, brushed by giant shadows cast by dinosaurs, exploring the Earth’s past, discovering the wonders of the ocean, and more. Move along guided by the fun and challenging Adaptation Game filled with activities to complete, from making an underwater fossil and discovering whale ankle bones to picking a pollinator and building a dinosaur—and even learning how to eat like one! When your nocturnal adventure ends, journey home with objects you collected on the trail through the museum.

Overheard @ Night!

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This event is intended for children ages 8 – 14 and their adults (21 or older). There must be at least one adult for every five kids in any group that registers. No adults can register without children.

  • Each Smithsonian Nighttime Adventure can accommodate up to 200 people.
  • Ticket sales will end at 12 a.m. on the day of the event. Tickets must be purchased in advance; no door sales.
  • Ticket price is for each person attending. $70 for Smithsonian Associates members / $85 for non-members
  • Group sales are available for 10 or more people for $50 per person. Call 202-633-3030 during regular business hours to take advantage.
Join or renew your membership now

Getting to the Museum

Street Address

  • The museum is located at the intersection of 10th Street and Constitution Ave., NW in Washington, D.C. 20560

Museum Entrance

  • Attendees must enter and exit through the entrance at 10th St. NW & Constitution Ave. NW.


Rules of Conduct

To make everyone’s evening enjoyable, we ask that guests follow these rules:

  • Guests are strongly encouraged to eat dinner before arriving for the program.
  • All participants must attend orientation, which starts at 7:00 p.m. in the café.
  • No food or drink is allowed outside of the café.
  • Running and yelling are not permitted in the museum.
  • Chaperones must stay with their children throughout the entire event. Chaperones are responsible for the behavior of their group.
  • Children are not permitted to play on stairways, escalators, or elevators, and are expected to be courteous.
  • Neither chaperones nor children may visit areas of the museum that are off-limits.
  • Inappropriate behavior will not be tolerated.
  • Alcohol is not allowed on the premises. Violators will be asked to leave.
  • Cell phones should be put on vibrate or silent mode.
  • Respect your fellow attendees.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the COVID-19 policy?

As of Smithsonian Institution policy on May 2, 2022, all event guests must show proof of vaccination upon arrival. This is a mask friendly event, and mask-wearing is recommended by the Smithsonian. Hand sanitizer will be placed around the museum. Exact policies may change depending on COVID-19 metrics and local health authorities guidance.

2. How many chaperones are required to participate with a group?

Each group must have one adult supervisor for every five child participants.

3. Are the exhibits and programs wheelchair accessible?

Yes, all activities are handicapped-accessible. The museum’s Constitution Avenue entrance is handicapped-accessible.

4. Are younger and older siblings allowed to participate?

Yes, siblings are welcome to participate.

5. What if someone in our group cancels?

There are no refunds. You are welcome to bring another participant.

6. When do I receive confirmation for the Smithsonian Nighttime Adventure?

You will receive an email confirmation immediately after you register. Please print it out and bring it to check-in.

7. Where do we park?

Public hourly street parking is available around the National Mall. The museum is also close to the Smithsonian and Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter metro stations.

8. Can we arrive earlier than 6:30 p.m.?

No. The museum closes at 5:30 p.m. and Security will not allow the public to remain in the building after that time. The earliest you will be allowed entrance into the museum is 6:30 p.m.

9. Will food be served?

Guests are strongly encouraged to eat dinner before arriving for the program. You will be provided with an individually wrapped evening snack which may include cookies, fruit, animal crackers, juice, and water, for example. Under no circumstances can the food provided be taken outside the designated eating areas.

10. Can we bring our own food and beverages?

No outside food or beverage will be allowed, except if a guest has severe food allergies or specific dietary needs. He/she may bring a nonperishable snack in a heavy-duty plastic container (not a plastic baggie) labeled with the guest’s name. We can’t take responsibility if it is lost or stolen. Any food not meeting these criteria or that is found in an exhibition hall will be confiscated.

11. What if someone gets sick during the event?

Please notify Security. Appropriate action will be taken.

12. Can we leave early?

Yes, participants may leave early if needed. However, all participants from the group must leave unless another adult from the party remains with the children. No children may be left without an adult chaperone.

13. Security and emergencies

The Smithsonian Office of Protection Services has staff members inside the building 24 hours a day. However, we highly recommend leaving your valuables at home or keeping them on your person at all times. The Smithsonian does not take responsibility for lost or stolen items.