New York sells out adult sleepover under blue whale

NEW YORK (AFP) - Ever dreamt of kipping down under a blue whale? For grown-ups equipped with a sleeping bag and toothbrush, the American Museum of Natural History is hosting its first adult-only sleepover.

The August 1 overnight adventure was so popular that it sold out within hours of being advertised at the celebrated museum opposite Central Park, home to more than 32 million specimens.

For 150 guests, paying US$375 (S$465.80) a head, the night's festivities will kick off with a champagne reception and a little jazz, before adults are invited to roam through the empty halls of the giant museum.

They can come head to head with a herd of elephants and dinosaur skeletons, including a 65-million-year-old Tyrannosaurus rex and visit the planetarium at midnight if they so wish.

As bedtime approaches, guests will be invited to unroll their sleeping bags and curl up under the museum's much loved fiberglass model of a 94-foot-long blue whale that was found off the southern tip of South America in 1925.

The curator of the museum's "Power of Poison" exhibition will be on hand to give a special presentation, and visitors can also take in "Spiders Alive!" - a show featuring live spiders, tarantulas and scorpions mounted to combat arachnophobia.

The evening's fun comes complete with a three-course dinner and drinks, an evening snack of cookies and milk, and a light breakfast of fruit, yoghurt, muffins and granola bars.

Visitors have been told to bring sleeping bags, a pillow, their camera, toothbrush and toothpaste, washcloth and ear plugs.

Pajamas - oddly - are not allowed, instead adults are asked to bring "warm, comfortable clothing" to sleep in.

Oh and you have to be 21 years old and over.

The American Museum of Natural History has already hosted 62,000 children aged six to 13 for regular sleepovers since 2007.

It's collection of more than 32 million specimens of animals, birds and insects and dinosaurs come from all over the world.

It also houses the Star of India, the world's largest gem-quality blue star sapphire and two billion years old.

bd/jm US-museum-animal-offbeatAFP 091901 GMT JUL 14

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