Bring your family, students, scouts or youth group on a unique overnight adventure. You'll enjoy a night of special programming and exploration tailored to a theme of your choice. Designed expressly for groups of children ages 6-14, overnights at the EcoTarium are educational, interactive and FUN!
Night Journeys are designed for groups of 28 or more. If you have a group of scouts that is smaller than 28, please consider a Boys' or Girls' Night Out.
Choose your program theme:
- Crimes, Codes, & Clues - Solve a mystery using logic, careful observation, fingerprint analysis, and encryption! Now with two mysteries to choose from:
- Mystery 1: A Mysterious Letter - Our original mystery appropriate for groups smaller than 50.
- Mystery 2: Feline Forensics (New Theme!) - Our brand-new mystery for groups larger than 50, or groups who have already solved mystery 1.
- Engineering Design Challenge - Solve problems like an engineer! Prevent "brain" injuries by testing helmet designs and see how far your KEVA bridge can span before it collapses... then build it again!
- Ocean Life - Learn about life cycles, food chains, and adaptations under the sea as you dissect a squid, explore a whale, and meet some native tide pool creatures!
- Science after Dark – Play games with your night vision and learn how to walk like a fox, listen like a deer, and find pictures in the stars! Practice overcoming our human fear of the dark by taking a night hike on our grounds (weather permitting).
- Stars & Space - Zip around the solar system in our planetarium, explore Mars, and land your own probe on the red planet! Observe the constellations and, weather permitting, take a look through a telescope!
Please refer to the Theme Selection Form for additional information about each theme, including activity descriptions and connections to merit badge requirements and school curriculum standards.
Planning Your Overnight
Night Journeys are offered from September through June to groups of 28 or more on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings.
Thursday or Friday Overnight: From 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 a.m. Cost is $50 per person.
Saturday Overnight: From 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 a.m. Cost is $55 per person.
Listed prices apply to children and chaperones. At least one chaperone is required for every 5 children. Children must be age 6 or older to attend.
What to Expect:
- A variety of engaging science, nature, and live animal exhibits
- Special hands-on programming that explores your theme of choice
- A private digital planetarium show
- Sleeping on the museum floor among the exhibits
- An early morning: Wake up at 6:00 am
- An evening snack and continental breakfast
A Night Journey is an exciting way to experience what the EcoTarium is all about; however, since most of our time together is spent engaging in special themed programming, there is always much more to explore. Therefore, every overnight guest will receive a free return admission pass so that they may come back another day and continue to enjoy our extensive exhibits, animals, and grounds at their leisure.
You are welcome to use your return admission passes for the following museum day, but please be aware that you must exit the museum grounds at the conclusion of your overnight programming and re-enter museum grounds upon the start of our standard visitor day.
How to Book Your Overnight Program
First estimate your group size, consider some possible dates and explore our themes.
Then, email us at or call 508.929.2703 to reserve your date at least one month in advance. A $150 non-refundable deposit is required at booking.
Once you've booked, notify us of your chosen theme and the final number of people in your group no later than one month prior to your overnight. Be sure to share the overnight information sheet with all chaperones.
Please understand that we may not be able to accommodate your change if the maximum capacity for the night has been reached.
If your group has members with distinct learning styles or severe allergies, please let us know by contacting our overnight program coordinator at least two weeks in advance of your overnight.
- Theme Selection Form - due one month before your event
- Chaperone Overnight Information Sheet - please distribute in advance to all adult participants
Girls' and Boys' Night Out Events
Individual scouts with a chaperone and smaller scout groups, ages 6 and up, are welcome to attend either a Girls' or Boys' Night Out. Night Out events provide an opportunity to experience a Night Journey for scouts who are unable to meet the 28-person minimum booking for a private event. Visit our Scout Programs page for information about our upcoming Night Out events.