Frequently asked questions about Young Friends’ sleepovers
Sleepovers give Young Friends the chance to spend a night exploring areas of the Museum after dark! There’s a great range of activities to get involved in – from storytelling, music and dance workshops, re-enactments and craft activities, plus a chance to see one of the current temporary exhibitions. It’s a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the Museum and the collection.
Sleepovers are extremely popular and tend to sell out quickly. In light of this we have had to make some changes to our terms and conditions (including our guest policy). Please see the FAQs below for more information.
What is the age group?
Sleepovers are for 8–15-year-olds only. Children under 8 are not permitted to attend. If your child, or any child you are bringing, appears younger than 8 years of age, please bring a proof of age to ensure that they are not refused entry. Where possible, children will be grouped according to age. Siblings will be grouped together unless otherwise requested by their parents/guardians.
What happens on the evening?
A typical sleepover includes:
18.15 Registration – meet your group leader,
choose a sleeping plot in the allocated gallery
19.00 Introductory talk including health and safety
19.20 First activity
20.15 Second activity
21.00 Snack break
21.50 Third activity
22.45 Fourth activity
23.30 Activities end
Midnight Lights out
07.00 Breakfast, pack up sleeping area
07.45 Farewell activity (exhibition-based)
08.15 Visit to the Children’s shop
09.00 Bag collection and home time
When and where do we need to arrive?
Entrance to the Museum for a sleepover is via the front gates, on Great Russell Street. The Museum closes to the public from 17.30 and re-opens for the sleepover event at 18.00. Please make sure you have your booking confirmation with you when you arrive. Attendees will be asked to queue in the Great Court, and will be registered, placed into a group and assigned a group leader and sleeping area. Attendees will remain in these groups throughout the evening.
Where is the sleeping area?
The Egyptian Sculpture and Mesopotamian Galleries on the Ground floor. Young Friends and their parties will be placed in an assigned sleeping area in their group with team leaders stationed at entrances/exits to provide assistance.
What do we have to bring?
- Each person coming needs to bring a sleeping bag, ground mat and pillow. We are not able to provide any sleeping materials. For health and safety reasons, we cannot allow any motorised blow-up mattresses or other mattresses which would require electricity to inflate.
- It is recommended that individuals also bring a torch, toothbrush, ear plugs (the sleeping area is communal, so if you are a light sleeper you may find these beneficial!) and an eye mask, as some lights will be left on in the galleries.
- Clothing to sleep in i.e. a tracksuit (NOT pyjamas or other nightwear – this is in case of an emergency and we have to quickly evacuate the building). Changing in the galleries is not permitted due to it being a communal area. The galleries can be cold, so please dress appropriately – we encourage you to bring layers.
- Snacks and refreshments to have at the snack break time. Food will not be provided until breakfast, so you will probably need something to keep you going (there is tea/coffee for adults during the snack break at 21.00)
- Please be aware that food is no longer permitted in the Gallery spaces and sleeping areas. When you arrive for the event, you will be asked to leave all food items in a sealed bag (we will provide this) with your group leader. These will then be moved to the Great Court until break time. Only bottled water can be taken into the Gallery spaces and sleeping areas.
Please note that items which need an electric plug are NOT permitted at the sleepovers e.g. motorised blow-up mattresses and phone chargers. We strongly recommend you do not bring items with you that are of financial or sentimental value.
Can adults bring alcohol?
The consumption of alcohol is strictly forbidden at sleepovers. Anyone suspected of consuming alcohol during the event will have their bags searched and liquids tested. If alcohol is found then that group will be asked to leave the event immediately.
What should I do if a child has allergies or access requirements?
If your child has a food allergy or any access requirements, please inform us at the time of your booking by emailing email@example.com . We cannot guarantee that the food provided at breakfast will be nut, dairy or gluten free, so if someone in your party has particular food requirements please bring something with you for their breakfast.
What are the adults’ responsibilities?
Adults are responsible for their party at all times throughout the night. This will ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable evening. An adult must be present at each activity and accompany the children at all times.
What if a child is being accompanied by an adult who is not a parent or legal guardian?
We will need the child’s parent or guardian to fill in a consent form which will be sent with the booking confirmation via email. The child’s parent or guardian will need to fill this in online which will then automatically update the booking.
Please note: You will not be able to make a booking using an iPad or tablet device.
If you are purchasing Young Friends Membership online and would like to book sleepover tickets, you will need to have joined at least 48 hours before tickets go on sale to allow time for the Membership to be processed.
Bookings can be made online through the Young Friends webpage. You will need the Young Friend’s Membership number to place the booking, but you do not need to be a Member yourself. Once you have placed your order you will receive confirmation of the booking via email.
Please note that sleepovers are extremely popular; places are allocated on a first-come first-served basis and tend to sell out quickly. To avoid disappointment we recommend that you book online through the sleepover page. Please be aware that bookings cannot be accepted via an email or voicemail.
How much does it cost?
Sleepovers are an experience you'll never forget and for just £45 per person you'll receive:
- The opportunity to sleep among the British Museum's objects in the Egyptian Sculpture or Mesopotamian Galleries (on the Ground floor)
- Materials for activities, including arts and crafts
- Breakfast including yogurt, fruit, pastry and juice
- Experienced staff who ensure you have a safe and enjoyable visit
How many tickets can I buy?
Each Young Friend can book a maximum of three tickets per sleepover, of which one must be an adult (this new guest policy is in place from 1 April 2015). This works out at one adult, one Young Friend, and a friend. If you are trying to book tickets for two Young Friends (e.g. you have two children who are Young Friends and you are trying to book six tickets), each booking must be made separately as two different transactions of three tickets each. Once you have successfully made both transactions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know you want all six attendees to be in the same sleeping group.
We are unable to accommodate large parties who wish to be grouped together, but if you would like to be put in the same group as another Young Friend, please give adequate notice to the Membership Team to ensure that we have time to accommodate your request.
When is the next sleepover?
For information on upcoming sleepover dates, visit the Young Friends webpage To ensure you receive notification of when booking will open, please contact the Membership team at email@example.com to check we have your email address on file.
We look forward to welcoming you to a sleepover soon! If you have any questions that are not answered here, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.