Despite what happened in the movie Night at the Museum, I can assure you artifacts and exhibits do not come to life when you spend an evening at the American Museum of Natural History. What happened after-hours at the Moon Dance: Night Journey was (almost) as equally fun and adventurous.


The Moon Dance is an evening that brings together young philanthropists to celebrate the Museum and to raise essential funds for the Museum’s scientific and educational programs. It is planned and put on by a committee dedicated to helping the museum continue the tradition of exploring and explaining the natural world.

AMNH Moon Dance by Socially Superlative (6) Moondance, Development

Guests who opted to purchase the “Full Moon” ticket were allowed to arrive early and partake in a scavenger hunt around the museum hosted by Watson Adventures. Teams of six or less set out on an adventure to digitally answer 12 questions and uncover secrets throughout areas in the Museum including the renowned fossil halls, Irma and Paul Milstein Family Hall of Ocean Life, and Hall of Biodiversity. The competitive juices were flowing among the teams, so much so that women (including myself) were removing their high heels so they could scurry to the next clue quicker. Teams had one hour to complete the entire hunt.

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After the “Full Moon” guests finished the scavenger hunt, or ran out of time, it was time to meet the other guests who were now arriving for dancing, open bar and dessert.  There are few opportunities where you get to have the Natural History Museum to yourself without hordes of locals and tourists trying to take selfie with the T-Rex, so I highly recommend the scavenger hunt!

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The remainder of the evening was spent mingling under the planets and the stars in the Rose Center for Earth & Space. Décor was galactic and drinks were flowing. Guests could take in the exhibits of the room as they danced to the DJ playing all the hits. Cornhole, a GIF photo booth, a cotton candy and soft pretzel machine and snacks from Viola ChocolatMoon CheeseEmmy’s Organics, and Insomnia Cookies kept everyone busy until it was time to call it a night. On the way out everyone was sure to grab one more galaxy designed donut from the “donut wall”.

AMNH Moon Dance by Socially Superlative (7) AMNH Moon Dance by Socially Superlative (4)

There are always opportunities to donate to the American Museum of Natural History, but the galas are a great way to experience the museum while giving back!

– Lauren Wire

Photos via AMNH/C. Chesek and R. Mickens, and by Socially Superlative