Photos by Jordan Hefler

A fun-filled night at the museum

One of the many great mysteries of the world—in addition to where teachers go at night, what happens when the refrigerator door closes, and how Santa makes his way through a chimney—is what goes on in a museum once all the lights go off. Do the exhibits come to life like in the movies? Lexie Polito and Katie Shoriak, as well as their daughters, can testify that they do, just maybe not in the most literal way.

Polito and Shoriak won the opportunity to host the first-ever sleepover inside Knock Knock Children’s Museum during the museum’s Storybook Soirée fundraiser this past fall. Interestingly, the auction was filled with items dreamt up by the children to whom the museum is dedicated.

“I chaired the soirée, and when we were working on the auction, we decided to sit down with the kids and ask them what they would want to bid on,” explains Shoriak. “They came up with so many cool and fun things, and the sleepover was one of them.”

Opting to host an end-of-the-year bash for their daughters Arabella and Lemoine, as well as their school friends from Our Lady of Mercy, Polito, the mastermind behind Lexie Land parties, and Shoriak, owner of Victoria’s Toy Station, were sure to include all the makings of a legendary sleepover. From neon sunglasses to light-up crowns to movies, the mother duo said the magic of the museum put it all to shame.

“We put on a movie and they watched for maybe five minutes,” recalls Polito. “They were too busy playing tag and hide-and-go-seek in the exhibits and running around.”

“You could really tell their imaginations were just running wild,” adds Shoriak. “My little girl is into acting, so she came up with the idea to do a play to entertain the moms. The girls did a version of The Wizard of Oz. It was adorable.”

In a nod to a simpler time, the girls didn’t need cell phones or social media to make the slumber party memorable. Rather, they spent the time engaged with their creativity and one another.

After finally falling asleep at what Polito and Shoriak are sure was after 1:30 a.m., the girls awoke to fresh doughnuts and milk courtesy of the museum.

“The whole thing was so special and so unique,” says Polito. “I think it’s one of those neat experiences that the girls will get to look back on for the rest of their lives.”

Knock Knock Children’s Museum will be hosting two slumber parties per year. The opportunity can be won at the museum’s annual gala.

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