Top 10 family sleepovers: For a roaring good time on a budget

Top 10 family sleepovers: For a roaring good time on a budget
Top 10 family sleepovers: For a roaring good time on a budget

Families searching for a taste of the African savanna on the cheap might consider booking a canvas tent this summer that overlooks sun-drenched plains brimming with rhinos, elephants and zebras -- all right here in America.

Sleepovers at zoos, museums, aquariums and amusement parks are gaining in popularity, and becoming a go-to activity for families interested in giving their kids a behind-the-scene look at animals and antiquities without the crowds that accompany most daytime trips.

"They're trying to give you a feel for going to another country," said Allen Nyhuis, author of America's Best Zoos, of his favorite family overnight offered by the San Diego Wild Animal Park. "It's a real safari experience, you aren't just going to hear the crickets and frogs, but you might hear African wildlife like monkeys and zebras."