Museum lates: late-night museum events in London

Get your culture fix after hours at some of the capital's top museum and attraction evening events

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What's not to like about checking out a new exhibition, drink in hand, often with music, talks and tours and one helluva buzzing atmosphere? Absolutely nothing, of course.

Make an evening of it: museum lates in London

Dino Snores for Grown Ups

Normally reserved for children, this Natural History Museum sleepover is designed for adults with an 'enquiring mind'. The event invites you to bring a sleeping bag and enjoy activities including a science show, stand-up comedy and live music. A ticket gives you a sleeping spot under the shadow of the Diplodocus skeleton, a three-course meal in the evening and breakfast before museum doors open to the public in the morning. The sleepovers are for over-18s only and occur roughly once every two months.

  1. Natural History Museum Cromwell Rd, SW7 5BD
  2. Fri May 16 - Sun Oct 26
More info

Night Safari

An after-hours tour of the museum's Central Hall and adjoining galleries with a chance to meet the scientists and get up close and personal with animal specimens. You can hit the bar post-tour, where the scientists will also be available to answer questions.

  1. Natural History Museum Cromwell Rd, SW7 5BD
  2. Wed Jul 9
More info

Time Out First Thursdays

  • Critics choice
  • Free

Late night openings and events in galleries and museums in east London, taking place on the first Thursday of each month. See First Thursdays website for details of this month's events.

  1. Galleries in East London
  2. Thu May 1 - Thu Aug 7
More info

Friday Late: Synthetic Aesthetics

An evening of performances, talks and one-off displays that explore the emerging field of synthetic biology and its effect on the future of design.

  1. V&A Cromwell Rd, SW7 2RL
  2. Fri Apr 25
More info

Museums at Night: Candlelight Tours

An opportunity to see the rooms of Samuel Johnson’s historic home by candlelight in these curator led twilight-tours.

  1. Dr Johnson's House 17 Gough Square, EC4A 3DE
  2. Fri May 16
More info

London Transport Museum Friday Late: Paint the Town Red

Until the plans for the underground to run at night come into play buses rule the night. As part of it's Year of the Bus celebrations the London Transport Museum is hosting a late celebrating London’s late-night stop-out's favourite mode of transport. Create bus blinds with your own destination, see what the future holds for bus travel and hear curious tales from drivers on the front line. Just don't miss your stop at the end of the night!

  1. London Transport Museum Covent Garden Piazza, WC2E 7BB
  2. Sat Nov 29
More info

Museums at Night: Apsley House

For Museums at Night, Apsley House is open late, giving visitors the chance to see rooms with curtains drawn and chandeliers twinkling. Hear a series of talks and tales about the house's history. Places must be booked in advance for this adults only late.

  1. Apsley House Hyde Park Corner, W1J 7NT
  2. Fri May 16 - Sat May 17
More info

Museums at Night: The Design Museum

The Design Museum is throwing open its doors for Culture 24s nationwide festival of after-hours events and late night openings. The museum's focus will be on celebrating style, substance and innovation with its Paul Smith, Daniel Weil and Designs of the Year exhibitions.

  1. Design Museum 28 Butlers Wharf, Shad Thames, SE1 2YD
  2. Fri May 16
More info

Museums at Night: Mr Smith's Letterpress Workshop

The William Morris Gallery is housed in a grade II* listed building, the Morris's family home from 1848 to 1856. Under expert guidance, visitors to this late will use traditional type to create powerful political slogans. There will be live performances throughout the evening and Victorian treats available from the Tea Room

  1. William Morris Gallery 581 Forest Rd, Lloyd Park, E17 4PP
  2. Thu May 15
More info

Museums at Night: Goodbye Piccadilly

A 1940's style celebration, based around the exhibition Goodbye Piccadilly- From Home Front to Western Front, as part of Museums at Night. There will be a bar, talks, tours, make and take sessions, live music and a quiz. Find out which scents the smart set favoured at a perfume and cologne workshop. Gentlemen can visit the grooming salon and Ladies can create a feathered fascinator. Professor Jerry White will launch his new book Zeppelin Nights - London in the First World War and explain how London prepared for war.

  1. London Transport Museum Covent Garden Piazza, WC2E 7BB
  2. Fri May 16
More info

Museums at Night: Ghosts of the Royal Arsenal

Firepower: The Royal Artillery Museum is putting on a late-night ghost tour for brave visitors who want to learn about the buildings history of accidents, murders and suicides. Find out why battle-hardened soldiers refuse to enter the Academy Building alone and why the staff at Firepower won't lock up alone. Warm up at the end of the tour with a hot drink, bangers and mash (included in the ticket price).

  1. Firepower: Royal Artillery Museum The Royal Arsenal, Warren Lane, SE18 6ST
  2. Sat May 17 - Sun May 18
More info

Museums at Night: It's a Murder at the Museum

Something is afoot at UCL Museums. A body has been discovered on campus and they need your help to solve the murder. Was it Prof. Grant in the Grant Museum with the elephant tusk? Perhaps it was Mr. Bentham in the Octagon Gallery with the walking stick? Or Miss Edwards in the Petrie Museum with the water clock? Teams of up to five are invited to solve the clues across the Museum to crack the murder mystery. There are prizes to be won for the team that solves the case as well as the best-dressed detectives. The event is followed by a free drinks reception and a private view of the Grant Museum of Zoology.

  1. Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology University College London, Malet Place, WC1E 6BT
  2. Fri May 16
More info

Museums at Night: In Parenthesis

The National Portrait Gallery in partnership with the English National Ballet will present a dance performance inspired by David Jones' book-length poem In Parenthesis. Choreographed by George Williamson the performance includes ballet and contemporary dance performed across the Gallery during Museums at Night.

  1. National Portrait Gallery St Martin's Place, WC2H 0HE
  2. Fri May 16
More info

Museums at Night: Apsley House

For Museums at Night, Apsley House is open late, giving visitors the chance to see rooms with curtains drawn and chandeliers twinkling. Hear a series of talks and tales about the house's history. Places must be booked in advance for this adults only late.

  1. Apsley House Hyde Park Corner, W1J 7NT
  2. Fri May 16 - Sat May 17
More info

Museums at Night: UK Supreme Court

There will be no objections to photography in the Grade II* listed heritage building, which will be open to the public for the first time in it’s five year history. There will be bars, live music and illustrated talks. Inner Temple Drama Society will be performing some legally-inspired theatre, court artist Isobel Williams will be illustrating the work of the justices and lawyers who work in the building and Hugh Feilden will be speaking about the building's renovation. Tickets must be booked online in advance.

  1. Supreme Court Parliament Square, SW1P 3EE
  2. Thu May 15
More info

Museums at Night: Extremes

The Horniman will be presenting an evening of extreme art, music and quirky performances across the museum and garden to tie in with its family friendly exhibition Extremes. Expect storytelling by candlelight, music from Zimbabwe, acrobatics and surreal submarine life film screenings. This event is 18+.

  1. Horniman Museum 100 London Rd, SE23 3PQ
  2. Thu May 15
More info

Museums at Night: Banknotes and Bullion

  • Free

An after-hours chance to try lifting a 13kg gold bar and to learn about bank notes at this museum devoted to the history of the Bank of England, which was set up in 1694 to fund the war with France. See our feature for more Museums at Night events.

  1. Bank of England Museum Threadneedle St (entrance in Bartholomew Lane), EC2R 8AH
  2. Fri May 16
More info

Museums at Night: Somerset House

For Museums at Night, Somerset House is hosting after-hours activities in the form of workshops, guided tours of the neo-classical building and live music. Some events may be ticketed.

  1. Somerset House Strand, WC2R 1LA
  2. Fri May 16
More info

Museums at Night: Benjamin Franklin House

Dr. Vivian Montgomery, an award-winning harpsichordist and fortepiantist, will explore an extraordinary period of professional activity among England's lady organists, focusing on the high profile life of 18th Century performer and entrepreneur, Martha Greatorex. Hear recorded excerpts of Greatorex's music performed on an early 19th century English piano by Dr. Montgomery. Places can be booked by emailing info@benjaminfranklinhouse.org.

  1. Benjamin Franklin House 36 Craven St, WC2N 5NF
  2. Thu May 15
More info

Night Safari: Back from the Field

An after-hours tour of the museum's Central Hall and adjoining galleries with a chance to meet the scientists and get up close and personal with animal specimens. You can hit the bar post-tour, where the scientists will also be available to answer questions. This event focuses on the latest discoveries that researchers have unearthed.

  1. Natural History Museum Cromwell Rd, SW7 5BD
  2. Mon Jun 9
More info

  1. Design Museum 28 Butlers Wharf, Shad Thames, SE1 2YD
  2. Wed Mar 26 2014 - Fri Jun 27 2014
More info
  1. V&A Cromwell Rd, SW7 2RL
  2. Sat Apr 5 2014 - Sun Jul 27 2014
More info
  1. Science Museum Exhibition Rd, SW7 2DD
  2. Tue Dec 10 - Tue May 6 2014
More info
  1. National Maritime Museum Romney Rd, Greenwich, SE10 9NF
  2. Mon Apr 21
More info
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