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Museums at Night: what's on?

Museums at Night makes you forget usual opening hours, all the action happens late-night in this series of one-off events

If the mention of a trip to the museum makes you think of stuffy exhibitions and school trips, well think again. This year Museums at Night is gaining an autumn edition (on the same weekend as Halloween in LondonOctober 30-31 2015), with a series of after-hours events at some of the capital's biggest museums and quirky attractions. Pick some new favourites from the events below and sign up for a seriously special one-off experience. 

Museums at Night events: Friday

Bank of England Museum

Break into the bank after hours (5.30pm-9pm) to find out some serious facts about moolah. There will be ad-hoc gallery talks through out the night offering insights into some of its most unique objects; learn how to tell if your banknotes are genuine and hear about the upcoming launch of polymer banknotes. This free event is suitable for all ages.

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Bank

Barts Pathology Museum

Hold your nerve (and your tongue) at this Halloween-eve 'dumb supper' honouring the dead. Guests will partake in a small three-course meal accompanied by a live jazz quartet, without saying a word. The meal itself will be eaten backwards, starting with dessert. The evening will begin with a short introductory lecture about the rationale behind the silent ritual and the museum setting itself. Tickets are £50 and should be booked in advance on the Dumb Supper event page.

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Smithfield

Benjamin Franklin House

Pay an evening visit to the former house of the scientist, diplomat, philosopher, inventor and founding father of the United States, Benjamin Franklin, to discover how the skeletal remains of up to ten humans came to be buried under the basement floor. Operations manager Braena Syles will explore the darker side of eighteenth-century society's pursuit of knowledge. Tickets to the event (£5) can be booked in advance on the Benjamin Franklin House website.

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Charing Cross

Bethlem Gallery and Museum of the Mind

In the age of selfies where cameras are a constant in our daily routines Bethlem Museum of the Mind is inviting Londoners to step away from their phones and inside a camera obscura. There will also be a Draw Me Booth where visitors can draw a sitter or have their own portrait drawn then have it exhibited on the museum walks. These free drop-in activities will run from noon-8pm and are suitable for all ages.

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West Wickham

Dr Johnson's House

An autumnal evening opportunity to visit the museum’s latest exhibition ‘Shakespeare in the 18th Century: Johnson, Garrick and Friends’. The usual admission fees apply (£4.50, £3.50 concs) but visitors will be treated to a glass of wine.

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Smithfield

Dulwich Picture Gallery

Enter the trippy world of M.C Escher after dark where impossible perspectives meet twisted realities. Visitors to this late night opening of the gallery can find out more about the artist on exhibition tours, create their own mind-bending artworks and interact with Monument Valley’s infinite staircase homage. Christopher Nolan’s Escher-inspired film 'Inception' will be projected on the big screen in the gallery space and there will be tasty cocktails and sharing platters available at the cafe. Tickets (£20) can be booked from Dulwich Picture Gallery’s website.

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Dulwich Village

Fan Museum

The Fan Museum is dedicated to the history of handheld fans and the craft of fan making, with a collection of more than 3,000 specimens from all over the world, some dating from the eleventh century. They're offering a late night look at the museum’s current exhibition Made in China, featuring talks for curatorial staff and a demonstration of the art of Chinese paper cutting. Prices are TBC. Find more information on the Museums at Night website.

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Greenwich

Freud Museum

Artist Alinah Azadeh was paired up with the Freud Museum to stage a unique Museums at Night event, and the results are a celebration of the acts of gratitude and generosity inspired by Freud's love of his objects. Short talks on offer include the artist’s experience of touring her live performance piece ‘Burning the Books’, and the event will also offer the chance to recline on a replica Freudian couch, create your own symbolic mixed-media gift and explore Freud’s own extensive collection of gifts. Book tickets in advance on the Freud Museum website.

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Frognal

Hackney Museum

An interactive tour of Hackney Museum and its local surroundings after dark (6pm-8pm). Meet new people, learn about Hackney’s rich history and explore its backstreets in new and unusual ways. Tickets are free and can be reserved in advance on the event website.

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Hackney

Hunterian Museum

An opportunity to explore this already spooky museum after hours (6pm-9pm) and discover the wonders of the microscopic world. To commemorate the bicentenary of the birth of Victorian microscopist Professor Jon Quekett, the Quekett Microscopial Club are collaborating with The Huntarian Museum on an evening of talks, demonstrations and art workshops. Make and examine your own slides, see original Victorian slides and recreate these delicate patterns at drop-in art sessions. Suitable for adults and children aged ten and over. Tickets are free and no booking is required.

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Holborn
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See Museums at Night Saturday events

Museums at Night events: Saturday

Brunel Museum

The Brunel Museum commemorates Isambard Kingdom Brunel's first and last projects. An exhibition celebrates the Thames Tunnel as the birthplace of the tube system, and the Great Eastern steamship as the first modern ocean liner. The site is a Scheduled Ancient Monument and International Landmark Site above the oldest tunnel in the Underground. Watercolours, engravings, and models explain this epic feat of engineering and tell the story of the men who worked in the dark, dodging flames and raw sewage every day.

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Rotherhithe

Croydon Airport Visitor Centre

Open after hours (6pm-9pm) for the first time this magnificent terminal building was once the biggest and most advanced airport in the world. Prepare to be thrilled and chilled with tails of ghostly sightings during tours to the visitor centre and control tower. The event is free and open to all ages.

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Waddon

Dulwich Picture Gallery

The gallery will remain open after hours (6pm-10pm) for a special Halloween screening of 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone'. See if you can catch the paintings or the staircase moving as you hear stories about the Old Masters. The best Potter costumes will win Escher goodies inspired by the Museum’s current exhibition. Tickets (£24, £20 concs, £15 kids) can be booked online on the Dulwich Picture Gallery website.

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Dulwich Village

National Maritime Museum

Shipwreck, diseases, madness, cannibalism… if you thought drowning was the only way to die at sea then think again. Join the museum’s curators after dark for a voyage of the damned. Take part in a candlelit tour and hear tales of death, disease and destruction. Tickets (£8) can be booked through the Royal Museums Greenwich website.

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Greenwich
See Museums at Night Friday events

Find more marvellous museum lates

Late-night museum events in London

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.

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Comments

2 comments
Michael B
Michael B

The Supreme Court is charging £ 10 admission for the Museums at Night promotion, but closes at 4.30pm ! Doesn't this contravene the Trade Descriptions Act ?

Liz D
Liz D Staff Writer

Love Museums at Night, such a great event.