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Museums at Night: what's on?

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's Museums at Night (taking place Thu May 12–Sat May 14 2016 ), a series of after-hours events at some of the capital's biggest museums and quirky attractions, is offering Londoners some seriously special one-off experiences.

We'll be updating this page with 2016 Museums at Night events as they're announced.

CHECK THIS OUT: The best events in London this May

Museums at Night events: Thursday

Court Adjourned! Behind The Scenes at the UK Supreme Court

The UK Supreme Court gets in on the Museums at Night action with this special late opening featuring live jazz and a glass of wine for every ticket holder. Court Ushers will reveal what goes on behind-the-scenes during a hearing, Former Judicial Assistants will describe their experience of working for a Supreme Court Justice, the Inner Temple's amateur dramatics society will present a contemporary courtroom drama and plenty more. Booking essential.

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Supreme Court, Westminster 14 May 2015

London Museum of Water and Steam

See this nineteenth-century pumping station in a new light at this one-off late opening. The Steam Hall will be filled with colourful lighting and live jazz music, the engines will be illuminated and a bar will be serving all night. Book in advance.

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London Museum of Water and Steam, London Until Thu May 14

Mad Men and Bad Men

This exhibit-packed Notting Hill museum will open late for a talk on British politics' collision with advertising. Writer Sam Delaney has had first-hand experience in both politics and advertising and will reveal the stories behind the ad campaigns of the last four British elections. Expect innappropriate influences, unexpected partnerships and plenty of scandal. A cash bar will be serving from 6pm and guests may explore the museum following the talk. Book in advance.

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Museum of Brands, Packaging & Advertising, Westbourne Grove 14 May 2015
See Museums at Night Friday events

Museums at Night events: Friday

The Bank of England Museum

An after-hours chance to listen to a talk about banknotes and chat about gold at this museum devoted to the history of the Bank of England, which was set up in 1694 to fund the war with France.

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Bank of England Museum, City 15 May 2015

Dickens After Dark

Take a shadowy trip back to Victorian London at this special late opening of Charles Dickens's Bloomsbury townhouse. Enjoy readings from the books which were written in the house as you explore, settle in for one of the classic film screenings or enjoy a drink in the candlelit walled garden. The basement kitchens will host butter churning demonstrations and introductions to Catherine Dickens's recipes.

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Charles Dickens Museum, Clerkenwell 15 May 2015

Drop-in Drink

A twilight tour of The View, Epping Forest's visitors centre, where forest enthusiasts can enjoy a drink while discovering more about the area, learn which animals call the forest home and discover how the forest was rescued and became a public space.

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The View, Chingford 15 May 2015

London Transport Museum Friday Lates

May's after-hours, adults-only session celebrates the launch of the Prize for Illustration: London Places and Spaces with an indoor mini park, pop-out postcards and glasses of Pimm's. Talks about places and spaces, film screenings, quizzes and music will provide the entertainment.

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London Transport Museum, Aldwych 15 May 2015
See Museums at Night Saturday events

Museums at Night events: Saturday

Apsley House

This late opening is a rare chance to see Apsley House with its curtains drawn and chandeliers twinkling. Hear a series of talks and tales about the house's history as you're guided through the historic building. Places must be booked in advance for this adults-only late.

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Apsley House, Mayfair 16 May 2015

Dunkirk Little Ships Festival

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the day 700 small civilian boats sailed from Ramsgate to Dunkirk to rescue thousands of English and French soldiers. At the end of May 60 of those ships will repeat their journey across the channel, and this waterborne reunion will see 20 of them gather in the Royal Docks ahead of the sailing. On Saturday evening (May 16), the 'Silver Queen' will offer 45-minute trips around the docks, and guests will be invited to board some of the other ships in attendance. Tickets for the trips will cost £10 for adults and £5 for children.

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Royal Victoria Dock, Tower Hamlets Sat May 16 - Sun May 17

Put that Light Out!

As part of the Museums at Night programme, Firepower is hosting a sleepover. Children and their adults will get to take part in a range of activities, such as military drilling, arts and crafts, and re-enactments, before – after a campfire singalong and cup of cocoa – everyone settles down for the night among the museum's big guns and other exhibits.

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Firepower: Royal Artillery Museum, London Sat May 16 - Sun May 17
See Museums at Night Thursday events


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.