Adults-only late openings allow you to visit your favorite museums and galleries after the crowds have gone home, socialize with like-minded people and take in unusual one-off events. Here’s a selection of London’s best upcoming late-night museum happenings:
Science Museum Lates
Expect an atmosphere of organized chaos at the Science Museum’s free themed evening events (the final Wednesday of each month). January is all about zombies — and the horror motif as a route into fascinating discussions about the science of consciousness. Visitors can also take a cockroach tour, go speed-dating and dance the night away at the silent disco.
Evening Opening, Sir John Soane’s Museum
This building was the home of celebrated architect Sir John Soane, who arranged for it to be turned into a museum for his extraordinary art collection after his death. It’s been open to the public since the early 19th century, and there’s no better way to see the place than during one of the free, monthly, candlelit evening openings on the first Tuesday of each month. Be sure to arrive early, as entry is limited to the first 200 people.
Friday Late, Victoria and Albert Museum
Geared toward the culturally inclined, the V&A’s free late opening events (the final Friday of each month) feature film screenings, workshops, live performances, debates and one-off installations. Guest DJs also magic up a party atmosphere. The next event is The Secret Life of Furnitureon on February 22.
Late at Tate Britain
Taking place on select Fridays, these events see the oldest gallery in the Tate network open its doors for talks, workshops, tours and film screenings. Next up is Performing Architecture on February 1 — an evening inspired by the renovation of the gallery, which is currently under way and will be completed in June.
Natural History Museum
Perhaps the ultimate in late-night museum fun is to be found at the Natural History Museum. Lates (the last Friday of the month) isa free event with live music, a pop-up restaurant and late access to many of the galleries. The Night Safarievent (every two to three months) gives visitors the chance to chat with curators and take a closer look at specimens on exclusive after-hours tours (the next is on February 14). But for the truly dinosaur obsessed, the best event has to be Dino Snores for Grown-ups (set for March 8 and June 29). A night in the company of the museum’s famous dinosaur skeletons, a three-course dinner, stand-up comedy and a horror movie marathon are just some of the delights available at this thrilling sleepover.
Photos Courtesy of Science Museum, The Natural History Museum,
Victoria and Albert Museum London