7 Best Museums to Visit in London During the Museums at Night Festival
If you’re a museum lover in London, make sure you’re in the city next week for the Museums at Night Festival. This four day festival held on 16-19th May opens up some of London’s coolest museums till late (and what’s cooler than exploring a new museum at night?). It’s a pretty cool concept masterminded by the guys at Culture24 in order to give culture vultures a whole new museum experience. The more under-the-radar museums participating are putting on some unique evening events for the festival.
There are new discoveries to be made at our round-up of our favourite 7 museums participating this year…
1 Royal Lives, Royal Wives: Household Cavalry Museum
Bit obsessed with the Royal family? Then this is the museum for you. The Household Cavalry Museum is located fittingly in the Horse Guards (close to Buckingham Palace), and inside you’ll find plenty of royal gossip and history to keep you entertained for a few hours. For the Museums at Night festival on 17th May, the tour is named ‘Royal Lives, Royal Wives’ where you can delve into the history of Royal consorts both official and unofficial. Ahead of the much anticipated wedding of Prince Harry and Ms Meghan Markle, what better time to learn about the love lives, wives and mistresses of Royals from past to present?
2 Newport Street Gallery
One for the art lovers. After open hours, head to South London’s Vauxhall to view English artist Damien Hirst's comprehensive art collection. Inside the Newport Street Gallery, he showcases his diverse collection including work from some of the world’s most famous artists. The current exhibitions to admire include Rachel Howard’s ‘Repetition is Truth - Via Dolorosa’, and John Copeland’s ‘Your Heaven Looks Just like My Hell’. In the past, Newport Street Gallery has featured the likes of Banksy, Francis Bacon, Pablo Picasso, Sarah Lucas, Jeff Koons and more. The venue is split over two levels with 6 exhibition spaces. We recommend making a dinner booking at the Damien Hirst’s Newport Street Gallery restaurant, Pharmacy 2 - it’s delicious. Open till 9pm and free entry.
3 Under the Sea at Horniman Museum and Gardens
The Horniman Museum is perhaps one of our favourites in this list because it gives you the chance to go under the sea till late. This unique museum in Forest Hill opens its doors after 6.30pm to welcome guests to join in for a special celebration of all things coral reef related, as it dives deep beneath the waves to take a closer look at the threatened underwater world that lies deep below. The Under the Sea Late exhibition includes exclusive installations, films & audio presentations, performances, films, face-painting and craft workshops.
4 Science or Superstition? At the Old Operating Theatre Museum
This late night one-off is all about mesmerism in Victorian England. Wendy Moore is a best-selling author, and on 17th May at 7pm, you can find her talking about her new book, The Mesmerist: the society doctor who held Victorian London spellbound. She’ll be speaking all about the influence hypnotism had in the Victorian era, and the story of Dr Elliotson and his determination to convince the world that mesmerism really works.
5 Choco-Tale: A Night of Chocolate Games at the Chocolate Museum
This exhibition is exactly what it says on the tin, a night of chocolate games with chocolate being the prize! There will be a selection of board games (where you can EAT the pieces you win) plus you’ll get to have a go at the Choco-Tale augmented reality game. Buy your tickets for the 18th May evening to fill all of your choco cravings for just a small fee.
6 Swinging Sixties at the London Transport Museum
Get a feel for the swingin’ 60s at the London Transport Museum’s Friday late on the 18th May. Explore the latest exhibitions after dark plus take a curator tour, listen to talks and take part in a workshop. Listen to hits from the 60s whilst sipping on a Flower Power cocktail or a refreshing G&T whilst you mooch through London’s biggest museum of transport.
7 Gothic Tales and Cocktails at Strawberry Hill House
Explore Horace Walpole’s ‘little gothic castle’, the inspiration of his first gothic novel, The Castle of Otranto, on an evening adventure into west London’s Twickenham. Strawberry Hill House and Gardens will be opening their doors for on 17th May for a very special event. Buy your ticket for an evening tour around the opulent white castle, followed by cocktails in the beautifully kept gardens (a complimentary prosecco cocktail included in your ticket). A completely different kind of evening in a lovely hidden gem of London! The castle is one of Britain’s finest examples of Georgian Gothic Revival architecture, so well worth a visit and even more so at night.
Want more? Check out the 6 Best Free Museums in London
Article by Darcy King and Shereen Sagoo
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