The notification arrived FAR too late to have been included in my events newsletter, but the Natural History Museum is having an adults-only late night opening this coming Friday, where children will be banished to wherever it is that children vanish to on such halcyon days.

They say it will be a one-off, which probably means, a first test to see if it is popular and to be repeated if it is.

Part of European Researchers’ Night, the free evening will give curious visitors face-to-face access to some of the 300 scientists who work behind-the-scenes at the Natural History Museum.

Visitors are also being invited to bring their mystery natural history finds along to be identified, take part in live interactive demonstrations, find out about the work of top researchers at science stations and unwind with a cocktail in the Science Bar while discussing some of the hot topics of the day with experts.

Members of the public will also be able to go on exclusive tours specially arranged for the twilight extravaganza, including the science labs and Dinosaurs gallery by torchlight (NB tours have limited availability).

The good thing about this variant on the First Thursday events organised by other museums is that it isn’t on a Thursday – which is a work night for me.

The event starts at 4pm and runs to 10pm this Friday (24th Sept).

Add in some sort of climb up to the roof and I will be there, at the front of the queue.

More here.


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  1. Ian Synge says:

    Encouragingly it’s probably not a one-off, as they ran something very similar to this on 12 July – which was very good indeed.

    Well worthwhile just to see the building, also really smart on part of NHM to appeal to an affluent 30 something customer base – broadening it out from the traditional hordes of school children.

  2. ianxn says:

    I attended this with a friend and sadly we both thought it a massive let-down. The tours booking desk was completely overwhelmed with loads of people pushing in to the queue resulting in us not getting on any of the tours despite being there ages before 6pm. And 95% of the museum was closed, if you were not one of the lucky few that managed to get a tour ticket there was very little to see other than the main central hall. A grand room to stand and enjoy an overpriced beer or glass of wine in indeed, but only for a few minutes until a cheaper pub beckons; we wanted at least a little dinosaur or gemstone action. Funnily enough they managed to ensure the shop was open. I can understand that they may not want to risk drunk people in the whole of the museum but if they are to repeat the event they need to have at least a few of the key galleries open.

  3. ianxn says:

    Oh and they didn’t banish children AT ALL, there were loads of them there, possibly as a result of the event just running on from the regular daytime opening, but no visible effort to ask them to leave that we saw. It did strike me as odd given the copious alcohol sales that were going on.

  4. olivia says:


    This night was part of a european union funded initiative called researcher nights. The Researchers’ Night is a Europe-wide event bringing together the public at large and researchers once a year on the fourth Friday of September.

    I work at Queen Mary and we are thinking of doing something for next year, if you have any ideas, we’d be interested to hear it. you can email me on [email protected]

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