Tomorrow marks the official start of the annual Museums at Night event where, unsurprisingly, a lot of museums are open in the evening.

(although one venue seems to be starting tonight!)

Many museums do actually have some sort of late-opening event most months anyway, but the Museums at Night is a nationwide event where they lay on a bit more than the usual just staying open for a few extra hours.

My personal pick – more for the rarity of visiting it – would be the Bank of England museum, which is normally only open Mon-Fri and therefore damn difficult for the average working adult to visit. It also happens to be a rather good museum.

The Government Art Collection is a good one to look at as well as it is also usually only open for specially arranged tours or Open House events, so you can get a chance to see how the Ambassadors and Ministers choose to decorate their offices – and why we spend money on such things at all.

That one is now fully booked – sorry.

Finally, if you like old dusty museums, then the Gothic Egypt event in the Petrie museum will satisfy you as it is a wonderfully unfussy museum that is resolutely aimed at people more interested in old things than in modern computer screens and plastic buttons.

Thursday

7:00 PM Smithfield talk
F This illustrated talk will look back at Smithfield from its inception as a livestock market through to London’s Central Meat Market.

 

Friday

5:30 PM Banknotes and Bullion
F Late night opening at the Bank of England Museum
6:00 PM Apsley After Dark (Picadilly)
visit Apsley House and Wellington Arch after dark with the curtains drawn and chandeliers twinkling.
(Cost: £7.90)
6:00 PM Candlelit Evening at Sir John Soane’s Museum (Holborn)
B Small intimate guided tours of the eccentric museum by candle light.
(Cost: £20)
6:00 PM Gothic Egypt: Life and Death at the Museum (Bloomsbury)
F A guided ‘trail’ around the Egyptology museum with details of how Egypt inspired the gothic horror novel
6:00 PM Surgery by Gaslight & Other Medical Tales (Southwark)
B Experience the fear and the emotion of a patient in the 19th century – come and have your leg amputated in the oldest surviving operating theatre.
(Cost: £9)
6:30 PM Bedtime Stories at the Government Art Collection (Tottenham Court Road)
F B Chance to visit the Government art collection and see some of the art and the workshop
7:00 PM Bali – dancing for the gods (Forest Hill)
B Preview of the new exhibition followed by the masked Topeng Kerras and Panyembrama Welcome dances.
(Cost: £5)
7:00 PM Explore the Victorians (Walthamstow)
F Enjoy a late night viewing of our latest exhibition on Victorian childhood and join in the fun and games.
7:00 PM Chance to view of the New Bus for London! (Covent Garden)
F Free evening at the Transport Museum to see the future double-decker bus that will replace the bendies.
7:00 PM Twilight Tour at Dr Johnson’s House (Fleet Street)
B A rare opportunity to see many of the rooms in Johnson’s historic house lit by candlelight in these special curator-led twilight tours.
(Cost: £10)

 

Saturday

6:00 PM Apsley After Dark (Picadilly)
visit Apsley House and Wellington Arch after dark with the curtains drawn and chandeliers twinkling.
(Cost: £7.90)
6:00 PM Canal Museum at Night (Islington)
An evening of candle-lit tours, atmospheric lighting, and exhibits of art and film in dark places.
(Cost: £4)
6:30 PM Bedtime Stories at the Government Art Collection (Tottenham Court Road)
F B Chance to visit the Government art collection and see some of the art and the workshop
7:00 PM FAB – Sylvia Anderson talks about Thunderbirds (Hendon)
F An evening devoted to Thunderbirds and Captain Scarlett with talks, films and exhibits (the talk needs pre-booking/paying though)
7:30 PM Markfield Beam Engine and Museum – in Steam! (South Tottenham)
F Chance to see (and smell) the recently restored Victorian steam engine in action at night.
8:00 PM Behind the Scenes tours of the restoration of Kensington Palace (Kensington)
F B Guided tour of Kensington Palace looking at the building site where restoration work is being carried out.
8:00 PM Brunel Museum Fancy Fair in the Grand Entrance Hall (Rotherhithe)
Underground entertainment including the amazing floating woman of Clifton Suspension Bridge, the engineer puppet master and a performance poet.
(Cost: £5)

 

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