The time to explore London’s museums during the evening is almost upon us again: Museums at Night takes place 16-18 May. It’s the perfect excuse to look into some of those lesser known places you’ve always meant to visit but never got round to. Culture24 organises this festival of interesting after-hours events and you can browse the full list on their website, but here are our picks (book ahead if you can, some of these will sell out).
Thursday 16 May
Turner Prize-winning Martin Creed is at the Freud Museum (7pm, £6 / £3) for what’s being described as a ‘free-association of unconfined interaction’ between audience and artist. For more info there’s an interview with Creed on Culture24’s website.
Spend an evening with the Victorians at 18 Stafford Terrace, with an insight into Victorian manners, classical music and a free caricature (6.30pm, £5).
The Rotherhithe & Bermondsey Choral Society perform some of Brunel’s favourite music at the Brunel Museum, including Handel’s Underwater Music – first played in the Thames Tunnel during construction (7pm, £8).
The Cuming Museum asked storyteller Olivia Armstrong to create a tale about ceramicists the four Martin brothers, weaving together their pottery and fable. Hear the results at the John Harvard library (6pm, free).
rAndom International, the people behind Rain Room, will create a special installation at the Horniman Museum – plus poetry, dance, music and film screenings, a gin garden and alternative tours of the museum (6pm, £3).
Kensington Palace hosts its first ever sleepover for children (ages 7-11, at least one adult per five kids), for Princess Victoria’s birthday party (7pm, £55).
Friday 17 May
Museum of London opens its Archaeological Archive for talks, tour, object handling, comedy improv and a cash bar run by the North Pole pub (6.30pm, £7 / £6).
Get your hands on a gold bar and quiz the Bank of England‘s bullion and banknote experts (5.30pm, free).
Grab a vintage milk bottle at the Dairy Art Centre and enjoy a rare screening of the Ecart group’s short films from the 70s (5pm, free).
Relax in Fulham Palace‘s walled garden with a cocktail, try on period costume and tour the museum while listening to live music (6pm, free).
Kids don’t get all the sleepover fun: Hampton Court Palace is running an adults only night with tours and film screenings before bedding down in an old beer cellar (6pm, £100).
Saturday 18 May
This sounds delightful: the London Canal Museum is all about the Victorian ice trade, with ice sculpture, film installations, poetry performances and a trip down into the ice wells, plus a bar (6pm, £5).
Simon Mayo is at the Royal Institution talking about his science hero Itch books, with live experiments. Family friendly (6pm, £10 / £7).
Urban sociologist Dr Alex Rhys-Taylor takes you through the history of British seafood at the Museum of London Docklands, plus live music and pop-up fish restaurants (7pm, £7 / £6, book in advance).
Eastbury Manor in Barking opens its doors for a kids’ sleepover (minimum one adult per four children) with a torchlight tour, storytelling and midnight snack (7pm, £25).