The Museums at Night festival (30-31 October) is a great way to explore London's institutions after hours. Why not head out of Zone 1 and explore further afield — here's what's coming up in the next few days.
Rock 'n' roll over to the Brent Museum
Immerse yourself in the world of 1950s bop at an evening of swing, jitterbug and rock 'n' roll. There's music and film from the era to get your toes tapping while you explore the museum. You'll also have the chance to improve your own bop dancing; Swing Patrol will be performing demonstrations and giving pointers. Tickets are for the whole evening and include a glass of wine or beer.
Recline on a couch at the Freud Museum
Visit Sigmund Freud's former home to join an exploration of gift and generosity by artist Alinah Azadeh in an evening inspired by the museum's extensive collections, including gifts received by Freud from family, friends and even patients. Talks by psychoanalysts and authors explore unexpressed acts of gratuity and generosity. Afterwards, you can create your own symbolic mixed-media gifts and recline on a replica Freudian couch. Food, music and a warm atmosphere of generosity provided.
30 October, 6.30pm-9.30pm, Freud Museum, 20 Maresfield Gardens, NW3 5SX, £6/£3.
Visit the old entrance to the Thames Tunnel
Head to the enchanting rooftop garden at Brunel Museum for a special Halloween evening of pumpkins, candlelight, ravens and Halloween potions. For those brave enough there's a guided descent into Brunel's Grand Entrance Hall — where the famous Thames Tunnel was started. Tickets include entrance to the museum, the underground tour and even some marshmallows to toast by the fire pits.
31 October, 5.30pm-11pm, £5, Brunel Museum, Railway Avenue, Rotherhithe, SE16 4LF
See London's first international airport
Visit London's first international airport, once the biggest and most advanced in the world. The Croydon institution is open after hours for the first time, and you'll be able to hear tales of ghostly sightings as well as the airport's fascinating history. Tours visit the terminal building, booking hall, visitor centre and even the control towers.
31 October, 6pm-9pm, Croydon Airport Visitor Centre, Purley Way, free.
Explore the Old Masters — and Harry Potter
A Halloween Harry Potter evening sure to thrill any fan of the magical and mysterious. Dulwich Picture Gallery will be telling tales and secrets of the Old Masters and the museum, while artist Anita Chowdry's works emulate the magic of Potter. Visitors can watch her harmonograph create drawings as its swinging pendulums drive the movements of a pen. You can even create your own work to take home. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone will be shown on the big screen in the gallery and the best Harry Potter inspired costumes win Escher goodies. The gallery cafe will be serving gourmet pizzas and burgers as well as drinks throughout the evening.
31 October, 6pm-10pm, Dulwich Picture Gallery, £24, £20 friends and students, £15 children. Suitable for all ages.
Be spooked at one of the best follies in London
Take a spooky candlelit tour of Severndroog Castle and hear terrifying tales accompanied by ghostly music, provided by a musical installation by Mdx Phonic Phantasm. Tickets for this rare evening include admission to the viewing platform which provides cracking views of London. The castle's tearoom will serve Halloween treats including pumpkin soup and cakes.
31 October, 6.30pm-9pm, Severndroog Castle, Shooter's Hill, £5, prebook.