Museums at Night - our top 10 unmissable events

Our top 11 Museums at Night - the ultimate guide
The Museums at Night festival kicks off on 15 May. We've put together 10 top events at some of our favourite National Lottery funded projects.

Fitzwilliam Museum: talks and tapas

The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge is home to over half a million beautiful works of art and artefacts. Explore the collection and enjoy an after-hours evening in the museum on 15 May. With talks from Fitzwilliam curator Richard Kelleher and Claudio Gulli, art curator working for Palermo's Francesca & Massimo collection, this evening promises to be something special. Enjoy wine, tapas and late-night shopping too.

Fitzwilliam Museum

Pitt Rivers Museum: ocean wonders

Explore the mysteries of the oceans and the cultures crossing them at the Pitt Rivers Museum and Oxford Natural History Museum on May 17. With talks and tours to enjoy, you too can trawl through the wonders of the oceans. Tickets are free but make sure you book your spot!

Pitt Rivers Museum

Kettle’s Yard: an evening with Beethoven

Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge began as four ‘tumbledown’ cottages. Jim Ede, a former curator at the Tate Gallery, bought them with his wife Helen in 1956 and restored them as a home for his family and his art collection. On May 16, Kettle's Yard opens its doors for a one-off concert of some of Beethoven's best-loved sonatas.

Tickets cost as little as £5 for students.

Kettle's Yard

Museum of Zoology: creatures of the night

What creatures are awake at night? on 15 May, explore the Museum of Zoology in Cambridge out of hours and discover the animals which wake up when it gets dark. Check out the animals which keep you awake at night and the ones which try to find them!

Museum of Zoology

Museum of English Rural Life: learn from Ladybird

For one night only – 16 May – the Museum of English Rural Life is heading to Reading Museum to hold one of their lively late night events. In an exhibition inspired by The Ladybird Books: How it Works, you will be able to find material from the extensive Ladybird Books archive housed at the University of Reading.

Stowe House: a very Victorian sleepover

Celebrating Queen Victoria’s 200th birthday on May 26, Stowe House in Buckingham are putting on their very first sleepover. Find out more about the house and see the great lengths that the 2nd Duke of Buckingham went to to ensure Queen Victoria’s stay in 1845 was entertaining. Learn about the house, its guests and the Victorian era through an evening of party games, creativity and dancing.

Stowe House

SS Great Britain: explore extroadinary Brunel

Open to all ages on May 16, soak up all the atmosphere and explore Being Brunel in Bristol with food, drink and poetry. Make sure you climb the SS Great Britain's rigging and listen to live music from Claire Ji while you are there. Brunel was one of the greatest engineers of the 1800's, so come aboard and see what made him so extraordinary. Tickets cost as little as £8 with the SS Great Britain open between 19:00 and 22:00.

The Roman Baths: party in the city

Running as part of the bigger Bath Festival, enjoy a special night at the Pump Room in the Roman Baths on May 17 in Bath. With live music this event is not one to miss.


Roman baths

Bletchley Park: history of gin

Running for just two nights (17 -18 May), make sure you visit Bletchley Park’s very special Gin-Tology experience (sorry 18+ only). Discover the history of the quintessentially British drink before guests are invited to create their own G&T choosing from 40 different types of gin! Make sure you book in advance.

Bletchley Park

Torquay Museum: a torch-lit trail

Taking place on May 18 discover the galleries and exhibitions after dark at Torquay Museum for just £5. Explore more than 200 years of Roman history in a torch-lit trail around the museum, listen to some stories and make your own shadow puppet.

If you are a museum who we have not included (we’re sorry!), please do get in touch with your details and we can include you.