Museums at night

By | Category: Travel news

Aquasonic at the Glasgow Tramway Museum. Image © Robbie Thomson

Next week is the annual Museums at Night event, a time when you can visit participating museums as they throw open their doors during the night for people to see museums in a different way.

It also allows visitors to see that museums at night are not really like the Ben Stiller films about how the exhibits come alive at night nor is it like those semi-horror and thriller films that are set in the dead of night at museums.

Some participating museums will be open most of the night whilst some such as the Rotunda Museum and Art Gallery in Scarborough will just be open for a few extra hours in the evening. In truth, I have to confess that I see no great difference at most museums at night as opposed to the daytime. The advantage for visitors is that those museums which join in usually raise additional events making it more appealing. It also lures visitors in who might not normally visit a museum because of work commitments or weekend plans.

This year the event begins on Thursday the 26th of October and runs until the Sunday. Just in Yorkshire alone there are twenty-one planned events including a ghoulish event at Knaresborough Castle since the Museums at Night almost coincides with Halloween. They are not alone in linking the two. The Abbey Pumping Station in Leicester is following that idea as are the Elgin Museum, the London Canal Museum, the Tiverton Museum of Mid-Devon Life and the Museum of Dartmoor Life to name just a few.

Rhayader Museum and Art Gallery in Mid-Wales has opted for a slumber party as part of its Rhayader Dragon Festival and Layer Marney Tower in Colchester has a sleepover. Manchester United Museum and Stadium Tour has the illustrator Stanley Chow showing caricatures and drawing of past and present club players whilst the Tramway Museum in Glasgow has the Danish group, Between Music presenting their show, AquaSonic , which melds whale song and chamber music to produce a spectacle that the organisers claim is “dreamlike.”

To see what’s happening in a museum or gallery near you, go to or click here.

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