The October festival will take place over the Halloween weekend, Friday and Saturday 30-31 October. Join contemporary artist Alinah Azadeh on the couch at the Freud Museum, take part in a voyage of the damned at Royal Museums Greenwich, taste gin cocktails from across the ages at the London Transport Museum or dress up as your favourite Halloween Harry Potter character at Dulwich Picture Gallery.
Highlights in London during the Museums at Night October festival include:
Alinah Azadeh: All About The Gift, The Freud Museum
Alinah Azadeh is a British artist working across media. Her current project is Burning the Books. Based on her own personal experience of debt, this national touring project uses metaphor and story to explore debt and the deep moral power it seems to exert on individuals and society in general. For Museums at Night, Alinah Azadeh and The Freud Museum will be creating a special evening based on the theme of gift and generosity, debt and gratitude including the chance to talk to Alinah on Freud’s famous couch. Friday October 30
The Art of Witchcraft: The National Gallery
From shrieking hags to seductive sorceresses, witches have cast a powerful spell upon the imagination, unleashing the creativity or artists such as Goya and Salvator Rosa. Artist Lachlan Goudie leads a personal and goulish tour of the collection.
Friday October 30th, ages 16 +
Hallowe’en at Midnight Apothecary, Brunel Museum
Visit the Midnight Apothecary and experience its special Halloween magic with pumpkins, ravens and fireside cocktails in the roof garden. Then if you’re feeling brave, descend into the underground chamber where Brunel nearly perished.
Saturday 31 October, any age
Craven Street Bones: Benjamin Franklin House
How did human skeletal remains of up to 10 people get to be buried under the basement floor at Benjamin Franklin’s House? This evening will reveal the darker side of this 18th century’s pursuit of knowledge.
Friday 30 October, adults only
Spirited London: Gin and the City, London Transport Museum
Journey through the long and chequered history of gin, from its medicinal roots and up to today’s gin resurgence. Sit back and enjoy talks from Nicholas Cook of The Gin Guild and Tom Hills, Distiller at The East London Liquor Company, as they guide you through tasting eight gins that each define moments in its history or try a gin cocktail or two from the bar.
Friday 30 October, any age, family-friendly
Amazing Worlds: Halloween Harry Potter, Dulwich Picture Gallery
The perfect treat for Potter fans! Watch Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone on a big screen and dress up as your favourite Harry Potter character – the best costume will win goodies from the Gallery’s Amazing World of M.C. Escher exhibition. Listen to spooky tales told by storytellers or create your own artwork with Anita Chowdry’s Iron Genie, a handcrafted metal sculpture that draws fascinating patterns corresponding to sound waves.
Saturday 31 October, family friendly
The Marvellous Mysteries of Hackney Museum at Night, Hackney Museum
An interactive and creative making tour of Hackney Museum and its local surroundings for the intrepid of mind and historically curious. Meet new people, learn about Hackney’s rich history and explore its back streets in new and unusual ways. Materials supplied. Some local gentle walking involved, weather permitting.
Friday 30 October, family friendly
Halloween: Voyage of the Damned, Royal Museums Greenwich
Investigate tales of death and destruction, take part in candlelit tours of the exhibits and watch the museum’s curators on the gang plank.
Saturday 31 October, ages 18+
Late at the Gate: Ye Olde Tavern Quiz, Museum of the Order of St John
A traditional pub quiz at the site of Ye Olde Jerusalem Tavern, a watering hole for the likes of Dickens. The Jerusalem Tavern will be selling a range of beverages and bar snacks whilst the quiz master tests your general knowledge in teams of up to six.
Thursday 29 and Friday 30 October, ages 18+
Halloween Eve Dumb Supper, Barts Pathology Museum
Take part in a ‘Dumb Supper’, an ancient custom to honour the dead. Participants at this special event will partake of a small three course meal without talking, with only the sound of a live jazz quartet accompaniment. The meal’s courses are also eaten backwards, beginning with dessert first in an inversion of the ‘living’ meal ritual. There will also be some time for mingling, music and more just before and after dinner.
Friday 30 October, ages 18+
Banknotes and Bullion, Bank of England Museum
A rare opportunity to visit the Bank of England Museum out of hours. Throughout the night there will be presentations on banknotes, with some of the Bank’s experts demonstrating easy ways to check that your banknotes are genuine, and talking about the upcoming launch of polymer banknotes.
Friday 30 October, any age
Handel by Candle, Handel House Museum
Mezzo-soprano Cathy Bell will deliver a lecture recital exploring light in the 18th century, singing examples from a selection of Handel operas.
Full listings of all events, many of which are free, can be found at www.museumsatnight.org.uk