Zoo lates

You haven’t seen a party animal until you’ve been to this annual event where, every Friday in June and July, the zoo not only remains open beyond its usual hours, but it lays on a schedule of animal feeds, talks and demonstrations. There’s also a silent disco and a Wii Just Dance Party Bus to taper off an evening gawping at chimps and giraffes. Twisted Cabaret will also add some sparkle to the evening, and a comedy troupe will plant itself in the aquarium. When all that horsing around makes you hungry, graze your way through an international street market, and sip on Pimm’s. The zoo has never been such fun.

Regent’s park Every Fri, June–July. 6pm-10pm | £6
Regent’s Park, NW1 4RY
tube | Regent’s Park

Talking Tattoos at the Horniman Museum

 The fact he’s heavily tattooed himself will certainly give credence to art historian Matt Lodder’s talk about how non-Western tattoo traditions influenced ink practices and art forms in the West. The Irie Dance Theatre will also perform a special dance to tie in with the museum and garden’s Body Adorned exhibition.

Forest Hill | Fri, May 18. 7pm-9pm | Free
Horniman Museum & Gardens, 100 London Road, SE23 3PQ
Tube | Forest Hill

Natural History Museum Night safari

Treat yourself to a scientist-led tour of the iconic Central Hall, and get the lowdon on some of venue’s most intriguing specimens.

South Kensington | Mon, June 11. 7pm-10pm | £28
Cromwell Road, SW7 5BD
Tube | South Kensington

Bank of England Museum

Few of us will be familiar with the touch of a 13kg gold bar. But this is your chance to get aquainted with one, plus discover a unique collection of banknotes at this treasure of a venue.

Bank | Sun, May 13. 5.30pm-9pm | Free
Bartholomew Lane, EC2R 8AH
Tube | Bank

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Museum of London Twilight Tour

Roman shoes, false teeth and witching bottles holding toenails and exotic animal bones – you just don’t know which of London’s artefacts you’ll find inside a brown box, sat upon 10km of shelving in the museum’s archological archive. This is a unique opportunity to find out. You’ll also get the chance 
to concoct Roman lip balm, and knit chainmail. 

Moorgate | Fri, May 18. 6.30pm-9pm | £6
2 London Wall Buildings, London Wall, EC2M 5UU
Tube | Moorgate

Love and Lust at UCL museums

Join the chase for love in a hunt, with seductive clues, for objects of love and lust. See how ancient artists depicted love and indeed, animals too. Here, love is a game, and the first to conquer ancient and animalistic affairs of the heart win a prize. But don’t worry, you can all kiss and make up over a free drinks reception when you’re done.

Euston | Fri, May 18. 6pm-9pm | Free
University College London, Gower Street, WC1E 6BT
Tube | Euston Square

Faber and Faber tour competition

Six people will win the opportunity to peek inside the expansive literary archive of Faber And Faber in the publishing giant’s London office, not normally open to the public. Take a guided tour with archivist Robert Brown through 80 years of literary treasures, including a rejection letter written to William Golding, TS Eliot’s book reports and works by WH Auden. There will also be a poetry reading by one of Faber’s most acclaimed poets, Jo Shapcott.

Bloomsbury | Fri, May 18 | Free
Bloomsbury House, 74-77 Great Russell Street, WC1B 3DA
Tube | Holborn

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The National Portrait Gallery Late shift

 There are a string of events scheduled here for the museum’s own ‘Late Shift’ programme, which links into its celebrated Lucian Freud: Portraits exhibition. Among them are drop-in life drawing classes, painting in the studio, and, once a week, DJ Edward Otchere will pay homage to the genius artist’s greatest influences – one being his muse Leigh Bowery, with a set curated from Eighties ballroom disco classics, and another, Johnny Cash, whose songs will be played to create a soundscape. All this, while you unwind at the Late Shift bar. Other programmed events include titilatingly-themed tours, such as ‘Queer Perspectives’ and ‘The Origins of Sex’, plus talks and film screenings. 

Until May 31. Times vary | Free
St Martin’s Place, WC2H 0HE
Tube | Charing Cross

The Music Fanclub Evening at the British music experience

 Music buffs, this will be just your bag. Each area of the museum plays host to a vibrant discussion, led by a member of the public. Expect them to rattle off anything from memories of the Marquee Club, the first Beatles concert, or dancing at the Factory. Others are encouraged to ask questions, add info and learn among friends.

North Greenwich | Sat, May 19. 6.30pm-9.30pm | Free
The O2, SE10 0DX
Tube | North Greenwhich

National Gallery Talk and Draw: Turner’s ‘Rain, Steam and Speed’ 

Taking inspiration from the gallery’s Turner exhibition, here you can listen to a short talk, then respond to it by drawing, with assistance from an artist. The gallery is also hosting Friday night life drawing sessions, with a different theme and materials each week.

Charing cross | Fri, May 18. 6.30pm-7.30pm
Trafalgar Square, WC2N 5DN
Tube | Charing Cross

Design Museum at bedtime

Stay until 11pm, listening to lullabies and shoe tales, as you celebrates the career of French footwear designer Christian Louboutin.

Butler Wharf | Fri, May 18. 8pm-11pm
28 Shad Thames, SE1 2YD
Tube | Tower Hill

Science Museum silent disco

Slam dunk da funk at this recurring highlight of the Science Museum’s annual programme of Lates events, which also includes the Pub Quiz and anarchic comedy from in-house comedy troupe Punk Science.

Various dates. 6.45pm-10pm
Exhibition Rd, SW7 2DD
Tube | South Kensington

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Terry O’neill at the Ragged School Museum

Legendary photographer to the stars, Terry O’Neill will regale audiences with insights into his life and career during his 1960s heyday. It was then he created iconic images of stars such as Frank Sinatra and Clint Eastwood, and bands such as The Beatles and The Rolling Stones. As well as serving as a Victorian-era school for the destitute, this venue was once the headquarters of Lewis Leathers, makers of the leather jackets worn by many of the stars O’Neill has immortalised in his images.

Thu, May 10. 7.30pm-11pm
46-50 Copperfield Road, E3 4RR
Tube | Mile End

Royal museums Liquid History Pub Quiz

Think you know everything about the Thames? You can put your knowledge to the test in a pub quiz and, when it gets stressful, sink pints of London Porter to keep your cool. All will be revealed by beer writer and convivial raconteur Peter Haydon on the night. The evening links into the museum’s Royal River exhibition.

Greenwich | Fri, May 18. 6.30pm-10pm
Park Row, Greenwich, SE10 9NF
Tube | Cutty Sark

Soho hotel

Get comfy as six short films are reeled off, courtesy of the Museum of Soho. The screenings, including Bear by Noah Edgerton; Love You More, by Sam Taylor Wood; and To Die By Your Side by Spike Jonze, will be preceeded with an Introduction by film historian Thomas Hamilton.

OHSO SHORT! | Sun, May 20. 6.30pm-8.30pm
55 Dean Street, W1D 6AF
Tube | Leicester Square

Sir John Soane’s Museum candelit evening

Marvellously eccentric architect Sir John Soane designed this venue to house his own collection of paintings and architectural salvage, and now, not only is the house deemed a design inspiration, it’s also a tranquil place full of unexpected treasures. They will be lit up by candelight, making for a wonderfully atmospheric evening. Usually a one-Tuesday-a-month event, the museum is opening again tonight as a one-off, but be warned, queues are expected to be snaking well out the door, so get there early to avoid a long wait.

Fri, May 18. 6pm-9.30pm
13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, WC2A 3BP
Tube | Holborn