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The UK’s annual after-hours festival of arts, culture and heritage is back for 2016. Now in its eighth year, the festival will take place from 11-14 May.

The Museums at Night festival offers the chance to engage with history and culture in a unique and exciting way. During the festival, hundreds of museums, galleries and historic spaces all over the UK will open their doors after dark to put on an impressive and diverse array of special night-time events - gallery gigs, art happenings, twilight screenings, all-night sleepovers, nature walks, star gazing or simply to offer the chance to experience some of the UK’s cultural venues, historic houses and museums in a new light. 

Many cities will be hosting city-wide events during the Museums at Night festival. Manchester After Hours will take you on a nocturnal journey around the city to enjoy a strange mixology of cultural combos, odd couplings and unexpected partnerships. Take a seat beneath a whale for an interactive drawing session; bring a team to an art gallery and play d-arts on specially commissioned dart boards; ride an acoustic steam train: raise a glass in temperance bar or join a poetry slam. There’s plenty more to choose from, all across the city, but for one night only (Thursday May 12). 

Tyneside’s ultimate late-night culture crawl, The Late Shows, celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. Across Friday 13 and Saturday 14 May, over 50 arts, culture and heritage venues in Newcastle and Gateshead will open late into the evening to put on special one-off events as part of Museums at Night. From guided tours of historic landmarks to performances, open studios and hands-on workshops, this is your chance to see Tyneside’s cultural scene in a new light. All venues are free to enter.

Light Night is Liverpool’s late night arts festival, taking place on Friday 13 May. Experience an unforgettable evening of more than 100 free events as Light Night unlocks the doors of world-class museums, galleries and heritage sites until late. Follow your own exciting trail of light projections, exhibitions, performances, talks, walks, tours, dance and hands-on activities for all ages: whatever you choose to do, you’ll uncover the flourishing creative underbelly that makes Liverpool such an extraordinary place to experience culture.

North Norfolk has announced another bumper programme of Museums at Night events as part of the North Norfolk Stories festival. Highlights include a Rhododendron Party at Sheringham Park (National Trust), famous for its ‘Wild Garden’. Tom Upcher, the last owner of the estate, would celebrate rhododendron season by throwing rhododendron champagne parties – a tradition which began in the 1950s.  Bring a picnic, dress in 50s vintage and rekindle the spirit of these 50s soirees for Museums at Night. (May 12- 14) For full listings for North Norfolk visit

In London over 30 museums and galleries across the capital will be open late, from National Trust properties and major museums and galleries, to quirky spaces and hidden gems such as the London Museum of Water and Steam - Museums at Night offers the chance to discover museums on your doorstep that you didn’t even know existed!

In Scotland, the annual Festival of Museums (15 – 17 May) will feature over 100 day and night events. The event is specially curated to give visitors a unique glimpse inside Scotland’s best loved museums and encourage them to engage with culture in unique and hands on ways. Nighttime events include After Hours: Playground at the Aberdeen Maritime Museum; Joan Eardley, A Private View at the National Gallery of Scotland; and Super Sci Fi Saturday at the Coats Observatory.  

Museums at Night is part of the European event La Nuit des Musées, which takes place in Paris on 21 May 2016. It is coordinated by Culture24, an independent non-profit company that exists to support the cultural sector to reach and connect with audiences.




Museums at Night festival returns
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