Late Nights at London’s Museums

Nightlife — By Erin Gallagher Maury on January 26, 2011 at 10:13 pm

London’s museums commonly close around 17:00 and they mean it. Security guards and museum employees politely yet firmly will announce the museum’s closing 15 and 10 minutes prior to close. With 5 minutes to go any loiterers are ushered to the front door where the locks are quickly latched without a minute to spare. Several museums have graciously introduced extended viewing hours, some even include bars and event programs. Better yet, most offer free admission.

Lates image: Science Museum London / flickr

Beat the winter blahs and the crowds by attending a late night at one of London’s finest museums:

  • V&A Museum – Friday Late themed events turn the museum’s stunning foyer into one of London’s hottest bar scenes on the last Friday of each month. From 18:30 – 22:00 enjoy music, a cocktail bar, food for purchase, live performances and open galleries. Upcoming themes: Jan 28 China through the Looking Glass,  Feb 25 Personal Collecting,  Mar 25 The Play-House, a celebration of theatre
  • National Portrait Gallery – during Late Shift on Thursdays and Fridays the gallery stays open until 21:00 for special workshops, drawing sessions, music and tours or just browse at your leisure and relax at the bar, free admission
  • Science Museum –  on the last Wednesday of each month the museum is open until 20:00 with adults only themed program simply called Lates. Examine the Science of Attraction this month with a silent disco, speed dating, psychology lectures. Explore the museum while sipping a glass of wine and without school children hogging all the fun interactive exhibits
  • British Museum – open Fridays until 20:30 with a series of lectures, debates, performances and films screenings. Check the website for evening event information. Shops, the cafe and the gourmet restaurant under the stunning glass domed Great Court are also open late
  • Tate Modern – closing daily at 1800, the Tate stays open until 20:00 on Fridays and Saturdays (21:15 last admission to ticketed exhibits). Wander the galleries quietly and dine at the museum’s restaurant on level 7 for one of London’s most gorgeous river views

feature image: National Gallery by Fran Taylor / flickr

Tags: museum evenings, nightlife London, open late in London

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