Lonely Planet Writer

Museums at Night festival brings live taxidermy and Norwegian knitting to UK

Designer darts, live taxidermy, cannon-firing and Norwegian knitting are all on the menu for the UK’s Museums at Night festival. The event, which runs from Wednesday 11 May to Saturday 14 May, sees hundreds of museums, galleries and historic spaces open their doors for night-time events. Events take place across the country, with several destinations hosting city-wide events. 

Live Friday at The Ashmolean by IWPhotographic in Oxford, Oxfordshire.
Live Friday at The Ashmolean by IWPhotographic in Oxford, Oxfordshire. Image by Ian Wallman

Over 30 London museums and galleries are open late through the festival, with events including Hip Hop Shakespeare at the British Library, a celebration of gay culture at the Horniman Museum and an evening opening of the Cartoon museum for a graphic novel special. A live performance by ‘ethnical taxidermist’ Jazmine Miles-Long comes to Grant Museum of Zoology on Saturday.

Manchester promises a “nocturnal voyage around the city” on Thursday, with a poetry slam, an acoustic steam train and a specially designed darts competition in the Whitworth Gallery. The city will also feature contemporary dance and sound installations on other nights.

Liverpool LightNight.
Liverpool LightNight. Image by Matt Thomas

Over 100 free events are taking place in Liverpool on Friday, while Newcastle and Gateshead see 50 venues put on one-off events. Other highlights include an Afro Super Hero exhibition in Liverpool, a rhododendron party in Norfolk’s Sheringham Park and late-night viewings in Scotland.

The festival is in its eighth year and is held twice annually, once in May and once in October. In 2015 it attracted 220,000 visits to its 700 events. Some events are already sold out but tickets for others can be booked at www.museumsatnight.org.uk.