This year six of the University of Cambridge Museums took part in Museums at Night, Culture 24’s annual national festival that saw hundreds of museums, galleries and heritage sites stay open late and offer all sorts of special evening events. The Fitzwilliam Museum, Kettle’s Yard, the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, The Polar Museum, the Museum of Classical Archaeology and the Whipple Museum of the History of Science all opened their doors on Friday 16 May to welcome visitors for a unique evening experience.

As the sun went down, all sorts of grown up fun was on offer. Along with gallery talks and trails, visitors to the Fitzwilliam Museum enjoyed live music (and some energetic spontaneous dancing) courtesy of a vintage skiffle band.  Across the city, others had the chance to view the House at Kettle’s Yard in the changing evening light with a pop-up bar and music from University of Cambridge students all adding to a fun, relaxed ambience. The extraordinary cast gallery of the Museum of Classical Archaeology was the setting for spotlight talks and a glass (or two…) of wine; and top researchers were on hand at the Whipple Museum to answer all sorts of burning questions about the museum’s intriguing scientific instruments.

Over at The Polar Museum, stand-up-style entertainment was the order of the day. Visitors enjoyed ‘experimental cocktails’ while finding out about current polar science through fun experiments and the help of some science buskers. Things took on a creative slant at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology with demonstrations from three Chilean artists of their contemporary and indigenous artwork. Fabulous pieces made from silver, wheat straw and dyed horsehair were on display as lively discussion and music contributed to a fiesta like atmosphere.

It’s hard to believe that all this entertainment was on offer for FREE!  In addition to providing a chance to see the museums take on a new life after dark, the evening was also a chance to socialise with friends in a unique setting, surrounded by the world class collections of the University of Cambridge Museums.
‘It has been a lovely event and I liked seeing it so well attended. It’s very encouraging that people are so interested’.
Visitor to the Whipple Museum of the History of Science

Next year’s Museums at Night takes place on Thursday 14 – Saturday 16 May 2015, so why not join us?