Scotland’s museums are getting ready to open their doors, vaults and imaginations for the annual Festival of Museums, a weekend-long celebration of the magic of heritage, science and history, so be sure to pencil museum fun into your diaries for Friday 13 – Sunday 15 May!
With over 100 events in a weekend of fun right across the country, there’s sure to be something for the young and young-at-heart. This week we’ll be digging out our glad rags and dancing shoes to tell you about our nightlife highlights, but stay tuned for more updates as we delve into arts and family adventures in our next posts. If you missed updates on the cool science and history events in the programme this year, be sure to read the posts below.
There’s no children allowed at the After Hours Playground at Aberdeen Maritime Museum, so hire a babysitter and head along for loads of fun! From popcorn and carnival games to upcycling old toys, the museum will ditch the usual Quiet please! attitude in favour of a more raucous atmosphere.
The National Museum of Scotland’s legendary Museum Lates return with a Celtic twist. Join them for an evening of entertainment inspired by the Celts exhibition alongside all your Lates favourites: a silent disco, pop-up bars, object handling… plus the rare opportunity to simply explore the museum at night. You could also make the most of Orkney’s extended daylight and join Pier Arts Centre for a tour in the ‘grimlings’ (Orkney dialect for twilight), with a particular focus on works that involve light.
Grab your chapman billies and drouthy neibors and head down to the Burns Heid Inn! Visitors to Burns Cottage will combine hops and heritage in this 19th-century ale house, as the team at the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum will be turning back the clock to the period when the cottage was a pub. Enjoy local beers, entertainment and a pub quiz!
Get swept away on Culzean Castle’s evening tour of 18th century high-class living, discovering the world’s largest collections of swords and pistols as well as Culzean’s connections to Robert the Bruce and President Eisenhower. As your evening burls to a close with an ceilidh, this is one night you won’t forget!
The ceilidh fun continues as we Strip the Willow on the water and dance the Gay Gordons onboard the S.V. Glenlee, better known as The Tall Ship. Tickets include entrance to the ceilidh and your fill of stovies to keep your energy up to dance the night away!
Chanel your inner Indiana Jones and join Edinburgh University for an evening of fun and adventurous entertainment as they ask you to Question Your Perceptions. Rethink your ideas of museums, eating bugs(!), the taste of rum, photography, magic, chocolate, and more! Explore the University’s collections before ending the night with a time-travelling disco. Don’t forget to dress in an adventure outfit!
History inspired indie-rock in a unique setting? Yes please! De Rosa have been working with Summerlee Museum on new music inspired by the stories of Lanarkshire’s industrial past. Don’t miss this exclusive performance of the work in progress as the band play surrounded by the objects that have inspired their work.
It’s Friday the 13th, fright night, as dark falls on Verdant Works… but there are no nasties here, just a range of tasty tipples to calm the nerves! A cool G&T will be waiting for you on arrival, then an expert will guide you through a history and tasting of gin.
The Festival of Museums Team