Many students struggle to visit art galleries and museums during their usual opening hours, as they often clash with lectures and seminars. This is a shame, considering the amount of cool cultural offerings London has to showcase, and weekends don’t really cut it: who’d want to stand around a Van Gogh painting in a sardine-tin-formation with bum-bags, backpacks, and sweaty tourists? Not me!
Therefore I present to you, the cultural evenings many of these places have now begun to hold. An array of museums and galleries on a semi-regular basis, extend their opening hours until about 10pm, often on a Friday evening. Thus allowing more chances for busy people like you and me, to enjoy the range of art and history they display. However, it is not just extended opening hours that make these evenings so great. Often venues will add extra exhibits, pieces of art, and sometimes performances and workshops that correspond with a particular theme, for one night only, meaning that you get even more than you’d normally get during the daytime.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the upcoming events popping up across London – and for the large part, they are free!
“Star Late” @ The National Gallery: 16 December, 6-9pm
The National Gallery hosts a festive-themed event, complete with wreath-making, a pop-up photo booth, talks about stars, choir performances, a film screening, and much more to compete with its usual offerings. This is the perfect evening experience to attend in the run up to the end of term, and has a range of activities to satisfy anyone – no matter how much, or how little, they appreciate art. Some parts of this event need to be pre-booked (for a small fee) so make sure that you research beforehand to avoid missing out.
Late at the Tate
I have been to many of the Tate Britain’s ‘Late’ events before, and what is unique about them are the wide themes which form the backdrop to their nights. Recently, events have included the titles “Body”, “Generation”, and “Mantra”, meaning that as I’ve gone in, I’ve had no idea what to expect. This of course adds to the excitement. At these events I have taken part in photo collages, relaxation rooms, seen dance and performance art, and worn some armour from an artist’s collection! The atmosphere at the Tate Britain is energetic, buzzing and full of likeminded people who are ready to experience something a little bit different.
The next event will be held in the New Year, but until then, be sure to like ‘Tate Collectives’ on Facebook to keep in the loop!
Uniqlo Tate Lates
Over on the Southbank, Tate Britain’s sibling gallery- the Tate Modern- are also hosting their own very late night evenings. Having teamed up with fashion brand Uniqlo, they have created ‘Uniqlo Tate Lates’- boasting of a chilled evening of gallery-wandering, music, and modern art. Who could resist a combination like that? The evenings are held on the last Friday of every month (excluding December) until 10pm.
Natural History Museum: After Hours
Though held more sporadically than the Tate’s events, the Natural History Museum’s events are just as fun, and offer something different to the trend of galleries, that have similarly opted for extended opening hours. Make sure to follow the museum on Facebook and have your diary ready to record all the information for upcoming ‘lates’ in 2017. But for the moment, if you happen to have any spare cash for a ticket, do consider attending their New Year’s Eve Ball, aptly subtitled: ‘Last Dance with Dippy’.