After-hours at the Museum

Enjoy exhibitions, talks, science demos, food and drink.

Free entry, with some paid activities. 

Enjoy exhibitions, talks, science demos, food and drinks by night on the last Friday of the month.

On 25 August, meet experts in nocturnal animal behaviour and biology, and find out what goes on in our cities when we go home and get ready for bed. 

See specimens from the Museum collection, including nocturnal moths, unusually beautiful slugs and the new 25.2-metre star attraction, Hope the blue whale, suspended from the ceiling of Hintze Hall.

Entry is free, but you'll need to book tickets to visit the exhibitions, Whales: Beneath the surface and Wildlife Photographer of the Year. Find out about the exhibitions below. 

The evening kicks off with the first talk at 19.00.

Free talks

Attenborough Studio. Admission is on a first-come, first-served basis.

Night watch: preserving the darkness


Join us on an interactive adventure through an urban wildlife nightscape, hosted by friendly neighbourhood ecologist and Museum scientist, Steph West, who recently appeared on BBC Four’s A Year of British Garden Wildlife.

Ever wondered what that rustle in the undergrowth was, that dark shadow swooping past, or eerie glow in the bushes?

Put your nocturnal detective skills to the test and find out about the creatures that share our urban environments at night, and how we can record and monitor them.

Science stations

Like a moth to a light

Dinosaur Way

Why are moths attracted to the light? How are they affected by artificial lighting in our cities? And is there anything we can do about it?

Meet some stars of the night with Museum moth expert David Lees, who will present an array of moth specimens from the Museum collection. Discover why light pollution is such a problem for moths, and how it affects hundreds of other species.

Save our slugs: solidarity with our slimy friends

Dinosaur Way

Often regarded as the lesser cousin of the snail, the slug is being slaughtered in vast numbers every night, right on our doorsteps and in our back gardens. It is time someone spoke out for them.

Join Museum curator of molluscs Jon Ablett, who is championing the slug. He proposes that slugs are guilty only of taking advantage of the free garden banquet on offer. Hear about the important role these animals play in our ecosystems, learn about the diversity of UK slugs, and witness their beauty – including the dazzling display of the leopard slug.

Mammals moving in

Dinosaur Way

When it comes to wildlife, the city never sleeps, but are we infringing upon nature with our lights and late night noise? Or are animals exploiting us?

Museum scientist Louise Tomsett compares rural mammal species in our collection with their city-living contemporaries, including hedgehogs, rats, foxes and bats. What can we learn from looking at the specimens about the lives of urban mammals?

Bat Conservation Trust

Fossil Way

Bats and people have been sharing dwellings for thousands of years. As natural roosting sites have become scarce due to development and land use change, the number of artificial roost sites has increased. These take the form of houses, bridges, mines, and other manmade structures.

The Bat Conservation Trust exists to protect these amazing but vulnerable animals, to better understand them, and to help bats and people coexist where they overlap.

Find out what you can do to help and discover the bats in your own neighbourhood.

You can also join our bat walk to Kensington Gardens, led by the Bat Conservation Trust, to witness London bats and learn how to record them. Meet in the Darwin Centre Courtyard at 21:30.

London Wildlife Trust

Lasting Impressions

London Wildlife Trust is dedicated to protecting the capital's wildlife and wild spaces, engaging London's diverse communities through free access to nature reserves, campaigning, volunteering and education.

Nocturnal animal species are facing numerous threats in some of our cities. Species at risk include hedgehogs, where the urban population has fallen by a third in the last ten years.

Drop in to their station in Lasting Impressions to find out how you can better protect London's hedgehogs and other nocturnal wildlife.  

Wildlife Garden

As darkness falls on the Museum's Wildlife Garden, the biodiversity present during the day settles down and the nocturnal biodiversity comes to life.

Pay an evening visit to the garden to escape the hustle and bustle. Discover recent nocturnal sightings in the garden, including what has been collected from our moth trap. You can also take part in our bat trail and meet bat carers and live bats in the garden hut.

Spirit Collection Tours

Go behind the scenes with our knowledgeable science educators for a look at the Museum's fascinating zoology collection preserved in spirit.

As we explore some of the Darwin Centre’s 27 kilometres of shelves, you’ll encounter numerous treasures hidden among the 22 million animal specimens housed here.

You’ll meet Archie, our 8.62-metre-long giant squid, view specimens collected by Charles Darwin himself and learn more about our cutting-edge research.

Meet in the Darwin Centre. Find out more.

Our watering holes

Banish your thirst or grab a snack at the bars in the North Hall and in the Fossil Marine Reptiles gallery, where you can choose from selections of cocktails, wine, beer and soft drinks.

This month

  • Wild City: Creatures of the night
    25 August 2017, 18.00-22.00

Coming up...

Museum map

Plan your evening and find the events and pop-up science stations. Entry is via the Exhibition Road entrance only.


Become a member and support Museum conservation, education programmes and pioneering science research.

Exhibitions by night

Visit Whales: Beneath the surface and Wildlife Photographer of the Year when you come along to Lates. Find out more below.


Whales: Beneath the surface

Visit this exhibition by night and explore the extraordinary lives of whales.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Enjoy this selection of award-winning images at Lates this month.