I can safely say that the National Museum of Scotland has something for everyone. The huge museum on Chambers Street has every guide book waxing lyrical about the exhibitions, the free entry and the children’s activities – but they don’t mention what happens after closing.
No, Ben Stiller doesn’t show up, but a few times a year, the National Museums of Scotland holds special evenings to tie in with their latest exhibitions. On the given Friday night the building reopens at 19:00 for those with tickets and proceeds to defy every stereotype of a museum.
While the events change each time and the themes vary with the latest exhibition, there are usually live bands in the main hall, face painting, crafts, talks, bars and, my personal favourite, a silent disco. If you have never danced in a silent museum exhibition hall, with a set of headphones on, with 200 other people who may, or may not, be dancing to the same music you are, you’re missing out. Seriously.
At the same time that the different activities are happening, you can also tour the exhibitions in the main museum or the current exhibition.
The next event, on Friday 16 November, coincides with the Rip It Up exhibition which runs until 25 November. Rip It Up celebrates Scottish pop music from the 1950s to today, everything from Lulu to Belle & Sebastian.
Tickets for the night are now available so book quickly – it usually sells out fast and it’s an amazing evening that has to be experienced.