About three weeks ago my friends living in Germany visited me. Wondering what could make our days in London fabulous, I encountered this thing from the Natural History Museum: After-School Club for Grown-ups & Silent Disco at the Natural History Museum. I must admit I had thought spending time at museums is far from having most fun. Thank God that I didn’t take the same approach this time and went for it. This event was actually my best night out, and I could also see highly satisfied faces of my friends.
No matter when the next event pops up, you might as well browse now on how I enjoyed it to make most of yours. 🙂 As the name described, we could choose one of the programmes or both. To nail that night we went for both: one from 7pm-10pm, and the silent disco from 10pm-1am. Now let me share with you how I got most out of it.
1. Going mad with my ‘Butterflies House’
Having had Hermione Granger as my idol and a fantasy about the life at Hogwarts, I probably had a fairly close experience to my dream that night. Upon entering the Natural History Museum (NHM) it didn’t feel like a museum any more but a ‘school’, where the architecture looked rather fancy with a bit of the Gothic style. Staff members wearing school robes welcomed us, handing out welcome packs which had a House badge randomly; I was assigned to Butterflies House while my friends were in Pandas and Owls Houses respectively.
It was this moment when I started to feel so attached and loyal to my House (within less than 5 minutes after having the badge on my shirt). From then on, I had a purple-blue butterfly on my face; designed and coloured my own butterfly wing (a lack of time allowed me to have just one sadly); and I made a mask that had a butterfly shape. At some point I did wonder if I was being over the top, but who would care on Friday evening….it was just perfect as long as I was happy. :p
Of course, those were followed by leaving my butterfly moments as a photo as the final thing to do – an expression of smugness and pride towards the House. (To be honest I am not usually a huge fan of butterflies, but hey ho, you’ve got to try to accept and enjoy what is given before complaining; and I obviously enjoyed it so much. Hahaha) And thanks to the other likeminded Butterflies fellows of mine, we Butterflies won the House cup (I didn’t know there had been a competition between Houses, but what matters is we won!) and so all the Butterflies peeps were given a reward of souvenirs from NHM.
2. Acting as if I was the main character of Night at the Museum
We all know the Natural History Museum has a gallery which, you might have wished to sneak into at a pitch dark night……Yessssss it’s the Dinosaur Gallery…
As you can clearly see how much I was into the event programmes from the first point, feeling so butterfly-ish, I couldn’t help wanting to immerse myself in the imagination that anything could happen in this exhibition (and in that way you enjoy more!). Even though we were aware that the dinosaurs in the Gallery were not real, we (at least I did) had a ‘what if…’ session imagining they were actually pretending to be still. Do you come across a movie at this stage? *hint* see the title *hint*
My friends and I received handy torches at the entrance of the Dinosaur Gallery when we were about to enter the dark room. It actually would have been even better had it been a lot darker allowing more realistic feeling; but I get that it could be dangerous not being able to see what was around us (plus too dark to take photos). Plus, following the route where people were heading was fun already anyway, with occasional photos with skeletons. Imagining that the display of a moving dinosaur was real was good fun too, as if that had been the reason why the NHM School wasn’t open in the evening for safety – like the Forbidden Forest or the Chamber of Secrets.
3. Playing hide-and-seek with your fellows across the Houses
A ‘teacher’ asked wandering students like us if they would like to play a game. 10 or more people gathered for the first round of hide-and-seek and one of them volunteered for a tagger. He was so good at keeping himself low-profile that for about half an hour we couldn’t find him. Apparently he didn’t seem to have been that endeavouring to hide according to those who found him right before the deadline. It was interactive as an ice-breaking activity with people from different Houses (plus the tagger got to wear a silly-but-cute shark hat to be recognisable)!
4. Joining ‘Group-Singing’ at the end of the first event
I confidently say I really appreciated the programmes of the first event, particularly the dinosaur one. BUT this one is definitely something I will remember forever: group-singing.
I doubt how many of students here had known, but we actually had a school song: the Circle of Life from Lion King. It certainly was the best school song I have sung along! It was quite surreal when the singing echoed along the arched corridor, let alone the crowds singing altogether itself. How grand the finale was!
5. Being a bad schoolkid (school-adult rather) ordering alcohol in School
While some school friends had temptation to try alcohols before the legal age, I was not ‘brave’ enough to break the rule when I was a teenager; Not at the Natural History Museum School though, as beers and other alcohols were officially available with snacks! We could be spoiled as much as we wanted. :p
6. Going even further, having a disco at School
Beering wasn’t enough once I ‘crossed the line’. The Natural History Museum helped us to go even more spoiled, since the second event was a silent disco at the main hall! It was Friday night after all and we were all mature school gals and boys. So, why not turning the museum into a disco? Absolutely YES PLEASE. It was the best (first and only so far, but still…!) disco night indeed.
Three disc jockeys with Red, Blue and Green DJ’d at the midway of the main staircase. (Because of their location, sometimes it looked like Charles Darwin was DJ’ing for the Blue channel when the actual DJ stepped out of his place for a bit lol.)
10PM – 1AM. Three hours of dancing hard. Wished I had memorised some of the popular songs, so that I could sing along crazy this time. Maybe this is a lesson for the next one.. :’)
There were a few more programmes during the first event that I didn’t get to join. To avoid this mistake, take a good look at a given map in the beginning and prioritise what you want to do. 3 hours for each event sounded long enough… and it was not.
Although the exactly same event doesn’t seem available any time soon, other night events are at the Natural History Museum for grown-ups. One of them allows you to explore the Dinosaur Gallery at night and sleep in the main hall! If that sounds like your cup of tea, check its website for more information! If you do join any similar events, please share your experience on the comments. 🙂