After Hours at the Museum

Curators are ditching dusty exhibits for interactive events and all-night parties aimed at a new generation of museumgoers.

Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal

Montreal, Quebec

Les Nocturnes du MAC

Discover why Montreal is known for its joie de vivre at this quarterly event that’s a cross between dance party and cultural outing at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. Throughout the night, guests can enjoy performances from DJs like local Brazilian mix masters Tupi Collective and take an interactive tour of exhibits such as Olafur Eliasson’s “Multiple Shadow House, 2010.” There are also hands-on art workshops, with past examples including a collage class inspired by Quebec painter Edmund Alleyn’s works (including “Sans titre, 1966”), and one on mixed-media portraits based on Fabrice Hybert’s drawing “Surproduction, 1987.”

Saskatchewan Science Centre

(Photo: Instagram)

Regina, Saskatchewan

Adult Science Night

Indulge your inner scientist at the Saskatchewan Science Centre’s monthly event that lets adult visitors geek out – without having to wade through school groups. One month, attendees used wiggle cars to barrel-race, in honour of Saskatchewan’s farm show, Agribition; during another, they participated in a human version of Hungry Hungry Hippos (picture people on moving dollies using a basket to pick up the balls). It’s a concept that’s proved popular: The first event drew a modest crowd of eight; four years later, the museum welcomes about 250 participants for each edition.

Royal BC Museum

(Photo: Connor Stefanison)

Victoria, British Columbia

Night at the Museum

Uncover the secrets hidden among the relics at the Royal BC Museum during a family-friendly sleepover where visitors get to take part in activities inspired by the latest exhibit. For Mammoths: Giants of the Ice Age, participants took part in a mock archeological dig. For 2017’s Family: Bonds and Belonging, the museum was transformed into a sleepaway camp complete with tents, crafts and a giant pillow fight. Though the event is geared toward children and their parents, it’s gained so much traction since it debuted five years ago that last August the museum launched its first adult camp – because who says kids should have all the fun?

Royal Ontario Museum

Toronto, Ontario

Friday Night Live

For nine weeks in the spring and fall, the Royal Ontario Museum is turned over to revellers who mix and mingle as DJs spin tunes and musicians perform on stage. Recent acts include Ashley MacIsaac’s FDLER and legendary singer-songwriter Carole Pope. Over the years, the event has grown to more than 3,000 weekly attendees and regularly takes over the entire building. While nibbling snacks from local food vendors, you’ll also get the chance to peruse the galleries and exhibitions within the museum, many of which inspire #FNLROM themes, like a recent exhibit of glass sculptor Dale Chihuly’s work.

Ottawa, Ontario

Global Tastes International Food Night

Broaden your taste buds at the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum with a monthly workshop created in collaboration with chefs from local restaurants and embassies. During every event, the invited chef demonstrates how to prepare a number of different dishes from their native country, which attendees then get to sample. For the June workshop, held in partnership with the city’s Capital Ukrainian Festival, chef Tim Wasylko (formerly Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s executive chef) showed participants how to cook Eastern European classics like perogies, cabbage rolls and borscht.

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