Museums at Night 2010: South-East
Museums at Night is one of those events which proves cultural fare isn’t all about London if you live in the South. Sleep in Reading Town Hall courtesy of the Museum of Reading, encounter trees and silhouettes at The New Forest Museum, have a glass of wine at the South Downs Museum in Storrington or check out "kick-ass animated shorts" in Brighton's Jubilee Square.
Over at the city's most haunted house, Preston Manor, there are tales from centuries of ghost sightings, and Brighton Museum's Sickert to Gertler show (see our review) has a special late opening until 10pm.
Dream Home, the hotly-tipped, voyeuristic interactive exhibition at the Phoenix Gallery, is also open late all weekend, as is the Toy and Model Museum on Friday.
Dream Home, at the Phoenix in Brighton, opens between 7pm and 9pm throughout the weekend
Illuminate the darkness in style with lanterns at Woking's award-winning Lightbox, "special effects" in the gloom of the Martello Tower housing the Seaford Museum or an exclusive private tour of Edwardian House Polesden Lacey in Dorking.
Ditch all things genteel and get hands on with a night operation training area at the Royal Marines Museum in Southsea, ancient myths at Fishbourne Roman Palace, life drawing classes in Worthing and a cosmic explosion at Southend Central Museum and Planetarium.
Light up a lantern at The Lightbox in Woking. Photo: Peter Cook
History fans also have plenty to enjoy, notably at Gravesend Cold War Bunker, where historians will be guiding visitors through re-equipped rooms capturing the tension of Cold War Britain, and the University of Reading's Ure Museum of Greek Archaeology, where experts will introduce the nation's fourth-largest collection of Greek ceramics alongside a hoard of Egyptian gems.
Explosive stuff at The Hovercraft Museum in Lee-on-Solent
The historic dockyards of Portsmouth and Chatham come up with a torchlight trail and murder scandal for their openings, and anyone within cruising distance of Lee-on-Solent's Hovercraft Museum will probably spend the rest of the year ruing their decision if they miss out on seeing the Top Gear ice-cream van amid a fleet of ancient naval film stars.
Museums at Night events are being added all the time. Don't forget to check out the Museums at Night homepage to find out what's going on near you.