Museums at Night 2012: Your guide to this year's Science and Nature events

| 02 May 2012
a photo of the exterior of the National Space Centre in Leicester
© National Space Centre

Museums at Night 2012 is packed with Science and Nature themed events - here's a selection. Just click on the highlighted venue name to find out more...

Across the Universe...

Musical stargazers will be heading to , where a stellar solar journey is accompanied by Holst’s The Planets, or there’s stunning stargazing at and which reveals the wonders of the universe as experts build a moon dial and workshops reveal the mysteries of the universe.

At The Observatory Science Centre, near Hailsham, the telescopes will be trained on Mars and Saturn. is going mad about the moon with a night of peering through telescopes, and at the (above) there will be lots of stargazing with talks, workshops and planetarium shows.

An evening event called Space is Ace at at Wantage sees space scientists, robots and films celebrate 50 years of the UK’s involvement in space exploration. At the , near Oxford, the history of astronomy is also revealed in a special night-time astronomical workshop. 

Finally, for the astronomically inclined, will be inviting visitors to tour the night sky from the comfort of the observatory armchairs - a perfect night-time treat.

a photo of children looking at a beetle collection
© Photo Zagni Photography
Animals, Dinosaurs, Surgeons and Scientists...

When it comes to exloring the animal kingdom, the night seems to bring out the best in museums for the Museums at Night weekend.

There are bat activities at and moth hunts at and .

Investigations at will focus on the local owls, and animal handling sessions are accompanied by brain busting quizzes at .

The Animal Fantasies exhibition opens for a twilight preview at or you can explore the bones, animals and other specimens in the store and conservation facilities at and .

Alternatively, watch artist and taxidermist Polly Morgan in action amid the many anatomical specimens of .

Dinosaurs make an appearance during Museums at Night at in Dorchester or, if you prefer modern day reptiles and creepy crawlies, then head to or the Moth Ball at

in Lincolnshire is promising a really wild night based on their resident Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, and a Night of Rainforests Sleepover at offers treasure trails and encounters with snakes and spiders.

Things take a sinister medical turn at , where the scary barber surgeon will cure your aches and pains. will also be amputating your limbs, and the surgical pioneer Thomas Wakley will be celebrated at .

Things go decidedly atomic at , who are celebrating the opening of their new Dounreay Exhibition, while ’s night time offering promises to uncover the glowing magic of Uranium Glass.

With hosting an elaborate evening of discovery and codes based around the early life of Alan Turing and the wonderful in Scarborough promising to bring its fossil collection to life through puppetry, it looks like the varied world of science and nature will be packing them in for Museums at Night.

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