Lates @ Science Museum

As I've mentioned in previous blogs, I take advantage of London's cultural opportunities far less often than I'd like, and particularly its museums; so often I'll be standing on a train platform and see an ad for this or that exhibition and think 'that looks really cool, I must go to that'. However, one of my goals for this year is to go to more exhibitions and museums, and I've started as I mean to go on with last night's trip to the Science Museum Late.

For those who don't know, Lates are after-hours, adults-only events held by museums and other attractions, normally about once a month and often with special talks and activities going on. Last night's event had a space exploration theme, so it included stargazing sessions, talks on the end of the universe, a silent disco, postcard workshops, live experiments to take part in (there is now a 3D photo of my face somewhere in Great Ormond Street Hospital's research), science-based comedy, a pub quiz and even getting to drive the Mars Rover and operate robots.

The highlight however was the Launchpad, which is basically a huge area full of interactive machines and experiments that you can have a go on - technically it's for kids but as the whole point of Lates is that there are no children it basically ended up being a bunch of adults having enormous fun messing about with levers and pulleys and building bridges and experimenting with heat and light and energy and all the rest of it. That's a really ineloquent sentence but I genuinely don't think it's possible to sum up how much fun it actually is. They also run the talks normally given to school groups; we went to one about rockets, complete with loud bangs and explosions and all the rest of it, and I was ridiculed by the presenter for my weedy attempt to push someone along in a demonstration of Newton's Second Law (and subsequently squealing like a girl when it was my turn to be pushed). But it was an absolutely brilliant evening and I'll definitely be going again next time if I can.

Science Museum Lates take place on the last Wednesday of every month - the next one is on the 29th February - and are free to get in, although there may be a charge for some of the activities.

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