- 20 January 2016
Our pick of the most exciting after-hours events taking place across the UK this season.
Heroes and Villains, Ashmolean Museum
Would you root for Batman or the Joker? Superman or Lex Luther? This super-powered late event reveals how heroes and villains have been represented across different cultures and historical periods through a roster of live performances, hands-on creative workshops and behind-the-scenes talks. Drinks available at the rooftop bar (29 Jan, 7‒10.30pm).
Feeling Emotional, The Wellcome Collection
To coincide with the museum's States of Mind exhibition which explores the bounds of conscious experience, this event delves into the vast spectrum of moods humans experience. Activities include laughter therapy, robotic demonstrations and the chance to design your own emoji (5 Feb, 7‒11pm).
Twilight Murder Mystery: St Valentine's Day Massacre, The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery
A less obvious choice for Valentine's weekend, your romantic evening at the gallery will be spoiled when murder is committed in the café. The Mow Cop Players transport you back to 1920s America where you are asked to help discover which mobster committed the crime. Your ticket includes a three course dinner and drink on arrival (12 Feb, 7‒10pm).
Late at the Library: Ghana Beats, British Library
Enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of Ghana at this after-hours event, which includes entry to the West Africa: Word, Symbol, Song exhibition, as well as live music and authentic food. Performances come from FOKN Bois, who combine politically charged lyrics with afro reggae and hip hop beats, Brixton based Yaaba Funk, and DJ and artist Larry Achiampong, who is the library's current composer in residence (12 Feb, 7.30‒11.55pm).
Celebrating Canaletto, Abbot Hall Art Gallery
This all-day extravaganza bids goodbye to the gallery's successful Canaletto exhibition. Craft your own masks, gloves and fans before joining the Canaletto Carnival Parade. As evening descends food historian and TV chef, Ivan Day, hosts a discussion exploring our love affair with Italian cuisine and its appearance in Georgian England. Performances of music and magic will continue throughout the night (13 Feb, 11am‒9pm).
Osterley After Dark Tour, Osterley Park
Written and performed by storyteller Lauren Hall, the tour begins in the spooky Tudor stable before taking you inside the manor where the lights have been turned down low. Your guide will share stories from the estate's 400 year history, from the sinister to the sad, the dark to the dreadful (13 Feb, 7‒8.45pm).
Pre-Raphaelites on Paper, Leighton House
A chance to see the museum's stunning Pre-Raphaelite exhibition – which showcases the collection of Canadian orthognathic dentist Dennis Lanigan – for free with your National Art Pass (usually 50% off entry). As well the 100 works on paper by eminent artists Millais, Rossetti, Watts, Waterhouse and Leighton himself, you can also take a stroll around the resplendent Arabic interiors of the latter's incredible former home (19 Feb, 18 Mar, 15 Apr and 20 May, 5.30-9pm).
Tattoo London: Art Macabre Life Drawing Salon, Museum of London
Sketch tattooed nudes at this life drawing salon session led by Art Macabre. As well as learning the tales behind their designs, you'll also have the chance to draw your own creations directly onto the models themselves. After the class you can visit the museum's Tattoo London exhibition and hear a talk from the curator. Drinks available at the late-night bar (25 Feb and 4 May, 7‒9.30pm).
Pub Trail, Handel & Hendrix
The museum's first Friday late – which will then become a regular monthly feature – takes you on a trail around the neighbouring homes of George Frideric Handel and Jimi Hendrix, during which you will complete activities devised by Composer-in-Residence, Hunter Coblentz. The route ends at the nearby Iron Duke pub, where all participants will be given 10% off their first drink (4 Mar, begin the trail any time between 5‒7pm).