Our guide to Twilight at the Museums 2020: All the events in Cambridge and beyond
Adventure awaits this February half-term as museums across Cambridge open their doors for an evening of free after-hours exploration.
Twilight at the Museums is back, offering darkened galleries for torch-lit exploration and hands-on activities throughout the evening.
Families are invited to try out free special trails and activities across 15 venues, some of which will have outdoor entertainment and pop-up food stalls.
All the events
All events run from 4.30-7.30pm on Wednesday February 20, 2020, and are free. No need to book.
Saints, Shadows and Silhouettes
All Saints Church, 46 Jesus Lane, Cambridge
The popular UV torch hunt is back! Search for fantastic fluorescent figures, sit for a silhouette or tell a story using shadow puppets.
The Sedgwick Shadows
Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, Downing Street, Cambridge
Explore the Sedgwwick Museum after dark and search among the shadows to uncover fabulous fossils and marvellous minerals.
Twilight at Meeting Ground
Nuns Way Pavilion, King’s Hedges,Cambridge
Artists Wright & Vandame take over Nuns Way Pavilion for an afternoon of arts, crafts and spectacular lighting.
Freaky Flowers (and other weird plants)
Cambridge University Botanic Garden, Brookside, Cambridge
From plants that disguise themselves as pebbles to those that like nothing more than to eat shrew poo, there are some seriously freaky plants growing at the Botanic Garden. Enjoy a night-time adventure around the Glasshouses and find out about some of the most amazing species in the plant kingdom. Ring a torch.
Night at the Norris
Norris Museum, 41 The Broadway, St Ives
Create shooting stars and complete the shooting star gallery trail to earn a prize!
The Secrets Of The Statues
Museum of Classical Archaeology, Sidgwick Avenue, Cambridge
Rumour has it the statues in the museum have been known to come to life. Explore after dark with a special Twilight trail. The statues will be spectacularly lit in all colours of the rainbow... but you’ll still need your torch for the shadowy corners!
Experimental: Pop, Fizz, Boom!
Whipple Museum of the History of Science, Free School Lane, Cambridge
Alongside projections, illuminations and glowing gizmos, take part in a trail that follows only the bravest scientists’ experiments: those that wanted to try something different...
The Fitzwilliam Museum, Trumpington Street, Cambridge
Explore your senses and take a journey through light and dark. Discover torch-lit treasure, sensory activities, interactive theatre, stories, dance and studio art creativity.
Twilight at the Museums: Myths, Legends, and Fenland Tales
Wisbech and Fenland Museum, Museum Square, Wisbech
Arm yourself with a torch and join an evening of magical myths and captivating tales from near and far. Storytelling and crafts running throughout the event.
Science at Sundown
Cambridge Science Centre, Clifton Road Industrial Estate
Get hands-on with science to reveal the mysteries of light. What will you discover as the sun goes down? Pop along to find out.
Kettle’s Yard Through the Senses
Kettle’s Yard, Castle Street, Cambridge
Drop-in to Kettle’s Yard and challenge all your senses with a hands-on trail that takes you from squelchy clay to zingy lemons!
Pioneers of Antarctic Discovery
The Polar Museum, Lensfield Road, Cambridge
Meet the historic pioneers of Antarctic discovery. Including Captain R. S. Scott and Lois Jones, and take a turn through the new blackout sensory tunnel.
Twilight at March Museum
March & District Museum, High Street, March
Drop in and explore the museum by torchlight, solve the riddles and listen to a spooky story.
University Library, West Road, Cambridge
Pick up a trail and a torch and discover the trailblazing women who changed Cambridge University and the World.
Wicked Witches and Fantastic Folklore
Museum of Cambridge, 2-3 Castle Street, Cambridge
Get ready to follow the spooky trail. Explore items linked to witchcraft, ghostly tails and local folklore stories.
Headdresses, Masks and Wonderful Things
Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Downing Street, Cambridge
Don’t get left behind at Twilight, get ahead! Grab a torch and drop in to explore head-turning masks, headdresses and other wonderful things.
A Knight at the Museum
Chatteris Museum,14 Church Lane, Chatteris
Explore by torchlight and find the toy knights hidden around the Museum. Discover the history of the town on your way.
Beauty of Technology in Torch Light
Cambridge Museum of Technology, The Old Pumping Station, Cheddars Lane, Cambridge
Take a torch lit trail through the Museum’s large machinery and tools and try some puzzle solving along the way.
University Church by Twilight
The University Church, Senate House Hill, Cambridge
Featuring atmospheric lighting, a special family trail and interactive touch-screens, explore the historic church and discover more about its past.
Museum of Zoology, Downing Street, Cambridge
From amazing eyes to seeing with sound, discover some of the weird and wonderful ways animals sense the world around them.
Courtrooms by Candlelight
Huntingdon Town Hall, 53 High Street, Huntingdon
A rare chance to explore the historic 18th century courtrooms across the road from the Cromwell Museum by candlelight, with an atmospheric guided tour with the museum's curator.
‘Hugely popular family event’
Susan Miller, University of Cambridge Museums events administrator, says: “Twilight is one of our most popular family events, and it’s easy to see why!
“It’s an evening which seems to bring the whole city to life and the atmosphere is always brilliant. The event offers a great opportunity to explore our museums in a fun, out of the ordinary context, and is especially tailored to families. This year we would love to encourage families to seek out somewhere new – we have some real treasures to discover. We are proud to be able to offer such a rich variety of activities to families for free and look forward to welcoming everyone on the night.’’
This year’s event offers families the chance to get out and explore venues within easy reach of each other. From glowing gizmos to freaky flowers, shadowy statues to sundown science.
Take a trip to the Museum of Classical Archaeology to uncover The Secrets of the Statues; where the casts of classical figures will be lit up in rainbow colours. Rumour has it they’ve been known to come alive.
Then take a short walk down the road to the University Library to discover the world of trailblazing women. Then write your own letter to an inspirational woman.
The busy museum area of Downing Street offers up all sorts of happenings whether it’s head-turning headdresses and masks at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, illuminations, projections, glowing gizmos and experimental science at the Whipple Museum of the History of Science, fabulous fossils at the Sedgwick Museum, or weird and wonderful animal senses at the Museum of Zoology, where visitors can learn about amazing eyes to seeing with sound, and discover some of the weird and wonderful ways animals sense the world around them.
At the Fitzwilliam Museum, take a journey through light and dark with stories, interactive theatre, dance and studio art creativity and sensory activities along the way.
At the university’s Botanic Garden, check out its illuminated glasshouses where explorers will find out more about the weird - side of plants. From plants that disguise themselves as pebbles to those that like nothing more than to eat shrew poo, there are some seriously freaky vegetation growing at the Botanic Garden.
Kettle’s Yard will be offering more fun for the senses in a themed trail (think squelchy clay), while next door, visitors to the Museum of Cambridge can enjoy some spine-tingling, spooky happenings.
Head on down the road to All Saints Church to find a special trail using UV torches, while nearby Great St Mary’s Church will also be joining Twilight for atmospheric night-time discovery.
Get off the beaten track and head over to the Cambridge Museum of Technology which will be ‘shining a light’ on its magnificent machinery, or try the Cambridge Science Centre as they reveal the mysteries of light with some hands-on science.
Cambridge BID is sponsoring the event to provide queue entertainment at busier locations.
Twilight at the Museums runs from 4.30-7.30pm on Wednesday February 19.
More by this authorPaul Brackley