Twilight with the Museums in Cambridge: Our pick of the highlights for February half-term 2023
Get set to explore Cambridgeshire’s museums after dark with the return of the ever-popular Twilight with the Museums, an annual February half-term programme of family fun.
Children and families are invited to a packed week of events at the county’s museums, whether it is visiting the collections by torchlight or dropping-in during the day for some hands-on craft sessions.
There’s a chance to descend into the Greek underworld to meet ancient gods and face new challenges, or to discover space-themed toys and become a ‘Space Explorer’. Visitors can also learn how to connect up carrots to a working computer, explore Oliver Cromwell’s own possessions or encounter illuminated animal skeletons at the Museum of Zoology.
Susan Miller, Twilight co-ordinator, said: “Exploring the collections of our local museums after hours has always been hugely popular with families and we are excited to be able to offer this experience once again. There is nothing like making a new discovery by torchlight! We are also pleased to be offering our family visitors a whole range of events and activities to choose from across the week. Rather than simply a one-night event, Twilight has developed into a fully-rounded package of holiday activities which meet a range of needs.”
This year the museums and Botanic Garden are hosting a number of bookable, after-hours, torchlit events across the week - the first since 2020 - all part of the broad programme of half-term activities which also includes daytime events across the museums and partner organisations, and unique events for families with children with special educational needs and disabilities.
Full details of all the events along with information on how to book are at museums.cam.ac.uk/theme/twilight.
Twilight at the Fitz - 3-6pm, Wed Feb 15
Join a family friendly exploration of the museum. See the galleries in a different light with creative workshops, storytelling and self-led guides.
Botanic Garden glasshouse adventure at night - 4.30-8pm, Wed Feb 15
Have a go at the Botanic Garden’s glasshouse adventure trail after dark and journey through dry deserts, freezing alpine conditions and lush tropical rainforests on the hunt for weird and wonderful plants. All ages are welcome at this special evening event in the garden’s glasshouse range. Free of charge. Booking essential.
Twilight at the Museum of Zoology - 4.30-7pm, Wed Feb 15
Are you brave enough to visit the Museum of Zoology in darkness? Bring a torch and walk around the galleries to see elephants, whales, spiders, fish, birds and beetles plus the museum installing some special coloured lights just for one night only. Booking is essential. Places are available from 4.30pm and the last entry is 7pm. Free.
Twilight at the Whipple: Space Explorers - 5-7pm, Wed Feb 15
Discover some of the space-related toys in the Whipple Museum’s collection and explore the museum in the dark. Tickets can be booked in advance. Free
Polar Pop-Up: Twilight at the Museum - 3-6pm, Mon Feb 13
Explore the museum with lights off with only your torches to guide you. Object handling and museum trails will be available.
Booking is required. You can arrive any time in your time slot but you must leave before the end time. Free.
Enter the Underworld: Twilight at Museum of Classical Archaeology - 5-7pm, Thu Feb 16
Are you brave enough to descend into Hades, the Underworld of ancient Greece? It is easy enough to enter, but very few manage to leave... Fortunately for you, the Queen of the Underworld Persephone has offered you the chance to escape if you can gather her six golden pomegranate seeds. See the Cast Gallery in a new way. Take a risk, meet gods, complete the challenges – and see if you can cross the river Styx to make your way back to the land of the living. Free.
Twilight at Kettle’s Yard - 4.30-6.30pm, Thu Feb 16
Interact with a new artwork exploring light and shadow created by artist Georgia Akbar and students from Castle School in the Clore Learning Studio. Enjoy carnival-inspired story-telling in the galleries among the current exhibition, Paint like the Swallow Sings Calypso. And make your own carnival head-dress at the pop-up art cart. Free.