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Museums at Night

Thursday, May 6th, 2010
Museums at night
Museums at night

Just like Ben Stiller and Ricky Gervais now’s your chance to have “A night at the Museum” as Dorchester’s curators open their doors for you to enjoy an evening exploring these fine and varied facilities. Museums at Night 2010 is a special initiative, organised by Culture24 and takes place during the weekend of Friday to Sunday 14-16th May. The event is part of European wide celebrations of International Museums Day and is funded by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA)

Everything comes to life

‘Museums at Night’ is coming to town in a big way on Saturday 15th May. The historic county town of Dorset boasts no fewer than five superb museums and this initiative will see all five open to visitors from 5pm to 9pm.

We are blessed to have such a wealth of top quality museums covering a fantastic range of topics and themes. There is sure to be something to surprise and educate be it  Roman Britain; Tutankhamun; Teddy bears; Thomas Hardy; Dorset’s military history; Dinosaurs, or simply Dorchester’s rich history. Museums at Night promises to be a very special night offering families and individuals an unrivalled opportunity to explore and discover.

‘Museums at Night’ venues


Dorset County Museum

Dorset’s award winning County Museum located on High West Street is a fantastic base for exploring the history of the local area. The family friendly Museum has fascinating modern galleries, dealing with a wide range of subjects including archaeology, farming history, Dorset wildlife, art, history and literature with special emphasis on the history of Thomas Hardy and the Jurassic Coast.

Dinosaur Museum

For dinosaur lovers, Dorset has the Dinosaur Museum, most recently chosen as one of Britain’s Ten Best Child-Friendly Museums. Located on Icen Way in the centre of town, the museum is a real treat for children and it combines life-sized reconstructions of dinosaurs with fossils and skeletons to create an exciting hands-on experience.

Teddy Bear Museum

The Teddy Bear Museum houses a large display of teddy bears from throughout the last century starting from the earliest examples right up to today’s TV favourites.  Located on the corner of High East Street and Salisbury Street, the wonderful and varied displays offer sheer enjoyment for the young, and for the not so young, with a fascinating and nostalgic look at this much loved toy,

The Keep Military Museum

The Keep Military Museum is sited in an impressive prominent historical building located at the top of the town. It houses the splendid archive collection of the participating regiments that make up the Military Museum of Devon and Dorset. People of all ages can experience realistic battle environments, together with exhibitions and tales of courage, humour and sacrifice spread over 300 years.


The Tutankhamun Exhibition holds a spectacular recreation of Tutankhamun’s tomb and treasures. The Tutankhamun Exhibition opened in 1987 and houses the most comprehensive exhibition on the boy pharaoh outside of Egypt.

Bovington Tank Museum

Away from the town centre, but most certainly not to be overlooked, the Royal Tank Regiment Museum located at Bovington is also joining in this special event. On the evening of May 15th, you can experience how the Army and tank crews have operated in darkness, from World War One to the present day in an extra special night at The Tank Museum. For this special evening you will be able to experience a torchlight tour of The Museum, try out state of the art night vision equipment with the Export Support Team, watch a night time vehicle exercise by the Army and discover what it’s like to crew a vehicle in the dark.

Special admission ticket

There is a special ticket available for the evening of 15th May only, giving you admission to all six museums. Advance family tickets can be purchased for £6 from any of the ‘Museums at Night’ participating museums or from the Tourist Information Centre. Special tickets purchased on the night will be £10. Five of the museums are within a short walk of each other and Culture 24 have produced a Google map listing all the participating ‘Museums at Night’ venues and their locations.

Many of the high quality restaurants, cafes and pubs in the centre of town are linking in with ‘Museums at Night’ with special offers for those on the museum trail. The town will be sure to have a special vibrant atmosphere on the night so come along and enjoy a really great evening out.

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