With many of London’s landmark cultural venues adding late-night, adult-friendly events to their programmes, we say it’s time to avoid the sweltering rush hour commute and take advantage of the long summer evenings. Culture vulture Amy Dawson profiles some of the best ‘Lates’ – from shark-spotting at London Aquarium to nosying round the Mayfair apartment that Jimi Hendrix once called home.
Hendrix Flat Friday Late at Handel & Hendrix In London
This Mayfair museum is dedicated to Baroque composer Handel and psychedelic rockstar Jimi Hendrix, who lived next door to each other (but 200 years apart.) Their upcoming late will celebrate Hendrix’s legendary headline slot at Isle Of Wight festival in 1970, and you can expect both go-go dancers and an exhibition of rarely seen photos.
Aug 24, 7pm, £25.
Science Museum Lates
This Kensington institution devoted to mind-expansion and dazzling science throws open its doors once a month for an adults-only late opening offering workshops, talks, drinks and brilliantly nerdy fun. The next instalment is all about medicine, while the August late will be themed, rather magically, around the circus – so roll up, roll up to the after hours big top.
Jul 25, Aug 29 and the last Wednesday of every month (except December), 6.45pm-10pm, free (but some events may require a ticket).
Summer Frights at London Dungeon
If you live for thrills and chills then look no further than these adults-only lates. You’ll be given a fortifying cocktail, and encouraged to delve into the dressing up box, before enjoying a much darker version of the usual London Dungeon experience. You’ll also have the chance to be freaked out by LD’s brand new show, Séance.
Sep 6, Sep 7 and Sep 8, various times, £25-£29.
Sea Life Lates at London Aquarium
You’ll be sharking for glasses of Prosecco at this adults-only opening for marine life lovers, where you can appreciate the creatures of the deep while avoiding the usual crowds of excitable school kids. Experts are on hand to answer your questions as you marvel at cute turtles, kaleidoscopic jellyfish and, of course, the sharks.
Sep 7 at 7.30pm and Oct 26 at 8.30pm, £29.
Lido Lates at Brockwell Lido
You may have noticed that London has been somewhat sweltering of late. Chill out in style by this glorious art deco pool, which will be specially decked out with Insta-ready floats, music, fountains, a wood-fired aromatherapy sauna (if you’re not quite hot enough) and cocktails. You might even dive in for a dip, too. July is sold out, but you can snap up tickets for August and September soon.
July 25 and 27, August and September dates to be announced shortly, £20.
Summer Lates at St Paul’s Cathedral
Christopher Wren’s iconic London landmark is opening up at twilight for certain nights this summer, giving you the chance to climb that famous dome and grab some seriously beautiful sundown panorama snaps. Trial the famous acoustics in the Whispering Gallery, check out some stunning architecture, or just sit quietly and absorb the special atmosphere.
Jul 26, Aug 9, Aug 16, Aug 23 and Aug 30, 6.30pm-9pm (last entry 8pm), £8-£18.
Friday Late at V&A
The V&A lays on a beautifully curated night out, perfect for culture vultures, on the last Friday of every month – complete with live performances, DJs, drinks and late-night exhibition openings. This month’s late Mirror Mirror is all about our image-obsessed age, and disrupting assumptions about physical appearance.
July 27 and the last Friday of every month (except May and December), 6.30-10pm, free.