Life In The Dark
Is there a big, Blue Planet-shaped hole in your life? Scratch that naturalist itch with this immersive new exhibition, all about incredible creatures which live in the dark. You’ll get the chance to smell the distinctive whiff of a bat cave, use infrared technology to see through the eyes of a cave boa, and goggle at beings which have adapted in bizarre but brilliant ways to a life without sunlight. “We share a fascination with creatures of the night, cave-dwellers and deep-sea fish because they are so unfamiliar to us,” says Amy Wedderburn, lead Interpretation Developer on the exhibition team. “Life in the Dark features an array of curious creatures, from screaming moths to orange crocodiles and the otherworldly dumbo octopus.”
Natural History Museum, Jul 13-Jan 6, 10am-5.50pm, £7.50-£12.50, Free for kids.
Yoga In The Dark
While candlelit yoga classes are increasingly popular in London, you can now go one stage further and try ‘Yoga In The Dark.’ It’s one of various ‘In The Dark’ events developed by the RNIB, raising money and awareness for people living with sight loss. In London, The Private Yogi runs pop-up blindfold yoga events in partnership with the charity. While the concept might seem intimidating, the level of focus it requires can help develop the mental clarity that yoga is all about. Yogis with all levels of sight are welcome in the class. “There isn’t as much falling over as you may think, we do a lot of floor work first,” says Charlotte Artiguas, co-founder and director at The Private Yogi. “There are wobbles but that’s part of the fun, it’s how we learn.”
The RNIB London, 5pm-7pm Aug 16, £10 (proceeds go to the RNIB.)
Dans Le Noir
No, your GCSE French is not deceiving you; dinner at the Dans Le Noir chain of restaurants really does take place “in the dark.” London is home to the brand’s only UK branch, which featured in the Richard Curtis movie About Time. Upon arriving you’ll choose from four surprise menus, some of which cater for vegetarians and vegans. After that, you’ll have to rely on your tastebuds and the waiting staff, all of whom are blind. The concept aims to offer a totally singular experience, which can intensify your other senses and your feeling of connection with other people.
In an age of algorithm-generated playlists and tinny smart phone speakers, Pitchblack Playback offers the chance to sit back, bathed in total darkness, and luxuriate in hearing an entire album on cinema quality sound. Founder Ben Gomori says, “I want people to experience albums in the same way they do films. You go in, switch off your phone, and forget about the outside world for a while.” The sessions feature a mixture of contemporary and older music, so you could listen to anything from The Weeknd to Fleetwood Mac. “It’s like musical meditation,” says Ben. “People always say they hear all these elements that they never noticed in the record before.”
The Institute of Light, every Tues at 7pm, plus various one-off dates and venues, £6.
Glow In The Park
If you like your workouts to feel a bit more like a night out, you need to try this neon-tastic 5k fun run which takes place after dark. Race your way between six special glow zones, motivated by dazzling light shows, UV paint blasts and uplifting music. Just don’t forget your head torch! The event tours around the country, and will hit London in September. Stephanie Olliff, operations manager for the race, says, “Glow in the Park gives a perfect excuse to get out there and enjoy the great outdoors, even in the dark. The upbeat tunes and special effects give an awesome vibe to keep your spirits up and those endorphins pumping.”
Kempton Park Racecourse, Sep 29, £23.50-£31.
Sensory Speed Dating
Tired of the Tinder tyranny? Had enough of Happn? Maybe it’s time to try some speed dating with a twist at this quirky get-together run by Guerrilla Science. While the event doesn’t take place in the dark, you’ll be asked to spend most of it blindfolded. The idea is that the blindfold will encourage you to communicate in a unique way, while you discover the science behind how each sense contributes to attraction. “Being blindfolded tends to break the ice, remove inhibitions and bring people together,” says Marissa Chazan, producer at the events. “People have to think about communicating in new ways, which is both exciting and sensual.”
Sensory Speed Dating will pop up at London’s Citadel Festival on Jul 15, before various soon-to-be-announced Autumn dates.