The Late Opening of museums and galleries, particularly in London and many larger cities, attracts new audiences and gives collections a social buzz. The Museums Association published a useful guide to late opening with examples in its online Museum Practice in December 2012 here >>.
Late Openings often combine talks, tours, practical workshops, music and a pay bar to create a special ambience that is attractive to younger audiences. There is often a small charge for this to cover the costs of opening. For example on Valentines Day 2013 the Museum of London held Valentine@Late that also explored queer sexuality in 1920s London:
The Museum of London’s annual Valentine’s Day late is back with a 1920’s twist. Transport yourself to London of the roaring twenties! Learn to Charleston, make some decadent Art Nouveau accessories, listen to curators talk about 1920’s fashion and sexuality and enjoy authentic live music, cabaret and a Bloomsbury salon courtesy of Write Queer London.
Accompanied by performances, cash bars and a live DJ.
Late Opening in many museums and galleries has been supported by the annual Museums at Night weekend each May.