Present by the South Australian Museum
The South Australian Museum’s quarterly Night Lab took over the complex last Friday for another evening of adults-only adventure.
The Night Lab began at the 2021 Adelaide Fringe as a one-night only experiment to let adults explore the museum in fun and unusual ways, kid-free. Its success launched a quarterly program with each Night Lab offering a different theme and a variety of new and favourite activities.
Returning each Night Lab is the DJ and dance space on the ground floor, a chill-out zone, staff and volunteers in costumes, and a series of short talks and presentations through the night. The talks were once repeated several times, allowing flexibility and a more casual evening but sadly, most talks only occur once during the evening nowadays, sometimes overlapping and often making for a less relaxing time as punters are forced to schedule their other activities around it or miss out.
The Snow Ball theme of this most recent Night Lab turned the museum into a winter wonderland with Bella, an RSPCA husky ready to be patted and photographed, and the Discovery Centre, usually reserved for school groups, opened to present displays on ‘feeding, feathers and flippers’. The award-winning Thin Ice VR experience returned exclusively for the night, offering a breathtaking immersive adventure alongside Sir Ernest Shackleton on his disastrous 1914 journey to the Antarctic. The learning space connected three distant venues across the state in a fascinating augmented reality installation, while Techspace Learning once again took over the Ediacaran Gallery with an interactive race against the clock to recover a relic by controlling a mini-submersible.
As a bonus, punters also gained free access to the Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize 2022 ticketed exhibition, and two Illuminate Festival installations being hosted on the Museum grounds.
Night Lab sets up bars, music and games throughout the venue, adding to the joyous atmosphere and sense of discovery between programmed activities. The lack of kids also gives adults free range to walk around with their drinks uninhibited. The imagination and effort put into each event is a credit to the Museum staff who stay on late to run it after a full day’s work.
With Night Lab now a regular quarterly event on the SA Museum’s calendar, it’s one to add to your schedule too.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis
- Visit the South Australian Museum website