Stay a night at the museum

Action Stations. Picture: Charles Cope.
Action Stations. Picture: Charles Cope.
Eugene Scanderfield with landlady of the Hayling Billy  Mandy Mather Picture Ian Hargreaves  (171085-1)

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IT’S going to be a night to remember at Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard.

The popular attraction is hosting Museums at Night, an evening of activities for youngsters and families followed by film screening and a sleepover.

Much of the fun will be taking place at Action Stations, which will be open for the event from 6.30pm.

Attractions operations manager Will Beasley says: ‘All the attractions at Actions Stations will be open as they normally are, so they will be able to have a go on the climbing walls, the flight simulators and the Laser Quest.

‘Then we will head into our cinema where we will show a film, most likely to be one of the Night at the Museum films, because that makes sense, and then it’s off to bed.’

Laser Quest involves running around a specially-constructed series of rooms with a pack and laser gun for 15mins. Points are collected every time an enemy player is shot, but points are lost every time an enemy player shoots you. Action Stations also has screen-based games, military uniforms to try on and a ‘play zone’ with giant versions of games including Jenga. There will also be activities taking place at the Royal Museum of the Royal Navy including a project to build a dockyard in miniature out of Lego.

Youngsters will also have the chance to design and wear their own Naval-style tattoo.

Will says this will be third year that the Historic Dockyard has hosted the event. He says people always enjoyed the chance to stay at a museum.

‘We get a fair bit of interest from cubs and beavers and also families love it because it’s a rare chance to sleep in the museum for the night.’

People sleeping over can bring sleeping bags, roll mats and even air beds and sleep wherever they want to inside Action Stations.

The sleepover is aimed at youngsters aged five to 12 and is part of an annual nationwide after-hours celebration of arts, culture and heritage when hundreds of museums, galleries, libraries, archives and heritage sites open their doors for special evening events.

Tickets are £22 per child, and one accompanying adult per child goes free. To book, call (023) 9289 3338.