Night of the Museums
December 26, 2010 § 1 Comment
Here’s a crazy idea: let’s take a museum, switch the visiting hours from the day to the night, keep it open until 3:00 AM, and waive all admission fees. Finally, let’s convince 100 other museums to simultaneously do the same.
That’s exactly what happens one night a year in Buenos Aires for “La Noche de los Museos” or Night of the Museums. On a Saturday night / Sunday morning, virtually all of the city’s museums stay open until 3am and admission is free to the public. They also provide free booklets showing a city map of all the museums and a short description of each.
Keeping 100+ museums open at once isn’t cheap, and keeping them open at 3am on a Sunday morning seems like an imprudent expenditure.
But EVERYONE shows up — approximately 500,000 people so they claim. In one museum we went to there was barely walking space and in another the line was so long we couldn’t get in. The crowd includes all age groups: there are the families who come with little children (they get to stay up until 3am tonight), the seniors out for dinner and fine arts (in Argentina they stay up til 3am anyway), and the teenagers and twentysomethings who treat it as a their pre-party hangout.
Kasey and I met up with my friend Javier and his Stanford gang who were visiting from the states. We had a casual night of dinner, museums, and beers. I’m always amazed by how late people stay out in Buenos Aires, but this night was especially strange seeing families and children still packed into the ice cream parlor as we headed home a little after 3am.