Dance party museum style: Ottawa’s Nature Nocturne

Ottawa’s inaugural Nature Nocturne was held at the Canadian Museum of Nature Saturday January 26th (Photo courtesy of the Canadian Museum of Nature).

Ottawa’s first Nature Nocturne was held at the Canadian Museum of Nature  January 25th (Photo courtesy of the Canadian Museum of Nature).

Kimberly Senf (Twitter) is a displaced Montrealer living in Ottawa, by way of Halifax. She’s a librarian by trade,  currently working for the government as an information manager. An avid bookworm, she loves to visit the library and roam the aisles, lugging all-too-many books home each time. Dedicated knitter, coffee lover and garage sale enthusiast, she enjoys wandering around Ottawa neighbourhoods to find previously undiscovered pockets of the city. She’s also one of the co-founders of the retired Montreal blog, The Tragically Unhip.

Have you ever wondered what might happen if museums were open to the public at night?

These cavernous buildings filled with historic and cultural gems are the perfect place to host a night on the town with a twist. The Canadian Museum of Nature has found a way to get people interested in a different museum experience with Nature Nocturne – an evening of music, dancing and artistic delights, as well as the chance to explore the many exhibits on at the museum.

For more info, visit

Friday night marked the inaugural Nature Nocturne experience and before 10 p.m. the event was sold out to a mass of excited party-goers. Ottawa’s night owls ventured off Elgin Street and into the museum to experience not only the new exhibit, Nature Unleashed, but also the music samplings on offer by the DJ and to take advantage of a dance floor in the newly-renovated section of the museum.

It’s not every day that you get a chance to dance beneath a whale.

Social media was a huge part of the evening, as party-goers could tweet photos of their adventures, which were in turn live-streamed on a huge screen above the main staircase. Perhaps the only downside of the evening is how successful the event was, and the sheer mass of people that overtook the museum for the night. Next time around, I’m sure the museum organizers will add a few more coat check locations as well as another bar to the mix, so that everyone can spend a little more time dancing and a little less time waiting in line for drinks.

I will say that I do hope that the organizers include more entertainment and activities in the next iterations of the event. I attended a similar event in Sydney last year, Jurassic Lounge, which was an evening filled with music, various styles of entertainment, workshops, and even a scavenger hunt.

While drinks and dancing go hand in hand, it would be great to get more of the museum’s content intermixed with the monthly night at the museum events.

Either way, I’m keen to take my dancing shoes out for another night at the museum in February.

Thanks Kimberly! To see some great photos taken from the evening, head on over to the Ottawa Citizen.