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Night at the Museum: Play School

Night at the Museum: Play School

Friday 17 June 2016, 6pm to 9.30pm

Join us for the biggest kids’ party, just for grown-ups, as we celebrate 50 years of Play School.

There’ll be games to play and stories to tell, craft and clocks, and old friends as well. Book now to take a trip down memory lane.

Get ready to meet Big Ted, Little Ted, Humpty & Jemima!


Over 18s only

Pre-sale tickets: $15 (booking fees apply)
Tickets at the door: $18, on sale from 6.15pm
(all tickets include entry to the Happy Birthday Play School exhibition – usually $8)
Museum Friends full members free


Watch and listen

6–9.30pm Brother J
Spinning your favourite 90s nostalgia
Main Stage
6.45pm It’s Play School: feature talk
A sneak peek behind the scenes of the Play School exhibition with curator Dr Sophie Jensen
Visions Theatre
6.55pm and 8.20pm The Ridiculous Show
Axe-juggling Pablo Latona, purveyor of odd happenings, rickety logic and impossible stunts
Main Stage
7.30pm Gentleman Squeak, balloon artist
A dandy artiste specialising in the field of air, who takes requests (the weirder the better)
Main Stage
7.40pm Imaginary friends get in for free: feature talk
Is play important? What do imaginary friends tell us about kids? with Dr Evan Kidd from the Australian National University
Visions Theatre

Hoopbeat hula performance

Main Stage
8.15pm Neurological nostalgia: feature talk
What is nostalgia? Does it serve a purpose? with Dr Janie Busby Grant from University of Canberra 
Visions Theatre
8.55pm Swing Katz Canberra
Fun, friends and great swing dancing
Main Stage


6–9.30pm Penne, spirals and bows
Create a pasta jewellery masterpiece that mum and dad will love
Main Hall
6–9.30pm Pimp my party hat
It’s not a party without a party hat. No hat, no play!
Main Hall
6–9.30pm Box city
Remember when you were more interested in the box than the toy? Help us create a box city with a bit of tape and your imagination
Main Hall
6–9.30pm Play School presenter green screen
Channel Benita and John by creating your own Play School set for projection on our big screen
Main Hall
6–9.30pm Get messy mural
Put your worries aside and get messy with the greatest of craft activities
Visions Theatre


6–9.30pm Open wide come inside  
See Big Ted, Jemima, the Rocket Clock and the Windows in our Play School exhibition
Play School exhibition
6–9.30pm Jumping castle
I don’t care how old I am, I’m going on the jumping castle
Main Hall
6–9.30pm I like to move it, move it: Hoopbeat hula hooping
No need for fancy footwork, the latest moves or the right gear. Just move it and enjoy!
Main Hall
6–9.30pm What’s behind the Windows?
Is it the Square, Round or Arched Window? 
Main Hall
6–9.30pm Silent disco
Dance to the beat of your own song with a selection of the best 90s hits
Lower Landmarks
6–9.30pm What’s that smell?
Smells that hit you right in the childhood. Can you guess the memory-triggering aromas?
Main Hall
6–9.30pm Quiet time in the book nook  
Chill out in the book nook with your old favourites Where’s Wally, Magic Eye and Little Golden Books
Lower Landmarks
6–9.30pm Hey there time traveller: Kspace
Create your own time-travelling robot and complete your mission through history and time


6–9.30pm Reload retro gaming consoles
Mario Kart, Crash Team Racer, Sonic and Super Mario Bros
Main Hall
6–9.30pm Giant rotating Jenga
We’ve put Jenga on a rotating disc, as if it wasn’t hard enough
Willmill landing
6–9.30pm Giant Connect Four
It’s game on for four in a row
6–9.30pm Giant checkers  
Go on, king me!
Lower Landmarks
6–9.30pm Museum memory
Take the challenge with our collection memory game
Lower Landmarks
6–9.30pm Stack attack
Race against time as you stack em’ up and collapse em’ down
Circa ramp
6–9.30pm Stocking knock 
Swing high, swing low ... how many bottles can you knock down in a minute?
Welcome Space
6–9.30pm Shake, rattle and roll
Race your friends in the ultimate minute-to-win-it game
Windmill landing

Please note times and performances are subject to change; numbers in the Play School exhibition are limited

See the program on the Sched website

Eat and drink

Party food favourites will be available for purchase on the night at our Museum Cafe, along with a substantial dinner menu so your mum can’t get mad that you overloaded on sugar!

After party

There ain't no party like an after party. As the music winds down and the lights go on, it’s time to move to the after party hosted by Lucky’s Speakeasy Bar at QT Hotel, Canberra.

Come & Play at QT and get there with a free ride from Uber.

1. Download the Uber app and create an account
2. Enter the promo code ‘PLAYSCHOOL’ when prompted
3. Check the ETA, ‘REQUEST’ when you need a car, and enjoy the ride!

* Only available for new riders
* First ride only valued up to $20
* Only valid for travel within Canberra

More on the Uber website


Dress as your favourite childhood character.

Tips and tricks

  • Most performances are 10 to 15 minutes
  • The Museum Cafe will be open for food and drinks
  • There is a minimum purchase of $10 to use your card in the cafe. We have an ATM in the Hall, next to the Museum Shop
  • Free parking is available at the Museum. Try car pooling or walk from New Acton to avoid traffic.

Share the fun

Ditch the tin-can telephones from your childhood and stay connected through our social media channels by using #NMAnights and #OurNMA


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