Adult Nights

Calling all cocktail chemists, social scientists and late-night naturalists! Each event features local experts, interactive games, and special activities tailored to the evening’s theme. Costumes encouraged.

You must be at least 21 years old to attend.

Upcoming Events

Friday, October 25, 2024 – More information coming soon!

Past Adult Night Events

Adult Nights (Taylor’s Version)

Friday, February 23, 2024

Drop everything now and meet us at the Museum for Adult Nights (Taylor’s Version)! Join your fellow Swiftie Scientists for a night of timeless tunes alongside the screaming color of the natural world. Are you ready for it?

Nocturnal by Nature

Friday, October 27, 2023

It’s spooky science season! Show off your best Halloween costume, dance among dinosaurs, face your fear on our mechanical shark and so much more. Enjoy interactive science stations, games, and exhibits, plus each floor of the Museum features its own specialty cocktail.

Social in the Shire

Friday, February 24, 2023

Gather up your Fellowship, it’s time for an Adult Night — our very own Social in the Shire! The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences becomes Middle Earth on February 24. Lay siege to Gondor, dance with dragons and show off your Tolkien trivia at this exclusive, 21+ event.

Nocturnal by Nature

Friday, October 28, 2022

Adult Nights are back! Come to the Museum’s spookiest Adult Night of the year, “Nocturnal by Nature!” Dance among dinosaurs, meet some Museum creepy-crawlies face to face and check out rarely seen Museum “oddities” at this premiere event. Experience the Museum at night while exploring the uncensored side of science. Each event features interactive science stations, music, games, local entertainment and special activities tailored to each evening’s theme. Beer, wine, themed cocktails and food will be available for purchase.

Starry Night

Friday, April 16, 2021

Gather around the glow of your computer screen and relax with a virtual evening under the stars. Learn how to light a fire without matches, explore stars across the galaxy and marvel at the science of s’mores. Play Trivia and guess which animals are coming to join the party in our Nocturnal Noises game.

Snowed In

Friday, December 18, 2020

Oh the weather outside may be frightful, but Adult Nights are so delightful. Get cozy in your most outrageous holiday sweater and join us for an evening of winter wonders and festive frivolity at Snowed In! Explore North Carolina’s impressive Tundra Swan migration and discover how to create your own electricity with household items. Play Trivia, discover unusual traditions from around the world and test your emoji fluency in our Merry Moji movie challenge. More details.

Ghouls Night In

Friday, October 30, 2020

It’s Halloween!!! Save your candy, and trick ‘r treat with the big kids – Adult Night style. Put on your favorite costume and join us for a night of virtual thrills and chills at Ghouls Night In! Discover nocturnal creatures (dead, alive, and possibly the living dead). Curate your own collection in our home scavenger hunt. Play Spooky Trivia and our own horror howls edition of Name that Tune. More details.

Life’s a Beach

Friday, July 10, 2020

Skip the sunscreen and curl up with your favorite beach towel and umbrella cocktail to enjoy an evening of sun and sand at home. Escape to our virtual beach for tales of sea turtle rescues, baby pelicans, the ABCs of Sex and the Sea, and beach-themed Trivia and Picturenary. More details.

Virtual Game Night

Friday, May 22, 2020

Come play with us! Explore new gaming technologies, meet local game developers, discover how to synthesize your own game tracks, play trivia and more! Segments include: Design Epic Games with Josh Markiewicz, Lead Programmer at Epic Online Services; Getting Board in Nature with Elizabeth Hargrave, Board Game Designer; Synth Your Own Game Sounds with Senator Jaiz; and Game trivia.

Game Night Event Recording

Wild Love

Friday, February 14, 2020

Grab your BAE or your BFFs and join us for a Valentine’s Day to remember as we explore the science of courtship, reproduction and parental care in the natural world. Discover how animals flirt, flaunt and impress potential mates. Learn about aphrodisiacs, femme fatales, baby daddies, monogamous mates, and the original Cupid’s Arrow.

Wild Love Photo Gallery

Halloween at Hogwarts

Friday, October 25, 2019

Guests stepped through to Platform 9¾ and were transported into the magical world of Harry Potter. You practiced your Defense Against the Dark Arts, vanished with our Invisibility Cloak or took in a game of Quidditch and made this a night to Remembrall!

Halloween at Hogwarts 2019 Photo Gallery

Natural Selections

Friday, August 16, 2019

Guests joined North Carolina brewers at the NC Museum of Natural Sciences for our sixth annual Natural Selections event.

At this one-of-a-kind evening of beer and science among the Museum’s dioramas, guests sampled unique creations fitting our natural science focus from more than 20 North Carolina breweries. Hands-on science of beer activities, games and live music highlighted the evening.

The fourth annual Natural Selections People’s Choice Award was awarded to: Cotton House Craft Brewers’ Mesopotamian Style Beer!

Natural Selections 2019 Photo Gallery

Art Dissected

Friday, May 10, 2019

We peeled back the layers of artistic expression to show the science underneath: how it’s created, how we perceive it and the inspiration we find in the natural world. Guests learned how ballet dancers balance on their toes, saw the secrets of paintings revealed under X-rays and discovered how scientific illustrators reconstruct animals from the past. They also engaged with local artists, created their own masterpieces, and danced to their own beat in our silent disco.

Art Dissected was presented in collaboration with the NC Museum of Art, NC Symphony and Carolina Ballet.

Art Dissected Photo Gallery


Friday, February 22, 2019

Guests threw down a few clams for some giggle water and cut a rug to live jazz by Sidecar Social Club. They got the lowdown on Prohibition in NC, tested their chemical sense, raced hot rods, cracked the bootlegger’s code, and got to know popular 20s slang and more. The event featured a private VIP entrance under the Globe. It was the Cat’s Pajamas!

Speakeasy Photo Gallery

The Upside Down Halloween

Friday, October 26, 2018

We hopped on our bikes and traveled to the Upside Down! Guests enjoyed a strange experience filled with themed science stations and activities before dancing the night away in the SECU Daily Planet Theater to hits from the 1980s.

Upside Down Halloween Photo Gallery

Natural Selections

Friday, August 17, 2018

A full house joined NC brewers at the Museum for our fifth annual Natural Selections event!

This one-of-a-kind evening of beer and science took place among the Museum’s dioramas. Guests sampled unique creations fitting the Museum’s natural science focus from more than 20 North Carolina breweries. The event featured hands-on science of beer activities, games and live music. Guests voted for their favorite beer during the event and we awarded the third annual Natural Selections People’s Choice Award to Big Boss Brewing Company!

Natural Selections Photo Gallery

May the Fourth Be With You

Friday, May 4, 2018

This IS the event you’ve been looking for! Guests explored new galaxies, ecosystems of distant worlds and cutting edge technologies in a galaxy not so far away. We used the Force to separate the science from the fiction in the Star Wars universe.

May the Fourth Be With You Photo Gallery

Mardi Gras

Friday, February 9, 2018

Guests grabbed their krewe and joined us for our Big Easy bash as Adult Nights moved to Friday nights. They discovered the biodiversity of the bayou, tasted Cajun cuisine, fished for ‘gators, and weathered hurricanes. The event featured live music by Peter Lamb and the Wolves. View the photo gallery below and let the good times roll in “N’awlins”!

Mardi Gras Photo Gallery

Halloween at Hogwarts

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Guests stepped through to Platform 9¾ and were transported into the magical world of Harry Potter. They practiced their Defense Against the Dark Arts or took in a game of Quidditch at our Halloween Adult Night. Butterbeer, Potions class, and detours through the Forbidden Forest made this a night to Remembrall!

Halloween at Hogwarts Photo Gallery

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