For the first time in the museum’s history, it will remain open for 24 hours from Saturday 3rd
December. This will allow visitors to come in throughout the night for a last chance to see
its galleries and collections before it closes on Sunday 4 December at 5pm, preparing for
its new home in West Smithfield.
The weekend extravaganza will open on 26 November with London’s biggest table football
competition, inspired by the museum’s free exhibition Harry Kane: I want to play football
and the 2022 World Cup. Visitors will be invited to compete against players from the
Walking Football Association. Winning teams will be entered into a raffle to win a special
Museum of London prize, which includes an England shirt and poster signed by Harry Kane.
Winners will be announced on the museum’s closing day. This first weekend festival will also
offer families lots of creative fun, with arts and crafts, face painting, theatrical performances,
immersive tours, and pop-up musical performances to bring the museum’s galleries to life.
The second weekend (3 & 4 December) will allow visitors to move to London’s funky beats,
exploring the capital’s greatest hits from five decades from music genres such as disco,
punk, dub, and grime – from the 70s to present day. Sisu, a DJ platform showcasing women
and non-binary DJs and producers, will perform live in the museum’s Ellipse Hall, where
visitors can also see the museum’s free music display Grime Stories: from the corner to the
mainstream. They will also be running an exclusive DJ workshop, showing visitors everything
from beat-matching through to mixing techniques.
Night owls in the City will be able to visit the museum throughout Saturday evening and
into the early hours of Sunday morning to get their culture fix. During a late-night film
festival, the museum will show films and host discussions that celebrate the city of London.
Writer and director Gerard Johnson will be introducing his 2009 horror Tony, followed by a
live Q&A and a cult classic gangster film set in the centre of London. Visitors will also be
able to enjoy the museum’s galleries by night and see the treasures of its incredible
collection charting London’s history.
The Roman Bucklersbury mosaic, Oliver Cromwell’s death mask, a sword belonging to
Admiral Nelson, the Booth Map of Poverty, Selfridge’s art deco lifts, and a 1960s Beatles
dress are among the rare and unique objects on show at the museum. Actors from the
Walking Theatre Company will impersonate London’s historical characters, bringing the
museum’s collection to life. Visitors will have a last chance to see these items, alongside the
museum’s immersive pleasure gardens and Victorian Walk before the site closes.
The museum’s final day will be marked with closure celebrations inspired by the lighting of
Thomas Heatherwick’s copper cauldron sculpture for the 2012 London Olympics – a
symbolic passing of the flame from the museum’s past to the future and new home at West
London’s Greatest Weekends mark the culmination of the museum’s six-month programme
of events, activities and displays celebrating its 45-year history at London Wall, including
Black History Month, October half-term programming and a November special schools
programme. Families will be invited to go on a Roman family walk through London and
celebrate London’s Olympic history by creating their own Olympic torches, go on a sporting
objects treasure hunt, and show their dance moves during a workshop with DashDotDance.
The museum will reopen at West Smithfield under a new name – The London Museum. It
will welcome its first visitors to a festival curated by Londoners in late 2025 and open to the
public in 2026. The Museum of London Docklands will remain open to visitors throughout
and will become The London Museum Docklands from January 2023.
Sharon Ament, Director, Museum of London.
“We have planned a fantastic party to celebrate the Museum of London’s 45 years at London Wall and I look forward to welcoming visitors old and new to mark the end of an era with us.
The event is running on the 26th and 27th of November and on the 3rd and 4th of December. More info here.