Night Owls: An autism and sensory-friendly night out for adults
Dress up and visit the Australian Museum after hours in a controlled sensory, relaxed and supportive atmosphere.
Night Owls provides an exclusive, fun night out for those who prefer a controlled sensory, relaxed and supportive environment in which to experience the Australian Museum after hours. With a curated program designed with an adult audience in mind, Night Owls helps to make visiting the Museum easier for autistic people and for those who have other access requirements.
- From 6pm you will be able to buy tickets to see our newest exhibition, Sharks. Submerge yourself in the world of Sharks! In this immersive exhibition created by Australian Museum experts, visitors will go back in time to meet sharks’ ancient ancestors, come face-to-face with an 8m-long Whale Shark, and uncover their extraordinary adaptations with interactive displays, touchable specimens and objects from the AM collections.
The exhibition will be adjusted for a low sensory experience with reduced lighting and sounds.
Additional charges apply for exhibition entry. You must register for Night Owls first. You will be given the option to purchase tickets to Sharks during registration. Entry to the exhibition is timed and capacities are strictly limited. You can purchase tickets at the Admissions Desk on the day unless sessions are sold out prior. Please book early to avoid disappointment.
- If you become an AM Member you can receive FREE tickets to Sharks! Call the Members team on 02 9320 6225 and join today!
- A supportive environment with limited visitors after hours.
- Lighting and sound will be adjusted for a controlled sensory experience with signposted activity times.
- A designated quiet area for those needing to take a break.
- A Visual Story with more details on what to expect.
- Staff trained in autism awareness and disability.
- Pop-up bar open for drinks and light snacks.
- A silent disco plus activations in selected gallery spaces.
- Games, talks and activities.
Night Owls is designed for autistic people and those with sensory sensitivities. Features of this event may also benefit visitors with other access requirements and their families or friends. This event is recommended for people aged 16+.
Night Owls events align with the Australian Museum's Accessibility and Inclusion Action Plan 2018-21 (AIAP) to break down barriers that hinder the full and effective participation of people with access requirements, and create a place where everyone can be inspired to explore and understand our natural and cultural worlds.
Night Owls is a gateway event where visitors become familiar with the Australian Museum in a safe and supportive environment, in order to feel comfortable and confident visiting us again.
During the Night Owls event I may dress up if I would like. Dress up could include costumes such as superheroes or cartoon characters, my best or favourite outfit, or any other clothes that I feel comfortable in.
I will remember my dress up can’t show any of my private body parts, and if I wear something that covers my face, I must be able to remove it so security can see my face on entry.
- Night Owls events have limited capacity to reduce crowds, queues and associated noise.
- The Museum will have lighting adjusted and loud unexpected sounds, such as dinosaurs roaring, will be switched off or down.
- High sensory areas will be indicated on the Museum map and in the Visual Story.
- Hand-dryers will be turned off and paper towel will be available in toilet facilities.
- Designated quiet spaces will be available for use to take a break and reset before continuing on your Museum adventure!
The Museum closes to the general public at 5pm and will reopen at 6pm for the Night Owls event. The Museum closes for the Night Owls event at 9pm.
Everything you would do during opening hours and more! You can draw, listen to experts talk about their favourite scientific topics, take dancing lessons as part of our Silent Disco, have a glass of wine (if you're over 18) or a lamington.
This is the Australian Museum's very first Night Owls, but hopefully there will be more to come. Remember, if you miss out, you can always come to Early Birds which happens four times a year.
To be the first to know about our next Night Owls event, subscribe to our eNewsletter.
There is currently no onsite parking at the Museum. We recommend parking at nearby car parks and metered parking in surrounding streets. Enacon Parking on Cathedral Street has 11 accessible spots and is a 3 minute walk to the Australian Museum. This route has no steps. For more information please refer to the Enacon Parking website.
For more information on parking and public transport options visit our parking and transport page.
The Australian Museum is COVID Safe
To help keep our staff, visitors and community safe, the AM has COVID-19 protocols in place, including physical distancing, increased cleaning and hygiene practices. Facemasks are encouraged.
View our full COVID-19 safety information here.