Dragons After Dark: Seven Reasons You Should Go

On the fourth Friday of every month, the Academy offers Dinos After Dark, a pay-what-you-wish, family friendly event featuring the Dino Drafts Beer Garden in Dino Hall, special activities, live shows and the chance to roam the museum with a drink in your hand.

On Friday, November 23, we’re putting a bit of a spell on the event, switching it up for Dragons After Dark! That’s right, on Black Friday, witches and wizards (and their mugg—err, Thanksgiving guests), are invited to join us for a wild wand workshop, magic mayhem, wand crafts, dragon training, fortune-telling and more. Plus you can quench your thirst with some beverages from the Dino Drafts Beer Garden.

Here are seven reasons you should go:

1. You can attend a Wild Wand Workshop, featuring the cast of the Philly Improv Theatre. 

At 6 p.m. practice with other nervous first-years and confident prefects as you take a lesson from a funny, friendly professional witch or wizard straight from Hog—err, from the Philly Improv Theatre. Decorate your wand first in North American Hall, or borrow one of ours to finish and take home later.

2. You can watch magic mayhem unfold onstage, featuring the cast of the Philly Improv Theatre. 

Our wizard-world neighbors from the Philly Improv Theater “School of Wheezes and Whimsy” will make magic right before your eyes at 5 and 7 p.m. Their fully improvised show will be conjured by lectures on magical and mythical topics provided by area Muggle professors. Unpredictable, unrepeatable and unrepentantly funny, this is a one-of-a-kind performance you won’t want to miss. Adults and kids welcome!

3. You can discover the secrets behind fortune-telling tea.

Discover the mystical art of “tasseography” (reading tea leaves), learn about rare Academy botanical specimens and explore the remarkable soothing effects of plants. You can even make your own custom blend of tea to practice reading tea leaves at home.

Barn owl

4. You can get sorted out. Admit it, you’ve always wondered! 

Choose your favorite animals and attributes to get sorted into your house and wear your colors proudly. Will you be a cunning snake, a thoughtful raven, a loyal badger or a brave lion? Learn all about animals and what they symbolize in books and movies. Featuring live animals, fun make-and-takes and rarely displayed specimens from our research collection, this hands-on education station will make you believe in magic.

Yellow lizard wi

5. You can learn how to train your (mini)-dragon.

Dragons walk among us … as lizards! At this interactive tech cart showcasing our weird and wonderful live animal collection, check out some of our smaller live reptiles and examine their finer details. Compare them to towering giants — the ancient dragons on display in Dinosaur Hall!

6. You can check out some fantastic stuff at the Magic Mayhem Sorcery Station.

Fortune-telling? Enchanted tomes? INVISIBLE PETS? You never know what you might encounter at the Magic Table! Featuring the talents of the wonderful witches and wizards of Philly Improv Theatre, this station warrants a stop for some magical mayhem and silly sorcery!

Dinosaur Hall at the Academy of Natural Sciences

7. You can relax at the Dragons After Dark Beer Garden and taste buttery beer or dragon’s blood.

Enjoy “witches’” brews and “toadily” tasty tacos at this special edition of Dino Drafts, the Academy’s own beer garden in partnership with 12th St Catering. Make some magic with friends and loved ones while sipping fantasy-themed adult beverages (think a dragon’s blood cocktail) under a REAL dragon. (Okay, okay, it’s a T. rex. But still!) Partial proceeds from Dino Drafts: The Academy Beer Garden benefit the Academy of Natural Sciences.

And you can see the whole museum!

See everything you would normally see during a daytime visit to the Academy. Visit Outside In, do a scavenger hunt and meet some of our amazing live animals and buggy boarders. Immerse yourself in our tropical butterfly house, observe our technicians preparing real specimens in the Fossil Prep Lab, visit Xtreme Bugs and check out our dioramas. Gaze up at the dinosaurs–they’re especially enchanting after hours!

Skip the line and pre-register online!

love award

Dinos After Dark – Winner for Best Place to Drink With Your Kids from Philadelphia Family Magazine

Post by Mary Alice Hartsock

Photography by Mike Servedio