The night of December 5 to 6 is traditionally the time that Saint Nicholas brings presents to children. Not to disturb the saintly man during his work, it might be a good idea to go out into town that evening. Ten museums in Ghent open their doors after sunset on Thursday 5 December. It will be an unforgettable night trip through Ghent, full of performances, special exhibitions, music and street food.
Let us start at the bottom, or no, actually underneath: the STAM (Museum of the City’s History) explores subterranean Ghent with the exhibition "Underground". What is hidden under houses and streets? Take a flashlight and descend towards the center of the earth. And the hungry get served what? All-you-can-eat potatoes of course! Between 4 and 8 p.m. there is also a specific tour for children, where they meet the underground animals of Studio ORKA.
The House of Alijn elaborates on its current exhibition "My Army Service", which evokes memories of conscripts in the twentieth century. After the exhibition you walk on to the barracks, where you are examined by an army doctor, or you stop by the army barber. The hair clipper is waiting for you to give you a crew cut and the drill sergeant is already roaring.
In the Industrial Museum MIAT you can take a look at the brand new printing press. You wander around in the semi-darkness to the rhythm of the machines of the old cotton factory, from one exhibition to the next. The Museum of Fine Arts gives a preview of the major Van Eyck exhibition of 2020. In the restoration studio you can admire the restored center panel of the Ghent Altarpiece, and thanks to a photo booth and some digital trickery you can become part of the Altarpiece yourself.
The SMAK, the World of Kina and the Dr. Guislain Museum provide quirky music. The Design Museum plays with clothing patterns and the Saint Peter’s Abbey gives a glimpse of birth, marriage and death throughout the world in the "Circle of Life" photo exhibition. A new stop on Museum Night is the Arts Hall in Ghent, where words and items of clothing are combined in original ways: you can experiment with texts on t-shirts, socks or other clothing. From 11 pm you can finally visit the Charlatan on the Vlasmarkt for the afterparty.
You can find more information about the Museum Night here
. Finish the evening in beauty and comfort and reserve a room at the Astoria hotel
. The next morning you will indeed feel as if Saint Nick has paid you a visit.