PORTLAND, Ore. – Since 2008, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) has hosted an after-hours experience for the 21+ crowd. Guests can explore the museum, learn unique and obscure scientific principles, and sample a variety of local food with beverage in hand.
Held monthly, OMSI After Dark is a science-fueled evening of food, drink, music, and fun. Each event highlights the science and ideas behind a specific theme, with interactive science demonstrations, local educational organizations, performance arts, and food and drink tastings. Past events have featured Animation, Oceans, Oktoberfest.
“OMSI After Dark is a special and often quirky way for people to explore the museum and enjoy science learning—without kids around,” said Sonali Shivdasani, senior event planner at OMSI. “Whether you’re here with a group of friends, or on a first date, you never know exactly what you’ll discover, or what new science might intrigue you.”
OMSI educators are experts at breaking down theme-related scientific topics and presenting them in easy-to-understand and interesting ways. The science demos at OMSI After Dark offer interactive experiences, where guests get to learn new scientific principles through hands-on experience and engagement with OMSI educators.
OMSI’s education partners benefit from their appearances at OMSI After Dark. They can engage with and educate event attendees, sharing their mission with a broader audience, while the attendees get the opportunity to learn something new at the museum.
Wild Orca recently educated guests about rare orca sightings off the Oregon Coast and their efforts to tag and track the orca population. Portland Indie Game Squad teaches people how to make video games, while testing their new video games with the public. The local game developer and enthusiast organization has brought their tech-savvy ingenuity to OMSI After Dark for over eight years.
Supporting Local Business
Participating in OMSI After Dark events offers small businesses in the community an opportunity for them to share and discuss their product with a new audience. For many of these businesses, OMSI After Dark is part of their monthly routine.
“We love being a part of OMSI After Dark,” said Holly Wand, the owner of Nothing Bundt Cakes. “You connect with a whole new demographic or audience that you may have missed. We have gotten many new customers from our time at OMSI After Dark—and the people watching is the most fun!”
The museum hosts about 15 After Dark events each year. Approximately one-third are ‘tasting’ events, where the focus is on local beer, wine or cider. With 1,000 to 1,500 people at these events, local breweries, distilleries, and vineyards gain exposure and share their products with a new audience. Like other small businesses, there are organizations that have been attending for years.
“OMSI After Dark is one of my favorite events,” said Paxton Scott, the Northwest marketing manager at Ground Breaker Brewing. “They are always well-attended, and our gluten-free brewery and restaurant receives a ton of promotion during those four hours. Be prepared to pour a lot of beer and have a lot of fun.”
Tickets to OMSI After Dark are $16 for non-members and $8 for OMSI Members. Prices vary for tasting events and the featured exhibit. For more information, visit omsi.edu or call 503-797-4000.
2020 Schedule: January – June
● Jan 29, Cards & Consoles: From the table to the screen and everything in between! Power up, gamers, and see how much play you can pack into one night.
● Feb 15, PrOMSI: Tease your hair to the heavens, take an awkward photo with your date and hit the pre-spiked punch.
● Feb 26, Winter Ale Fest: Hop to it! Warm up with these winter ales and learn the science behind brewing.
● Mar 13, Burgers & Bourbon: Raise a glass to these two all-American traditions! Get a look at the bold and savory science behind the beef and bourbon.
● Mar 25, Under Your Skin: Cut to the heart of the matter and understand your body from the inside out.
● Apr 29, Party for the Planet: Explore the science of sustaining the beautiful planet we call home.
● May 15, Fizzfest: Ain't no frustration when you're drinking carbonation! Get ready to get fizzy with it as you sample an array of tasty hard seltzers and canned cocktails.
● May 27, Classified: From ciphers to cybersecurity, we're letting you in on the science of secrets.
● Jun 24, Explosions: Blow the lid off the science behind blasts.
Founded in 1944, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) is one of the nation’s leading science museums, a world-class tourist attraction, and an award-winning educational resource for the kid in each of us. OMSI operates the largest museum-based outdoor science education program in the country and provides traveling and community outreach programs that bring science learning opportunities to schools and community organizations in every county in Oregon and throughout the region. OMSI is located at 1945 SE Water Avenue, Portland, OR 97214. For general information, call 503.797.4000 or visit omsi.edu. Connect with the museum on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.