A night at the (Australian) museum

Ectomorph or endomorph? Defining characteristics of amphibians and reptiles? Champagne in hand, I rack the depths of my brain to search for the lessons faintly imprinted in my brain by my year 6 teacher. I struggle to channel the days when answers were found in encyclopaedias (and Encarta) and reach for my phone to google the answer.

Discovery is the word of the night at Jurassic Lounge, where we wander through the entrance to be handed a drink by a bespectacled skinny-jean clad waiter bopping energetically around the bar.  An initiative by the Australian Museum to prove that you don’t need to be in school uniform to find dinosaurs fun, it transforms into a bar and performance space every Tuesday night.

A strange mix of professionals in suits, art students and indie rockers, the lure of drinks and live music in a place most of us associate with whispers and school excursions has widespread appeal.  

We find ourselves at a cross between an underground jazz bar and a dinosaur cemetery.  Following the lead of the crowd we grab some cushions, recline against the glass displays of amphibian fossils and enjoy the James Blunt-esque tunes of Dylan Hogan-Ross followed by giant puppets (aka the band Toy Death) who look like they have stepped directly out of my childhood nightmares and jolt us out of our relaxed reveries.  The crowd seems completely oblivious to the dinosaur skeleton suspended about a metre above their heads, with the pillows, dim lighting and live music reminiscent of a Brooklyn loft. 

We finish our drinks and make our way through the maze of the museum, surprised at the child-like wonder that each room inspires.  Endless entertainment is had at the ocean sensor table where a virtual shark “bites” your hand before disappearing back into the depths of cyber space. 

The reptile room gives us the chance to practice our drawing skills, and we find ourselves engrossed in following the step-by-step instructions and attempting to draw frogs (though I was unable to quite reach the standard of Carly, aged 6). 

Entering another room, we find an eclectic bunch of people bopping away – to silence. It is like stepping onto the set of “A night at the museum – the silent disco sequel” until I am handed a pair of headphones, notice the DJ in the corner and suddenly the dance floor comes to life. Watching people twirl each other to the disco beats, we resolve to come back after a few more drinks.

Jurassic Lounge provides a creative and intellectual twist to the standard mid-week after work drink.  Don your dancing shoes, BYO pencil and give your left brain some exercise!

Jurassic Lounge is on at the Australian Museum every Tuesday from 1 Feb - 19 April.  Entry is $15 and includes a free drink.