A party goes better if the party venue is interesting. A wide range of parties have been held in the museum and guests often comment on their surprise at a party being held in a museum - and what a good idea it was! There is room for dancing, a disco or live musicians (live amplified music requires our prior agreement), and space for a buffet to be served by your free choice of caterer. Usually there is a bar set up on the first floor. Sometimes food is served downstairs, sometimes upstairs. We host parties with music on Fridays and Saturdays or other days when the following day is a public holiday. We've had Christmas, birthday, Bar Mitzvah and company celebrations, and we can advise you on how to make the best use of the building.
What We Offer At A Glance
- The museum is an attractive, waterside, Victorian heritage building, on two floors
- Parties take place in the exhibition galleries of the museum, surrounded by exhibits
- Up to 200 people unseated, up to 120 seated.
- You can choose any caterer you like, and deal direct with them.
- Banqueting furniture available
- Latest finishing time is 0100 Friday & Saturday, 2300 other days. The number of very late events we host is limited.
- Street parking is available in the evenings and at weekends, public transport is excellent
- Arrive by boat if you wish
- Live music permitted, subject to restrictions
- Hire of the museum starts from 1630 when we close to the public.
- Facilities for storage and preparations before and after the party.
- Excellent public transport is available including at night.
- Fully accessible to disabled people
- We can provide glassware, ice buckets, table covers, audio-visual equipment, logistics and bar staff if you wish.
Key Facts - More Detail
- The large room on the first floor is suitable for dining and then later for disco dancing and for barn dances or ballroom dancing. The ground floor is ideal for a reception before a meal or at the start of a party
- You can decorate the museum to your taste, but you may not need to do very much; it is attractive as it is.
- The museum has a limited facilities for preparation of food so caterers must be able to do most of the preparation of the meal in their own kitchens. You have a free choice of caterer.
- We can provide a disco sound system, a small sound system, microphones, projector, screen if wanted for your party.
- We can provide bar staff and logistics staff to set up furniture, install decorations etc. We don't provide staff to serve or handle food
- Exclusive use of the venue
- There are ladies and gents toilets on the first floor, and a unisex toilet on the ground floor that is accessible to disabled persons. Five toilets in total.
- You can have a live band if it complies with our noise control policy. Live music normally has to end at 2300
- Parking in the streets is free and usually available after 1830 weekdays and after 1330 Saturdays.
- Public transport is exceptionally good. King's Cross is one of Europe's biggest transport interchanges with numerous rail, Underground, and bus routes. Tow Night Tube lines serve King's Cross as well as several night bus routes
- Minicabs and cans can pick up from outside our front door
- You can book our meeting room on the day of the party and the day after, or all weekend, for preparations and storage beforehand and storage afterwards. This includes use of the kitchen.
- You can arrive by boat right outside our back door
No Dress Code
You normally have exclusive use of the venue so your dress code can be whatever you wish, from black tie to naturist. Why not choose a theme for fancy dress? You don't have to consider other events in the same building.
Add a boat trip
A boat trip on the Regent's Canal could bring your guests to the museum from Camden, Islington, or, time permitting, a starting point further along the historic Regent's Canal. Boats can be hired to convey up to about 70 people and the museum has its own mooring where guests can walk straight off the boat into the building. We can advise you about the arrangements if you are interested in this option to make your day extra special. Of course, you could also organise out-and-back boat trips for smaller groups as part of the fun!
Entertainment adds to an occasion and you can bring in a comedian, magician, juggler, or other entertainer if you wish.
Times and Availability
The museum is open to the public every day except Mondays, from 1000 to 1630. The museum is available for private functions from 1630 onwards. Our conference room is available to be booked for storage on the day of the function and also afterwards. This means you can have things delivered before 1630 on the day, your caterers can start preparing, and everyone can be ready more quickly once the hire period starts. If your guests are due to arrive before all the preparations have been completed, on the first floor, they will be happy enjoying a reception on the ground floor whilst catering staff complete their work. Guests should not normally arrive before 1630.
Most events held at the museum are for invited guests only, or for members of a club or society. If you wish to hold an event to which the public are admitted, or for fund-raising or profit, you will need to issue a Temporary Event Notice under the Licensing Act 2003. We suggest discussing your plans wth us at an early stage.
You can set up a bar and we suggest you ask your caterer to arrange staffing. Tables are normally all that is needed. We have plastic tubs available to use as large ice buckets for chilling wine. Provided that the host is paying for all the alcoholic drink, you do not need a licence. Alcohol cannot be sold in the museum without a licence. If you wish to have a cash bar this can often be arranged with a local public house. In all cases where money is to be paid for alcohol on the premises the museum must be supplied with a copy of the Temporary Event Notice issued to the local authority - a cash bar cannot operate otherwise.
We offer two sound systems for hire. Our disco sound system comprises two 300w active speakers, a small mixer, and a wired microphone (until 2300), with all the necessary cables, and speaker stands. This system is more than capable of filling the first floor with sound for disco dancing. It can be used by your own DJ, who brings traditional decks or just a laptop along. Equally, you can do-it-yourself using your own music player or laptop. We also offer a small PA system suitable for speeches, and for background music, usually on the other floor. You are free to engage a mobile DJ who brings his own equipment if you prefer, or to hire in equipment. External hire of a music system is normally more expensive than hire from us.
Live music performances are welcome provided they comply with our noise control policy. Live music normally has to end at 2300, but recorded music can continue to the end of the party if a late night has been booked. We don't host karaoke events.