Try this experiment: Mix adults with cocktails, dim the lights at the Science Museum of Minnesota and pass out 1,000 flashlights.

Then encourage partiers to make LED jewelry or play games with lasers while DJs set the soundtrack.

The anticipated result? Adults enjoy the museum sans the kid commotion — and then come back for more.

“Social Science: In the Dark,” from 6 to 10 p.m. on Thursday at the Science Museum, is just one of the stops on the busy Twin Cities’ cultural institution party scene. The Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Walker Art Center have both promoted after-hours parties for years. The James J. Hill Library has become a concert destination where a library card earns a free beer. Most events are open to all ages, but cater to those in their 20s and 30s.

“Social Science,” strictly ages 21 and up, was launched in 2011 as a quarterly event but proved so popular it’s now held every other month (with a different theme). It draws about 1,200 people for each party.

“A significant portion of our visitor base is adults without children,” said Chris Bauer, co-director of public relations at the Science Museum. “This is something specifically for them.”

Tickets, which can be bought at the door or through the Science Museum, are $12 for members of the museum or Minnesota Public Radio and $17 for everyone else. Admission to special exhibits and Omnitheater films is extra.

There’s a cash bar for drinks and food samples from local vendors, including Theo Chocolate, French Meadow and, appropriately enough, Sweet Science Ice Cream.

There’s no reason why smart and party can’t mix. □