The Science Museum of Minnesota will commemorate the darkest days of the year with a celebration of light and shadows.

Illumination, the museum’s event series scheduled to coincide with the winter solstice next month, will start Friday evening and continue on successive Friday and Saturday evenings through Dec. 28.

On those nights the Science Museum will stay open until 10 p.m. and the lights will be dimmed so visitors may “explore the science of light, shadows, and color within [the museum’s] darkened exhibit galleries.”

Special exhibits and activities, including shadow puppets and light-themed interactive art installations, also will be open to visitors. And the Science Museum’s new life-size T. rex puppet will roam the galleries.

“This is an event to celebrate the darkest time of year and for people to come and have a shared experience,” said Alison Rempel Brown, the Science Museum’s president and CEO.

Black Friday is one of the Science Museum’s busiest days of the year, a day when people look for fun things to do besides shopping, she said.

“The day after Thanksgiving is one of our peak attendance days,” Rempel Brown said. “Everyone has eaten tons on Thanksgiving and they want to get out of the house and move around.”

Illumination, designed for both families and adults, includes specially themed food and cocktails. It’s part of the nonprofit museum’s efforts to highlight local events, science and community rather than just rely on traveling exhibits.

“This is creating these experiences throughout the year,” Rempel Brown said. “We really want there to always be something happening.”

Science Museum officials are exploring other seasonal events, such as Spring into Life activities for the springtime and events to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.

Now in its third year, Illumination drew about 10,000 visitors in 2017 over one weekend and 32,000 last year over three weekends. It will run five weekends this years.

The event is included in the regular exhibit gallery admission, $19.95 for adults and $13.95 for kids ages 4 to 12 and seniors.

Advance reservations are available at or by calling 651-221-9444.