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Love After Dark @ Cranbrook Science Institute – Event recap

I have to say that I’m loving this new movement where museums have late night events to keep the community involved. This is my third After Dark event and I continue to have a great time. I am a big fan of the natural sciences, so anything held at Cranbrook is going to be on my must list. Since we’re only a few days away from Valentine’s Day, this event was focused on the science of love.

All of the CIS (Cranbrook Institute of Science) After Dark events start at 7pm and include a cash bar. Love After Dark had a selection of appetizers you could purchase, including spring rolls, shrimp cocktail, and strawberry and chocolate mousse drumsticks that were made right in front of you. I’m probably the worst food critic ever because I love all food, but everything I sampled tasted fantastic.

Except for the food and drinks, every single other activity was free, which made the night a lot more fun. We were there for a few hours and still missed a few things. Once you had your drink in hand and were exploring the museum, there was plenty to do. The first station we walked by was the “atmospheric hug”. It’s was strange as it sounds. You sit down in a giant, thick trash bag and they suck all the air out so you can experience what it feels like to sit in a vacuum. A lot of the more claustrophobic members of the group gave an immediate “hell no” but I’ll try anything once. It was weird and a little awkward and an experience I’ll never forget. I think my smile in this picture says it all.

From there we found the “Cupid Target Practice” station where you shoot some arrows towards a sheet with a target. One of my favorite things about this activity was that it was the right amount of “hard”. I’ve never fired a bow before in my life and after three failures, I was able to hit the target. Our more experienced members, Chris, was able to get it on his second try.

Right next to that was “Lyrical Love”, a trivia game where a group of people (four in the group I was in) are played a snippet of a music video and you have to pick the song. I was so sure I was going to win this and Motor City Geek’s Austin totally stole my win from me. But if he didn’t like pop culture as much as I do, we probably wouldn’t be friends. At least it was close!

The next section was right up my wheelhouse. Sex. (Because I’m a romance writer… obviously…) Local clinical psychologist and author, Dr. Myrtle C. Means, gave a brief discussion about sex in modern relationships. Dr. Means was a very eloquent speaker and it was fascinating to hear a public discussion about a topic that can become embarrassing fast. Dr. Means also wrote a pretty awesome sounding book that was complied after a clinical study where she talked to hundreds of couples about their single most pleasurable experience and put it all into one easy to digest recipe. Click here to check out her book! 

There were a lot of other notable activities. The museum had 14 hearts hidden throughout the museum and if you found one, you’d be entered to win a prize. (Chris and I both found one. Sadly we didn’t win…) There was a presentation given by anthropologist Cameron Wood about the clothing and accessories around the world that can lead to some horizontal relations.

There were some folks there from Pets and Things Reptile Emporium that had some snakes and lizards for the crowd to hang out with. There was also and X rated spider demonstration that turned a few heads.

Another unexpected highlight for me was the Taboo game. There were about 20 different envelopes filled with taboo ideas hanging from the ceiling. The dirty words were obviously the most fun…

Overall, we had a blast. The crowd wasn’t that big which was a shame. I really hope Cranbrook will put more money and time into the marketing of these events. I think that if more people knew there was something so cool right in their back yard, they’d be thrilled.  I also want to give a special shout out to John and Sarah. No, not the Terminator duo, but the awesome employees at Cranbrook who made our night extra special. Everything is better when the people behind the scenes have a passion and enthusiasm for the combination of science and fun!

Article and photos by Mallory, Austin, Melissa, and Chris.

Our gallery of photos from the event

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