Thursday was an evening of whimsical proportions at the 2011 Museum Dance at the American Museum of Natural History.

The space was splashed with pink lighting and cherry blossoms to fit the spring season. Tables were stacked with paper crowns to fit the theme of dressing as if you were attending the Royal Wedding the next day. Guests arrived in a mixture of medieval looking dresses, animal printed frocks and flamboyant Lady Gaga-esque hats in honor of the occasion.

The staff passed around Double Cross Vodka punch in gold crown cups, which was a concoction of Double Cross vodka, lemonade, cranberry juice and ginger ale among other things. The event was more studded with socialites than celebrities, although Steve Guttenberg was in attendance. Guests swayed to the musical stylings of DJ Jus-Ske, who played a lot of animal-related jams to fit the unique venue’s surroundings.

This was not just another UWS event, but a fundraiser to support the American Museum of Natural History’s scientific and educational programming. Saks Fifth Avenue was the main sponsor of the evening and part of their contributions was their addition to the silent auction ” the Ultimate Shopping Experience,” which included a $2,500 shopping spree, lunch at Cafe SFA and $400 to spend at the Saks Salon & Spa. Some of the other fun items included an actual Breakfast at Tiffany & Co., East Hampton Point Resort Experience, and New York Yankees tickets among other prizes.

The weather may have been dreary outside but you would’ve never known it from the reveling happening inside. The party was a cross between a British affair and an African safari, complete with rifle in tow. The Museum Dance, now over four decades strong, is the epitome of how the philanthropic elite unwind.

– Stephanie C.

Images via AMNH/D. Finnin and R. Mickens