John Falk and Lynn Dierking have found that childhood museum visits are one of the best predictors of whether an individual will visit museums as an adult. I think I did not fully fall in love with museums until I was experiencing them vicariously through the children I was teaching, and whom I was bringing to museums three times a week for two years. Nonetheless, I do have some fond museum memories from my own childhood:
-The Capital Children’s Museum (now in the process of being relaunched as the National Children’s Museum), with its cave and giant bubbles. Are there museums where adults can go find secret caves? Please tell me about them.
-The Maryland Science Center, with all its interactives and the huge IMAX. My Girl Scout troop spent the night here once. We earned a science badge and then slept on the floor in sleeping bags, facing big windows overlooking the Inner Harbor.
-The Baltimore Aquarium. Just because I can find endless enjoyment in watching creatures move around in the water.
-The National Zoo and the Baltimore Zoo – especially the parts where children could pretend to be animals and hop around and climb on/in things.