Childhood Museum Visits

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.

I am on the right, visiting the National Zoo as a child. And now I work there! Photo by a family member or family friend


About Laura

Paralegal with Master of Arts in Teaching in Museum Education, frequent museum visitor, based in Washington, DC. I care about what museums can do, both in terms of public offerings and internal practices, to make the world a better place. I blog about museum education ("informed"), the social work of museums ("humane"), and visitor experience ("citizenry").
This entry was posted in National Zoological Park and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Childhood Museum Visits

  1. Elissa says:

    CCM isn’t my first museum memory, but it’s the one that sticks out the most–the giant bubbles, the career-play area, the sculpture of the Very Hungry Caterpillar . . .

  2. disciullo says:

    Wow, I don’t even remember all those things. I remember the cave and the bubbles. The coolness of those things to me as a little kid just overshadowed everything else. :-p

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s