I am the Public Programs Manager at HistoryMiami Museum. We host a monthly free family day that currently offers programs mainly for families with young children. However, in an effort to offer more inter-generational programming we are thinking of adding scheduled adult oriented programming at the same time we offer family programs. Has anyone been able to successfully implement something like or similar to this? We have some concerns about the adults leaving their children unattended to participate in the adult oriented activities.
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Hello Suarmis--I can share a couple of things we've done at the American Museum of Natural History that may not be exactly what you are planning but may have some relevance. In one program that is an on-going out of school program, we have a monthly "parent university" class where parents are invited to their own activity while their kids are in their class. it is very popular with parents because it gives them insight into what their kids are learning and allows them to be learners. In another example, for a family festival day focused on Sun-Earth Science, we hosted an adult class on climate change at the same time. these may not have been the same adults who were there with their families, but it broadened the idea of a family festival day to include some more immersive offerings for adults. In another example, for a family festival day in which one of the activities was diorama making we had both a kids and an adult diorama making station side by side--very popular. happy to talk more if you'd like--Ruth
With the number of groups that visit our museum (rather than individuals), we have been shifting our institutional focus to family groups, in an effort to reach every visitor in that social group during their visit. For our Family Days at the museum, we not only do in house programming but also bring in area organizations that cover a broad spectrum of interests (art, STEM, bicycle safety, etc). Whether we or a partner is leading an activity during the day, we work to ensure the activity is a family program rather than kid program.
The Engage Families project by the USS Constitution Museum has been most helpful in enabling us to evaluate and develop programs in a way that parents are leading and programmers/educators are facilitating. You can read more here: Programs
Hope this is helpful for you as much as it was us! We're still continuing work on this, but we're finding it's more beneficial to program to the whole group than to separate our audiences on Family Days.
American Alliance of Museums2451 Crystal Drive, Suite 1005Arlington, VA 22202