Last week, we began a series of posts about challenging and complicated moms, and we introduced the concept of the “Ultra Moms.” These four types of moms, comprising about half of all moms in our latest study of museum-goers, were consistent in providing reasons for visiting both the museum whose survey they responded to and for visiting museums in general. (Please keep in mind that this was a study of regular museum-goers, not infrequent or non-visitors.)
Of our 13,000+ moms responding to the survey, 9% of moms are Ultra-Fun Moms. But when we examine the results by museum genre, we find some differences, with Ultra-Fun moms being:
12% of responding children’s museum
8% of science center moms
6% of art museum moms
5% of history-based museum moms
In an open-ended follow-up question, we asked these moms why fun at museums was important to them. They said things like:
“They provide a fun way to
experience new things.”
“Interactive exhibits for kids to learn, seeing my child smiling and enjoying herself."
When we examined their responses in more depth, there were certain buzzwords we kept seeing, including: engaged, entertained, new, interactive, learning, play, and interesting.
Because respondents could choose more than one reason for visiting the museum whose survey they responded to, we can identify the secondary motivations for visiting, which for Ultra-Fun moms include learning opportunities for her children, her children love it, and family time.
Ultra-Fun Moms are a bit younger than the average mom respondent, but she has the youngest children; over half have a child under 5. And, like we would expect from a parent of a preschooler, she visits museums the most often of all.
Generally, compared to other moms, these moms are happier visitors. These moms are also more likely to say the museum is a good value, and of all moms is the least likely to be cutting back on museum visits due to the economic downturn (as we would expect again, given that the majority are parents of preschoolers).
When visiting museums, like all other moms, she is looking for hands-on activities for her children. But of all moms, she is the least likely to enjoy programs and events (they don’t appear to want to set their watches by activities so much as simply drop in). Their favorite museums to visit are children’s museums, zoos and aquariums, and science centers.
We asked respondents to tell us about their childhood museum experiences, and we found that the Ultra-Fun moms, of all the Ultra Moms, visited museums the least often as children. Their memories of museum visits were more likely to be positive, and tended to include interactive experiences and play. Most Ultra-Fun moms remembered visiting with one or both parents, but a third had memories of school field trips.
Overall, we like the Ultra-Fun moms, because they come to museums often with a positive outlook that museums are fun. If they infect their children with the same fun bug, then that is a great thing. But we do have some concerns that these moms are coming to museums for their children to have fun, and they may not be that engaged themselves. We’ll talk more about this in upcoming posts.
What do you think? To share, simply click on “comments” below. (If you are reading this from your e-mail subscription to the blog, please go to our blog's website to add a comment.)