Fresh ideas from museums around the globe in your inbox each week
Cathy Hakes MA is the Director of Milestones Living History Museum and Basing House at the Hampshire Cultural Trust. Cathy is also an award winning exhibition curator and published author. Since beginning her career in the museum and heritage sector at Eureka! The Museum for Children 18 years ago, play as a means of attracting, engaging and retaining museum audiences of all ages has heavily influenced her work.
Prior to becoming Director of Milestones Living History Museum Cathy has worked for Museums Sheffield, as Manager of the Novium Museum and for the National Trust at Petworth House. In 2017 Cathy curated the Tim Peake: An Extraordinary Journey exhibition which featured many opportunities for play as a means of learning and discovery. The exhibition won the Best Temporary Exhibition award at the national Museum at Heritage Awards. The latest interactive exhibition at Milestones curated by the Milestones Cultural Heritage team is entitled “Play Days – Games at the Museum” and offers all our visitors a chance to immerse themselves in fun and games whilst discovering more about the past.
Can opportunities for play increase museum audiences engagement, drive repeat visits and improve secondary spend? Is play time in museums a nice to have add-on or can it dramatically affect your museum’s bottom line? Does play diminish the educational role museums have in our society or does play in fact result in quite the opposite, leading to retained audiences and pleasurable learning though enjoyment?
We believe in the power of fun and play to draw visitors into our museum so strongly we have programmed our busiest period around it.
In this presentation we will share the ideas behind our upcoming Play Days interactive exhibition and explore how a spirit of fun and play can benefit all areas of your museum from learning to retail, staff costume to catering.