Museology Master of Arts Program

November 20, 2019

Reduced Admission: Benefits and Challenges for Children’s Museums

Thesis by Christie L. Aesquivel (2017)

To offer reduced admission or not is a question that many museums struggle to answer. This qualitative case study examines the benefits and challenges that children’s museums experience by providing reduced admission through the Museums for All (MFA) initiative. Semi-structured interviews and document analysis were conducted at four U.S. children’s museums to better understand this phenomenon. The results of this study indicate that benefits gained for children’s museums in providing reduced admission outweighed the challenges. These benefits include the ability for the museum to partner with other organizations on a program that reaches underserved families in a way that does not require the museum to vet them. The primary challenge centered on communication issues, either with making visitors acutely aware that reduced admission was available at the museum or with the authenticity of providing such an option. To a lesser degree, some museums struggled with internal communication issues. Further research is needed to gain a greater understanding of other types of benefits and challenges experienced by museums that offer reduced admission.

Keywords: Class of 2017, museum, museum studies, museology, research, admission, children’s museums


Aesquivel, C., Luke, Jessica J., Bert, Putter, & Yip, Jason. (2017). Reduced Admission: Benefits and Challenges for Children’s Museums, ProQuest Dissertations and Theses.