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Museums and families: the perceptions and behavior of children and their families at children's exhibits

The article presents findings from doctoral research conducted at three interactive exhibits for children and family audiences. Two took place at museums in London (the National Maritime Museum's All Hands Gallery and the Science Museum's Launch Pad) while the third -"Me & My Body"- was on display at Eureka! The Museum for Children, in Halifax. Both the methodology adopted and the research findings are a contribution to the study of the family audience at museums and are meant to serve as a reference and a basis for comparison in similar studies conducted in other countries. Few museum studies in Brazil have sought to 'get to know' the audience comprising family groups that visit these institutes. My research showed that for children and their families these environments are an important cultural and educational product.

interactive exhibits; audience research; visitor studies; learning at museums; informal education; children and family audiences

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