Why I don’t take my kids to Pop-ups

The age of Instagram has brought the phenomenon of pop-ups to the forefront. Back when I was a kid, something new in town would be a new show or a new museum exhibit. We knew about it from advertising around town and in the newspapers. From time to time, friends would suggest something they had seen, but all in all we had much less FOMO (fear of missing out).

Social media makes it too easy to feel like you are missing out. But one thing I have learned is that you can leave the photo-op spots behind. There is plenty to see in the world of nature and art curated by actual museums. Especially when it comes to pop-ups (short term temporary exhibits or “experiences” promoted by brands) it’s easy to pass.

Pop-ups are geared to adults

The phenomenon of pop-ups can be interesting if you have a lot of time on your hands, if you love novelty, or if you have major FOMO. But the few times I have been, they have mostly been a disappointment. I find them more geared towards single adults than families with children. And even those that are geared toward kids, are generally not worth the time or money compared to something less temporary.

Pop-ups offer short lived fun

There is certainly a place for novelty in all of our lives. It’s fun to do something new that you haven’t done before! I have one child in particular that is a fan of fun but rarely likes to repeat visits. That said, with limited resources, I much prefer to invest in something with added value.

Rarely are the pop-ups I have seen educational. More often than not, they are a huge advertising scheme, hoping to capitalize on free publicity through social media. They end up being a way to spend money without much room for learning. And though there may be some room to play, most of the time, my kids could care less about taking pictures with random things/scenes.

An Alternative to Pop-ups

Most parents know that kids could care less about these manufactured exhibits. They are mostly interested in spending time together! So for our family, we rather spend more time outside where the weather is always changing, and the scenery with it.

We could go to the same beach or park endless times and always find something new. And when the weather is bad, there are museums with rotating exhibits, music, dance, theater and so much more. Let’s focus on spending more time together, and less on getting the perfect shot to post on social media. Our children will thank us for it later.

*Pictures taken at a pop-up exhibit at Cadillac House in April 2017.

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