Friday Fun with Pokémon GO: How Museums are Catching New Visitors

Renegade Tours

This week, Pokémon GO took the museum world by storm.  The app’s various locations for PokéSpots and Gyms have led players into the heart of the cultural scene.  Museums and historic sites have seen an influx of new visitors who come to “catch ‘em all” – and sometimes end up catching the museum bug.

Pokemon GO. Nick Statt.

So what are museums doing to attract and retain these new visitors?  How is Pokémon GO being embraced by museums?  We’ve rounded up awesome social media posts and photos that celebrate Pokémon GO’s potential for attracting the coveted millennial audience.  Read on to find out how museums are embracing this trend – and maybe get inspired for your own Pokémon-inspired program!

The National Archives jumped on the pop culture wagon, adding in a fun reference to the movie National Treasure as well as inviting players to discover the Declaration of Independence’s greatest secret.

US National Archives and Declaration of Independence on Pokemon GO

The National Park Service also jumped on the trend, issuing this video to invite Pokémon GO players into their local parks:

Let’s Play!

Other museums have used social media to send out fun invitations to lure in players.  Some even advertise free admission or WiFi.

Others offered great tips on where to find and how to catch Pokémon, or posting fun photos of Pokemon found in their galleries.


Beyond invitations, though, museums are starting to step up their game.  The Children’s Museum of Houston has scheduled a Pokémon Day, inviting visitors to dress as their favorite Pokémon, catch Pokémon in the museum, and participate in related activities.  

The Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City, New York, is also hosting a Meetup this weekend and inviting players to check out the two Gyms and nine PokéStops on site while receiving discounted admission to their Arcade Age Exhibit.  

And the Freer Sackler Gallery in Washington, D.C., has already integrated Pokémon into their programming by setting up a teens takeover of the museum with Pokémon GO tours:

Pokémon GO has presented an amazing opportunity for museums, enabling them to capitalize on the already-lured crowds to present their collections, exhibitions, and programs in fun, engaging new ways.  We can’t wait to see what else museums will do to engage with their visitors and convert Pokémon GO players into museum lovers!

Want tips and tricks on how your museum can embrace this new trend? Check out our article on how you can “catch” millennials using Pokémon GO.


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