News & Information

Dark Tourism and Kids

Top of Mind with Julie Rose
  • Sep 21, 2021 8:00 pm
  • 15:19

Have you noticed how many tourist sites have a dark side? War memorials, Holocaust museums, historic battlegrounds. So-called “dark tourism” is a multi-billion-dollar industry. But that industry has so far given little thought to how these sites are experienced by children. And think about it—kids get dragged along to these national historic sites and museums with their families on vacation. The exhibits are about death and suffering. Often images are placed right at a child’s eye level because they’re designed to be accessible to people in wheelchairs. University of Pittsburgh child development professor Mary Margaret Kerr has developed a framework to help historic sites and museums do a better job for kids who visit. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)