Learning for Fun: The Unique Contribution of Educational Leisure Experiences



Abstract  What do visitors want or expect from an educational leisure activity such as a visit to a museum, zoo, aquarium or other such experience? Is it to learn something or to experience learning? This paper uses the term “learning for fun” to refer to the phenomenon in which visitors engage in a learning experience because they value and enjoy the process of learning itself. Five propositions regarding the nature of learning for fun are discussed, drawing on quantitative and qualitative data from visitors to a range of educational leisure activities. The commonalities between learning for fun and other theoretical constructs such as “experience,” “flow,” “intrinsic motivation,” and “curiosity” are explored. It is concluded that learning for fun is a unique and distinctive offering of educational leisure experiences, with implications for future research and experience design.