Monday, February 3, 2014


In 2013, the Chicago Botanic Garden had more than 1 million visitors for the first time since it opened in 1972, and five more of the area’s major museums and animal attractions saw attendance jumps from 2012 to 2013, according to figures released by the Museums Work for Chicago coalition.
Overall attendance for the 15 institutions that comprise Museums Work, which includes 11 members of Museums in the Park and four other Cook County attractions, went down from 15.1 million visitors to 15 million.
But attendance at Chicago History Museum grew by 13 percent, DuSable Museum of African American History by 6 percent, the Art Institute of Chicago by 5 percent and the Field Museum by 3 percent. The Institute of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture, marking its first full year as a member of the coalition, grew attendance by 19 percent, to nearly 18,000.
At the Botanic Garden, in Glencoe, “our steadily increasing attendance tells us that public gardens are becoming increasingly relevant to people’s lives,” president and CEO Sophia Shaw Siskel said in the release.
The three most popular attractions all feature animals and accounted for more than half of the coalition’s attendance: the free Lincoln Park Zoo, with 3.46 million (estimated) visitors, Brookfield Zoo, with 2.17 million, and Shedd Aquarium, with 2.02 million.
All reported small attendance declines from the previous year; a Shedd executive said 2012’s mild winter weather was a factor in the difference.
(link below),0,6017377.story

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