GLENCOE, Ill. (December 20, 2013) – For the first time in its 41-year history, the Chicago Botanic Garden is on the cusp of attracting one million visitors in a calendar year. The benchmark, which the Garden hopes to reach on December 31, represents a 5 percent increase over 2012, the second highest attendance year on record. That year, 954,727 people visited the Garden.
To encourage visitors to come in the remaining days of 2013, Garden officials announced a half-price parking discount of $10 per car until December 31. Garden Plus members will receive a 20 percent discount at the Garden Café.
“At this time of the year the Garden is aglow with 750,000 outdoor lights, a 40-foot fir tree and the always-beautiful Wonderland Express indoor train exhibition that makes its way through Chicago landmarks made from natural materials,” said Harriet Resnick, vice president of Visitor Experience. “We are grateful to our members and visitors to be in a position of reaching one million visits for the first time and are thrilled to share in the excitement to achieve this major milestone,” she said.
The Garden ranks as the 12th most visited tourist destination in Chicago, and the region’s sixth-largest cultural institution. The Garden is one of 17 public gardens to be accredited as a living museum by the American Association of Museums, in recognition of its living collection of 2.6 million plants. Membership is 50,000-strong, one of the largest of any public garden in the world. A corps of 1,300 volunteers supports the Garden in a myriad of ways, from planting bulbs to guiding school field trips.