Area museums, zoos tough it out
Visits up 7% despite crunch
Even with a tanking economy, Chicago area museums and zoos saw a 7 percent overall jump in attendance from 2008 to 2009, according to data released Wednesday.
“We are encouraged that, even in these tough economic times, the attendance gains demonstrate that families see the incredible value that Chicago’s world-class museums and zoos offer,” said Gary T. Johnson, president of the Chicago History Museum and president of Museums In the Park, the organization that released the data.
In all, 14.8 million people visited the 14 Chicago area museums and zoos. Part of the increase can be attributed to the increasing popularity of “free-day” visits, which were up 29 percent overall.
Lincoln Park Zoo, which is free, saw the most visitors last year, with an estimated 3 million, followed by Brookfield Zoo, with 2.2 million visitors. The Shedd Aquarium attracted 1.9 million visitors.