Hmmmm….We all look for unusual and interesting things to do periodically and the museum and institutes that give us culture are many and prolific in their exhibits and sights. But it’s been a cold winter and who wants to go out when the vortex is rockin’….Funny thing a lot 0f folks did go out (maybe before the vortex happened) and you might be surprised at what they when to see. “A posse of grand-scale wooden troll sculptures carried Morton Arboretum to the highest attendance in its 97-year history during 2018, as 1.276 million people visited the west suburban nature park. The news was not so rosy, however, on the Museum Campus, where all the institutions suffered audience declines versus 2017, as did the major Chicago-area nature parks that aren’t named Morton: Brookfield Zoo, Lincoln Park Zoo and Chicago Botanic Garden.
All together, the 17 museums and parks the Tribune tracked this year, including all of the most popular ones, saw a drop in attendance of almost 6 percent from the year
before, to 16.508 million in total. For perspective, that’s more than double the number of people the city’s five major professional sports franchises lured out of their
chairs, a combined 6.897 million to Cubs, White Sox, Bulls, Blackhawks and Bears home games in their most recently completed seasons. “We’re understanding that people really need respite,” said Sue Wagner, Morton’s vice president of education and
information. “There’s a lot of buzz, distraction, noise. By coming to the arboretum or a garden people can have a sense of peace and feel replenished.” It didn’t hurt, either, that “Troll Hunt,” the collection of giant recycled-wood figures crafted by latter-day Danish hippie Thomas Dambo and secreted on the grounds, turned out to be Chicago’s only blockbuster museum exhibition of 2018. Bold, inventive and utterly delightful, “Troll Hunt,” which will remain up through 2019, helped Morton tally its most popular month in history. The 1,700-acre hiking, biking and slow-driving destination notched 164,000 people in July, “Troll Hunt’s” first full month, beating the previous high of 152,000 set in Oct. 2011, during the typical Morton prime-time of foliage season.” This is just part of Steve Johnson’s article from this mornings Trib. Click here for the full piece: