The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden set an attendance record in 2014 with nearly one million visitors. It has also received another Fodor's Travel accolade as one of the top "10 Botanical Gardens with Wow-Factor Winter Transformations" to add to its many awards. (See sampling of 2014 awards at end of release*). The Arboretum's Facebook page also surpassed 100,000 followers.
The total attendance of 978,468 guests in 2014 exceeded 2013's total by 248,242, or almost 34 percent. Compared to 2012, when the garden had the Chihuly exhibit, there were 38,872 more guests in 2014, or a 4 percent increase. The 12 Days evening viewings were also quite popular as the Arboretum had 17,500 more guests for those viewings than for the same period for Chihuly in 2012. The Chihuly exhibit was displayed for eight months compared with two months for this year's new 12 Days of Christmas' 25-foot-tall gazebos.
Dallas Arboretum Board Chairman Bill Graue, who just started in his leadership role, said, "First, we are grateful for the support of our nearly 35,000 members and donors. In addition, there were several factors that led to record-breaking numbers in 2014: It was the first full year of the extraordinary Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden; the 30th anniversary of Dallas Blooms in the spring; and the debut of The 12 Days of Christmas, a blockbuster holiday exhibit that attracted locals and out-of-town visitors."
In addition to the attendance record, the Dallas Arboretum also added another accolade to its long list of rave reviews by being named as one of the top "10 Botanical Gardens with Wow-Factor Winter Transformations" by Fodor's Travel. According to Fodor's Travel, "Known for its extravagant garden transformations (as seen in Fodor'sAmerica's Best Pumpkin Festivals), the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden's new 12 Days of Christmas winter exhibit continues to up the ante this year."
This exhibit ended on January 4, but the Dallas Arboretum plans to bring it back in November 2015, just in time for the holiday season.
Finally, the Dallas Arboretum hit a milestone of 100,000 followers on Facebook, demonstrating the garden's strong influence and wide audience reach on social media. Graue added, "We are thankful for those who visit and then share their photos on Facebook, as it helps us spread the word virally. As we become known beyond North Texas as one of the nation's premier botanical gardens, we expect that attendance will only increase as people want to see in person the beautiful gardens highlighted on Facebook."
Mary Brinegar, Dallas Arboretum president and CEO, said, "We want to thank those who visited, joined as members, attended a concert or another event, or took an Adult Education class for being part of a record-breaking year. We are stewards of this magnificent garden, and we thank our 400 regular volunteers who contributed more than 70,000 hours in ensuring that every visitor's experience is remarkable."
Since the Dallas Arboretum opened to the public in 1984, the 66-acre garden includes many formal and informal garden spaces, world-recognized trial gardens, a concert lawn, picnic areas, food service areas, a gift shop, orientation theater, classrooms and the historic DeGolyer House. The newest garden to open was the eight-acre scientific and interactive Rory Meyer's Children Adventure Garden in 2013. In 2014, the Arboretum opened a new 1,150-space parking garage, thereby doubling the amount of parking spaces.
About the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden:
The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is located on the southeastern shore of White Rock Lake at 8525 Garland Road, Dallas, Texas 75218. The Dallas Arboretum is also the home of the internationally acclaimed Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden. The Arboretum is open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. General admission is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors 65 and older, $10 for children 3-12 and free for Arboretum members and children two and under. There is an additional cost of $3 per person for entrance into the Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden. On-site parking is $15 or $8, if purchased in advance online. The Dallas Morning News is the principal partner of the Dallas Arboretum. The Arboretum is supported, in part, by funds from the Dallas Park and Recreation Department. WFAA is an official media sponsor for the Dallas Arboretum. More information can be found at http://www.dallasarboretum.org/ or on Facebook.
*2014 Sampling of Accolades:
USA Today named the Dallas Arboretum as one of the 10 Best Attractions and Activities 10 Places to Visit in the city.
National Geographic Traveler named the Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden to the list of"The 2014 Traveler 50: World's Smartest Cities."
Fodor's Travel has named the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden one of "America's Best Pumpkin Festivals."
2014 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award, one of the highest honors the organization bestows
Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden was selected as the most loved, most talked about family attraction in Texas. It was selected to be included on the list of Top Family Attractions Worth Traveling For.
The Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden won the 2014 Digital Screenmedia Association Best Cultural Digital Signage Award.
The Texas Landscape Garden Association has given the Dallas Arboretum its Silver award for Landscape design of the Children's Garden.
The Garden Writers Association of America has given the video of the Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden its silver award nationally for finest media portrayal.
Dallas Arboretum/The Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden was voted "Best Place to Get Outdoors" and "Best for Families" by readers of DFW Child.
Art&Seek Jr. named the Autumn at the Arboretum fall festival to its Junior's Super-List.