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FEATURE

Thea Awards for Outstanding Achievement

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ntroduced during the third year of the awards ceremony to honour excellence found throughout the themed entertainment industry, the Thea Awards for Outstanding Achievement (AOAs) praise the entire achievement and everyone who worked on the achievement, rather than individuals. As there are no set categories in this section and the TEA is free to champion several achievements in the same category or skip categories altogether, the format of this aspect of the ceremony differs each year.

Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Garden, Dallas, TX, USA AOA SCIENCE / DISCOVERY GARDEN The Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden at the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden is a museum without walls. This imaginative and interactive experience for children is designed to align with state and national education standards in life, earth and environmental sciences. Each of its 17 galleries or “learning rooms” has a specific theme, to teach and demonstrate science concepts. Themes include Science and Natural Phenomena, Botany and Agriculture, Nature and the Biosphere, Astronomy and Space, and Energy. Spanning eight acres (three hectares), with more than 150 interactive exhibits covering a wide spectrum of science, play and imagination, its sheer scale sets it apart. Storytelling and engagement are everywhere: in the design of the exhibits and via interaction with docents and staff. Physical activities like mazes, climbing 156 ATTRACTIONS HANDBOOK 2016-2017

There is sense of play and whimsy that makes learning fun structures and observation towers are found throughout the site. The Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden is based on an extremely sophisticated and well thought out master plan, offering multiple levels of play, and beautifully designed and fabricated exhibits all seamlessly integrated into an elegant

park environment. While all exhibits directly target specific demographic age groups and learning levels, there is a sense of play and whimsy that makes the learning fun. It’s an irresistible banquet of exciting play and discovery, with exciting surprises around every corner on a scale that must be seen to be believed. n www.attractionshandbook.com

Attractions Management Handbook 2016-2017