If you are studying insects and bugs, then you have to visit your nearest butterfly conservatory, ours just happens to be in Cambridge, Ontario. The Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory is a great place to take the kiddies and explore some great butterflies.
During the school year, they also run a monthly homeschool course it’s usually on a Wednesday from 1pm to 3pm. We use to make it when my oldest was younger but schedules have changed and we are not able to make it as often. They run different themed days where you can go a learn about different topics related to butterflies.
One of my son’s favorite classes included a scavenger hunt that included different smells. They had to go to different stations and fill out their scavenger hunt card. It was really fun to watch the kids running around the conservatory.
As you enter the conservatory, you head to the gift shop to purchase your admissions tickets. There is a coat room to hang up your jackets, if needed. There are two rooms off the main entrance where you can see insect displays that are up on the walls. There’s also a live beehive which you can watch on either side. Whenever we come we always spend a great deal of time trying to find the queen but haven’t succeeded yet.
You can also find some live insects like this creepy tarantula and Madagascar hissing cockroaches. There’s a lot of information in the displays for older children to read. Thankfully, all of the animal displays were labelled so I could tell my younger son what they were because he wanted to know each and every one of them. In the second room, there are more butterfly displays on the wall and a bird exhibit. When we were there most of the interactive exhibits were out of order. I believe they were in the midst of rearranging the displays so it wasn’t the best time to visit that room.
The next stop is the conservatory, it’s really warm in this room so you will want to dress in layers so that you can take your sweater off once you enter this room. As soon as you enter it’s like a butterfly paradise. The boys are very careful about where they step so that they didn’t step on any butterflies. Aside from the butterflies you will also find tortoises, birds and fish in their pond under the waterfall.
I suggest you bring your camera, there are a lot of great photo opportunities. As you head to the back you will find where the cocoons are hung up, this is where they hatch out of the chrysalis and you can see newly hatched butterflies that are waiting for their wings to dry before they take off.
The museum employees were very knowledgeable and were able to answer all of our questions and tell us a great deal about how and where they got the butterflies from. There’s a touch table where you can feel butterfly wings and chrysalis’ and see the different components of their life cycle.
We usually make to rounds around the conservatory because the kids get too hot in there. My son likes to purchase the chocolate covered ants to eat, which is something I won’t even touch. He says they are delicious. He says he’s not brave enough to eat the bugs that encased in candy. They look creepy to me so I wouldn’t even think about eating them.
The Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory is located off of exit #282 on the 401, if you head north on Hespeler Rd. to Kossuth Rd. and turn left for 6 km it will be on your left hand side.
The conservatory is open 7 days a week from 10am to 5pm, the last admission is at 4pm. Adults are $13 including HST, youth (13-17) and seniors are $11.58 while children from 3-12 are $6.78. Children under 3 are free.