We finally made it here! Yesterday we visited the Butterfly Conservatory at Museum of Natural History, it was like being in a fairy tale. This is the 18th annual seasonal butterfly exhibit at the museum that runs Sept – May 2016. We used some of our free passes included in our membership for special exhibits, and three preschoolers and three adults stepped inside this tropical vivarium for a transformative experience…at least while we were in it.
More than 500 live butterflies roam free in this magical steamy enclosed space, surrounded by tropical flowers and lush vegetation. It’s the perfect escape on a cold fall or winter day and great for both kids and adults. (Our kids were ready to leave before we were). There’s something enchanting about watching butterflies flutter around, some particularly large ones flew more like birds with sweeping wing spans and slower flapping. And a few people were lucky enough to have some land on them. There are staunch rules against touching the butterflies, it’s okay for them to land on you but they ask you don’t swipe them off since that can cause fatal damage to their wings.
The museum boasts this conservatory has 130 species of butterflies, we saw a ton, but with 3 preschooler we didn’t take much time to identify them, we just enjoyed the experience. This was really a great chance to see some beautiful insects up close, there’s a wealth of information to learn about their fascinating world if you have the time. The Butterfly Conservatory is VERY warm. You’ll want to visit the coat check before heading inside if you have a coat.
After our tropical excursion, we explored the Bernard Family Hall of North American Mammals to check out the dioramas. We played ‘hoof, foot, paw’, a game we made up where the kids scurried from exhibit to exhibit, identifying which species had which type of foot.
From there we headed up to the fourth floor to the Hall of Ornithischian Dinosaurs. This section is full of fossils. We even learned a few things about which ones were discovered in North American.
The kids enjoyed this educational field trip yesterday, but I have to admit the highlight of the day was probably the souvenir penny.
We’re members here, and if you live in NYC with kids I recommend this. It’s $140/year, 100% tax deductible and includes many benefits. We use this museum like it’s our backyard and it’s a sanity saver during cold winters here. The membership also eliminates long lines, plus it helps this amazing institution.
Central Park West, at 79th Street NY, NY 10024
Admission price is donation only but suggested amounts are as follows:
$27, adults; $22, students and seniors; $16, children. (Includes museum admission plus one special exhibit)