What it is: The Museum of Life and Science has a wonderful butterfly pavilion where you can wander around while butterflies flit by in a room filled with beautiful plants, a river, and a few curious birds. It's always one of our favorite places to visit. They have several benches where you can sit and observe the butterflies and try to sit still enough that one will land on you. They also have a glass window where you can watch the butterflies emerge from their cocoons.
After they come out of their cocoons they have to be released and that is where our latest adventure comes in. Everyday at 11am and 3pm one of the museum workers head into the room with the cocoons and collect all of the butterflies into a mesh bag. They then come out into the main pavilion and release the butterflies. When the butterflies first come out of the box, their wings are still damp and not ready to fly, so they need to sit somewhere for a few seconds. Usually, the museum worker holding the bag is happy to take a butterfly and set it on your hand until it is ready to fly away.
Needless to say, my toddler was entranced. While he was still a bit nervous and wouldn't let the butterflies sit on his arm, (he wouldn't have sat that still anyway) he loved to watch the butterflies close up on my arm before they were ready to fly off. It was such a nice, up close and personal experience with the butterflies, and we really enjoyed it.
I can't wait to head back and check out some of the museum's other daily programs. Has anyone been to any other ones?
What we liked: We loved the change to have such close-up interactions with the butterflies! Plus, since they release the butterflies twice a day, there are lots of chances to experience this museum fun.
What we would change: If you happen to be at a release at the same time as a school group it can be a bit crowded.
Website and other important information:
Butterfly release times: 11am and 3pm everyday except Sunday morning
Address: 433 West Murray Avenue, Durham, NC 27704
1. The butterfly box
2. One of the butterflies on my hand
3. A few more waiting to take off