Butterflies are mesmerizing creatures and one of the few that both my son and daughter can agree on to both like. During our recent visit to the Chicago Botanic Gardens Grunsfeld Children’s Growing Garden we were able to take a brief visit to the temporary Butterflies in Bloom exhibit. Our visit was brief because the exhibit is dependent on weather and a thunderstorm rolled in while we were getting ready to go in, so we had to come back after the all clear which was near the end of our visit.
It’s likely that you have seen similar exhibits at various other attractions in our area as they have been popping up for years now. Even though the concept is not new the experience still thrills and delights. Since we had just had a sudden downpour on our visit there were several trees that were just covered in butterflies drying out or hiding from the rain. It was glorious to see and I was unable to capture it on film (while wrestling a toddler) adequately enough.
The exhibit, located on the learning campus across from the Grunsfeld Children’s Growing Garden is filled with up to 500 butterflies at a time that fly freely around the enclosure and land wherever they want. Do to the delicate nature of the exhibit (and butterflies landing on paths!) as well as the size the number of people is limited so on nicer days you may have to wait to enter. The exhibit also does not allow strollers or tripods which I wish I would have paid attention to before leaving the house. My toddler (16months) was quite a handful in the exhibit and was less interested in the butterflies and more interested in climbing on the rocks, next time I will bring a backpack carrier so I can carry her and the butterflies don’t have to fear being squashed.
My older kids loved the exhibit. There are field guides available with large color pictures so my five year old could play “I spy” and my 7 year old (who loves science and can read) could read the names and learn about the species. Of course since it’s at the Chicago Botanic Gardens there was also lots of information on the plants as well and you can get even more information about gardening for butterflies on the Butterflies in Boom website.
I led the kids have at the exhibit with my flip camera so this is just a glimpse of how they viewed the exhibit….warning it was filmed by children, it’s a little bumpy (I kept it short!)
Butterflies in Bloom is a special exhibit and does require tickets. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for children 3-12. You save with a combo ticket to Butterflies in Bloom and the Model Railroad garden for $8adult and $5 children.
Butterflies in Bloom is open through Monday September 3.
You can see more of our butterfly pictures at our Facebook Page.
Disclosure: We were given parking passes for this visit and one return visit to facilitate in this review and as compensation for our time. As always all words and opinions expressed are my own. Some links provided in this story are affiliate links. A small percentage of purchases made through those links are earned and used to cover the expense of running the site. Thank you for clicking!