Amazing Butterflies Exhibit
This fall the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center will host in its changing exhibits gallery an opportunity for guests to experience the life of Amazing Butterflies. This interactive family exhibit opens September 28 and promises to teach the surprising encounters butterflies face every day.
In Amazing Butterflies, guests experience the challenges of being a caterpillar as it morphs into a beautiful butterfly through a hands-on human maze of larger-than-life leaves, grass, and trees. Along the way, they discover the ways caterpillars move, what they eat, and how other creatures help them achieve their transformation.
The adventure begins as visitors look through eggs to see caterpillar friends climbing on leaves and beginning to feed. Families can learn to crawl like a caterpillar by slipping into a set of caterpillar legs and using teamwork and locomotion to sprint for the finish line. Visitors will discover why carpenter ants in Panama defend metalmark caterpillars from parasitic wasps and other predators. And guests will feed a caterpillar its lunch through team games and contests.
Once the transformation from pupa to butterfly is complete, kids can practice flapping giant butterfly wings while avoiding spider webs that lurk around every turn. The “Nectar Food Path Puzzle” and “Squeeze and Sniff” stations explain how butterflies find food by sight and smell. Children and adults can find a butterfly mate by creating a wacky dance and then learn how butterflies select a specific plant on which to lay their eggs.
Visitors can mark their progress as a butterfly by stamping a souvenir garden card at eight stations before zooming out of the maze as a butterfly on “The Monarch Monorail.” But beware! The maze includes dead-ends which lurks poisonous plants and predators waiting to pounce.
“Amazing Butterflies” was created by the Natural History Museum in London in collaboration with Minotaur Mazes. Admission to the exhibit is free with Virginia Aquarium admission.