When I saw recently that the Butterfly Pavilion that is in the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History is FREE on Tuesdays, I started planning our next day.
Some notes for anyone interested in visiting:
After walking past the exhibit before, I knew that it is HOT inside (and misty), and that strollers cannot be taken inside, so pack/dress accordingly. I saw someone actually use a bike lock to secure their stroller today, though I have never lost one just leaving it outside an exhibit. Tickets are normally $6 for adults and $5 for children. On Tuesdays, you need to head to the box office at the exhibit on the second floor and get timed entry tickets. We were at the museum just a few minutes after opening (10am) and ended up with tickets for 12:30pm. Tickets went pretty fast. Inside there were plenty of butterflies, moths, and chrysalids to delight everyone. (Sorry I don't have better photos, it was hard to get photos with my 18 month clinging to me because he was scared of the misters.)
To complete your caterpillar/butterfly themed visit, you could:
- Watch the IMax movie Flight of the Butterflies at the museum.
- Work on some symmetry with this butterfly themed busy-bag while waiting in line for tickets/timed entry.
- Check out the rest of the Insect Zoo to learn about other flying/crawling things, and see some of the most gorgeous chrysalids.
- Take a break outside on the mall while reading The Very Hungry Little Caterpillar, Gotta Go, Gotta Go, or The Butterfly Alphabet Book.
- Pack a picnic breakfast/lunch and have banana butterflies, fruit butterflies, or crescent rolls and smoked sausage butterflies.
- Hunt for eggs/caterpillars/chrysalids outside in the Butterfly Garden, located right next to the museum.
*Additional tips for those visiting DC: the scaffolding is ALMOST off the Washington Monument (following the earth quake we felt in Delaware 3 years ago). It should reopen next month. The cherry blossom festival is underway, though the blossoms aren't out yet. The peak bloom should be: April 8-12. And sadly, after noticing how great the Arts and Industry building looks today, I researched when it will reopen and even though the decade long renovation is nearing completion, they do not currently have the money to reopen it.*