When visiting the city of New Orleans one of the prime attractions to see is the Audubon Insectarium. This exhibit is part of the larger Audubon complex that lies near the Mississippi River in the French Quarter. There is also a zoo, aquarium and IMAX theater. Tickets can be purchased for the Insectarium or in combination with the other aspects of the Audubon complex.
The Insectarium has recently been presented with the greatest honor by receiving the Thea Award for Outstanding Achievement in a Science Center. This attraction has become part of a very exclusive world that contains Walt Disney World, Busch Gardens and Universal Studios.
This exhibition houses the largest number of animals in the world, that of insects. The value of insects can be overlooked, but they have been around since the world was in the Prehistoric period. Insects have an intricate place in the world because they pollinate flowers and crops and help to decompose the world's waste.
There are many sizes of insects and they are available for people to see. Some are very small while others are larger creatures. There will be insects that are common to Louisiana and other that live thousands of miles away.
The building that houses the insectarium used to be the U.S. Custom House that is located on Canal Street. Many of the exhibits that are part of the Audubon Insectarium are interactive. The story of New Orleans and their specific insects are told and one of the most popular exhibits is called "Life Underground''. This particular display has the guest becoming the insect, so they can see what it is like to live in the insect's world.
For the daring there is insect cuisine that can be sampled. Termites are one of the most common forms of insect in the southern region of the United States. People can find out about the termite and the newest ways that they can be controlled. There is a theater that presents a movie with animated insects. A Louisiana swamp is reconstructed so that visitors can see what insects live in that world.
A Japanese butterfly garden presents a visual opportunity to partake of the beauty of more than a hundred varieties of butterflies. They dart around the garden as visitors pass through the area.
The Audubon Insectarium is open from 10:00 am through 5:00 pm Tuesday through Sunday. The price of admission is Adults: fifteen dollars, Children ages 2-12: ten dollars and Seniors over 65: twelve dollars. There is a place on site that serves refreshments. There is accessibility for handicapped persons with a small number of wheelchairs available, and strollers can be brought in to the insectarium but aren't available to rent. All photography is allowed inside the insectarium.
If guests are in need of parking there are several discounted parking lots near the Insectarium. The parking ticket needs to be validated to receive the discounted price. Look for the Jax, Sugar, Badine and Hilton Whale Wall parking lots as well as the Canal Place Parking Garage.