Most little kids love nature and the life they find in it. If this sounds like your child, head to the Butterfly Pavilion and Insect Center in Westminster, Colorado. This fun location is a great blend of hands-on science fun that teaches about bugs, nature, and conservation. Exhibits allow children to interact with the life forms, helping them learn more easily and retain the information better than just reading about it would. The museum is ideal for kids 2 - 12 years of age, but families will love the adventure and delight regardless of the ages of everyone. Best of all is the center's 1,200 free-flying butterflies that have been brought to the center from around the globe. These colorful, fluttering creatures will amaze everyone during their visit. The center encourages everyone to "get out of their cocoon'' and enjoy the sites and lessons of insects.
The center was opened in 1995 and is the first independent insect zoo in the entire country. It is 30,000 square feet in size and is located on 11 acres owned by the City of Westminster. There are four indoor halls, outdoor gardens, and a 1/2 mile nature trail. Visits are typically 2 to 4 hours, but can be longer if you enjoy lunch while at the site. The indoor halls include the Wings of the Tropics where the butterflies are located, the Crawl-A-See-Em section filled with tarantulas, scorpions, beetles, millipedes and other insects. Kids can even hold a Chilean Rose Hair tarantula named Rosie. The Water's Edge allows kids to view water creatures including sea cucumbers, sea stars, and horseshoe crabs. There are also lessons about the Atlantic and Pacific tide pools. Finally, the Tropical Odyssey is a chance to experience the world of invertebrates. This is the center's traveling exhibit and features a lesson in conservation.
The center's mission aims to foster an appreciation of butterflies and other invertebrates. They want to educate the public about conservation and threatened habitats of these creatures. They host a variety of events throughout the year that are both educational and entertaining. You can also host your event at the center. Members have special access to the center and are invited to a variety of afternoon clubs and zoo keeper educational seminars throughout the year. Kids love having their birthday party at the center, providing a special treat for friends and family. Family workshops and camps are another opportunity to create a unique experience at the center. Kids can attend one hour, and half and full day science camps, or pair together with a parent to learn about worms, caterpillars, and insects. Sunset strolls are held at dusk in the magical tropical observatory. Attendees get to share in a guided walk through the area observing butterflies in action. These walks are offered monthly and are a special treat for all. For a chance to experience insects and butterflies in a natural, educational environment, pay a visit to the Butterfly Pavilion and Insect Center in Westminster. It is a great experience for children and adults.