Thanksgiving Point is home to five big attractions – Butterfly Biosphere, Farm Country, Museum of Natural Curiosity, Museum of Ancient Life and Ashton Gardens. We visited on a comped Explorer Pass, which allowed us to visit all five in one day, if we could make it…turns out all five in one day is a whole lot to fit in with a toddler so we visited three instead.
The Butterfly Biosphere was the first place we visited as it’s right across from the parking lot at the entrance to one of the Thanksgiving Point campuses. There are two. We visited the Butterfly Biosphere, Museum of Ancient Life, and Farm Country as they are all within walking distance of each other.
I wasn’t sure what to expect or if these museums and attractions would be great for a toddler, but all three were amazing and extremely kid friendly.
What You’ll See at the Butterfly Biosphere
Entering into the Butterfly Biosphere, you’re greeted by a big open space filled with a few large exhibits that small kids will love. Giant butterflies, a huge cocoon kids can climb inside, big lady bugs, and a few glass enclosures with bonus non-butterfly critters (there are a bunch of those here too) – start your visit by letting the kids do what kids do and explore. Toddlers will love touching the big bug displays.
There are a few things to see off to the sides of this big, open space. Don’t miss the Discovery Zone where kids can learn more about all kinds of bugs. Peep through a magnifying glass, see bees in a real bee hive, and learn all about bees, butterflies, and all kinds of other six- and eight-legged friends. I wasn’t sure if my two-year-old would enjoy this, but the magnifying glasses were a big hit – and there are a whole bunch of magnifying glasses so kids don’t have to wait, which was awesome.
Another highlight is the sizeable indoor playground complete with a really big spiral slide! And there’s an itty bitty slide for toddlers, too. Kids can also put on a pair of butterfly wings (you’ll find them all around the play area). Why just look at butterflies? BE the butterfly! There are plenty of interactive exhibits within this area, too, like a wind tunnel that will suck pieces of cloth up into it. Good fun!
But of course what everyone comes here to see is the Butterfly Conservatory – a 10,000-square-foot glasshouse filled from top to bottom with greenery and butterflies. About 1,000 butterflies live in this beautiful space that you can wander around freely, but keep an eye out where you step or what you lean against and it’s not a bad idea to zip any bags you have closed. If a butterfly lands on you, just be careful you don’t take it out with you (a staff member will help look you over when you leave to make sure you don’t accidentally take any with you).
You’ll see all kinds of butterflies fluttering past, but a few highlights include the giant Blue Morpho, which will definitely catch your eye if one lands near you, but all of the butterflies are pretty awesome. They’re a lot of fun to photograph, too.
There is also, of course, a gift shop with lots of butterfly and science toys!
Along with stopping by to look around, you can also look for weekly and special events at the Biosphere, book a fieldtrip, or a tour.
For more information, check out the Butterfly Biosphere’s website.