by Mabel Sterritt
But for some, they want an up-close experience with butterflies. Visit these butterfly gardens with your family to have a personal, unique experience with domestic and exotic butterflies.
The Butterfly Place
An indoor living environment, the atrium is 3,100-square-foot facility and is 27 feet high. The Butterfly Place contains up to 500 butterflies representing at least 50 different species, and families can see them by walking nature paths or from an observation area. Eggs, caterpillars and cocoons are also featured, and the staff is always nearby to answer questions and provide explanations about everything butterfly related. Koi fish and quail also live among the butterflies.
120 Tyngsboro Rd, Westford; butterflyplace-ma.com
Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory and Gardens
Magic Wings is open year round, and boasts an 8,000-square-foot indoor conservatory featuring almost 4,000 exotic and domestic butterflies in a tropical environment. The conservatory also features koi fish, native plants and a small waterfall. Magic Wings puts a focus on the importance of educating the public about butterflies; tours and educational programs are offered for children and teens.
281 Greenfield Rd, South Deerfield; magicwings.com
Butterfly Landing at the Franklin Park Zoo
The new butterfly exhibit at Franklin Park Zoo will allow visitors to stroll through an outdoor tent that’s filled with hundreds of butterflies. The exhibit also features several garden beds, a pond and relaxing music. There is no additional fee to get into the butterfly exhibit at Franklin Park Zoo.
One Franklin Park Road, Boston; zoonewengland.org/franklinvisit
Butterfly Garden at the Museum of Science
With an exhibit overlooking the Charles River, the Butterfly Garden at the Museum of Science allows visitors to walk among a variety of free-flying butterflies from New England and across the world. The Museum keeps an “emergence box,” where lucky visitors may get to see a butterfly crawling out of a chrysalis, having gone through the transformation from caterpillar to butterfly. Also offered at the Butterfly Garden are educational programs; visitors can learn about the stages of a butterfly’s life, the colors and patterns of a butterfly’s wings and the butterfly’s relationship to other animals and insects. Admission to the Butterfly Garden is timed and requires an additional ticket purchase with the admission price.
1 Science Park, Boston; mos.org/exhibits/butterfly-garden
Mabel Sterritt is an intern with Boston Parents Paper.
For those who want to take butterfly viewing to the next level, here are some tips on how to build a butterfly sanctuary in your own backyard.