Never been to the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory? There are so many reasons to visit; here are 10 that are sure to entice you to make it part of your summer explorations!
It’s a World of Wings
The Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory is a 25,000 square foot facility that includes a large indoor tropical garden featuring 1000’s of free flying butterflies from all over the world! Wander through this tropical paradise, and watch the butterflies as they glide by – or as they use you for a landing pad! (DYK: Butterflies are attracted to the colour red, so wear lots if you want to attract them! Yellow, orange and purple work too.)
A Butterfly is Born
Check out the Emergence Window (ie. the Butterfly Maternity Ward) at the conservatory. If you’re patient, you could witness the birth of a butterfly! Butterflies are shipped in as pupae (chrysalides) every two weeks from Costa Rica and the Philippines. When they emerge from the chrysalis, the butterflies hang to dry their wings, and after 2-3 hours, they take their first flight into the conservatory. It’s an exciting miracle to see! (DYK: Staff use a hot glue gun to attach the tip of each new chrysalis to a straw, and then hang them in the Emergence Window until the butterfly appears.)
Stump the Staff
The Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory has an amazingly knowledgeable and passionate staff. The best part of their day is chatting with guests, and they will blow your mind with crazy facts about butterflies and other insects! (DYK: Butterflies taste with their feet! And they don’t have ears, so butterflies can’t hear.) BTW – the staff loves it when visitors ask them questions about the butterflies and insects- see if you can stump them!
Eat a Bug!
Are you brave enough to eat a bug?? Put your taste buds to the test! Chocolate-covered scorpions, honey-roasted crickets, and BBQ-spiced mealworms are just a few of the delicacies that are for sale in the Gift Store all year round. The conservatory also hosts BugFeast, an annual event held during March Break. Every year is a different theme and features a variety of recipes using insects as the main ingredient– yum! (DYK: Most bugs and insects are excellent sources of protein as well as various vitamins and minerals!)
There are Other Things to Eat Too
Welcome to the Chrysalis Café, where they take pride in using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. How fresh? Look out the café windows and see their herb garden where rosemary, oregano, basil and chives are gathered daily and used in the homemade dishes featured on the menu. Seasonally fresh produce is harvested from the farm of Tim Beirnes & family, just down the road from the conservatory. It doesn’t get any fresher than that!
FREE Tours and Programs
The Butterfly Conservatory offers programming throughout the year that is free with regular admission. Check out their Wings and Wonder page for more information on daily programming for kids (and for those who are kids at heart!). During July and August there are free daily guided tours where guides provide the scoop on the ins and outs of running a conservatory, how to catch bugs outdoors, and more!
Tag – It’s a Monarch!
As part of its conservation and education mandate, the Butterfly Conservatory holds many events throughout the year aimed at helping all of us learn more about the bugs and butterflies that live there. Each September, the public is invited to take part in Monarch Tagging Weekend, where you can tag and release a monarch butterfly, and learn more about their life cycle, migration patterns, and the importance of helping to build up their population.
It’s a Photographer’s Dream
Beautiful butterflies, cascading waterfalls, tropical foliage – it all provides a stunning backdrop for photos of all kinds from selfies to wedding photography! Don’t forget to tag/like/mention your pictures on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram so the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory can retweet/share/regram! And, if you want to be part of the conservatory’s ongoing photo safari, be sure and use the hashtag #ButterflyPhotoSafari.
Events Take Flight Here Too
Birthday parties, holiday get-togethers, showers, family occasions – the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory hosts a number of private events every year. A live butterfly conservatory located right in the heart of Canada’s Technology Triangle also makes for a unique venue for corporate events too. And for brides and grooms looking for a unique venue for their big day, a wedding among the butterflies is a perfect way to ‘fly’ into married life!
Photo Credit: Dudek Photography
Make it Part of a Weekend Away!
After your visit to Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory, take some time to discover the museums, festivals, theatres, farmers’ markets, and attractions that are all within a short distance of the conservatory. Let us inspire you to ‘take flight’ and Explore Waterloo Region!
For even more reasons to visit, check out the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory on line!
SEE WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING IN WATERLOO REGION. CHECK OUT THE LOCAL BUZZ!