NOLA – Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium

You know who loves bugs?? Not this MilMom, but my kids sure do!

I braved a trip to the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium with them, and surprisingly this total bug-phobe loved it!

The museum is located at 432 Canal Street, New Orleans, LA. It’s an easy walk from the aquarium, so you can hit both in the same day. Especially if you have an Audubon annual pass. A membership to the Audubon Nature Institute gets you access for a year to the Insectarium, the Zoo, and the Aquarium. It cost just under $200 for our family of four for the year. We will blog more about this amazing membership later, but it is so worth it if you get stationed here.

If you don’t have a membership, an adult ticket is $18.95 and $13.95 for kids 2 to 12. Kids under 2 are free. If you purchase at the door, each ticket will cost you $3 more. For our family of 4, it would cost us over $50 just to go once. So you can see how the membership really pays off.

There is so much to see packed into this space. We’ve now been twice and still haven’t seen or done everything. A favorite for my little ones is the Underground. This is an area designed like a tunnel that a bug might dig. Inside it is dark, there are insect sounds, and there are little cubby holes where kids can hide and pretend they are bugs! There are a few giant insects that will pop out at you as well. It’s actually not scary at all. It’s such a fun sensory experience for little ones.

One of the most fascinating exhibits, but also most disgusting, is this cockroach house. It’s almost cute in a weird, disgusting way! I love how the museum decorated their house for the holidays!

The Japanese butterfly garden and koi pond wins hands-down for most serene and beautiful exhibit here. I wish I had photos of the giant (hand sized) butterflies that were flying all around us. If you were still, a butterfly would even land on you. My usually rambunctious kids were so calm in this space. It is a very relaxing environment and I wish I could just sit here all day!

A really special aspect of this museum is the way that they have styled it to look like the surrounding are. You will feel like you’re actually under a giant oak tree, in the bayou, when you get to the room with the baby alligators. You can’t tell from a picture, but the background sounds and the lighting all perfectly blend to give visitors the experience of being out in nature.

Even the main pathway through the museum is decorated to look like the French Quarter. It’s a very well thought-out space.

Throughout this main pathway, there are cases exhibiting all sorts of creatures. This is a millipede – don’t you love how he decorated? Both times we’ve been to the Insectarium, there has been a docent with a millipede ready for visitors to pet. We tried it, and honestly, it wasn’t that bad. But we did not pet his neighbor the tarantula.

If you’re feeling hungry, you can actually eat a bug! We’ll post all about it once we try this delicacy…

Our most favorite bug of all though:

Have you been to the Insectarium? Or any bug museum? It’s surprisingly fun and informative. And kids love bugs!

Happy Friday and enjoy your adventures this weekend, friends!

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