For the first time in its over 30-year history, Roper Mountain Science Center is opening the doors to Harrison Hall of Natural Science to the public during the week for a live butterfly exhibit! Following the grand opening of its “Butterfly Adventure” exhibit on Saturday during the Second Saturday event, the butterfly habitat will be open starting today through July 8th, Monday through Saturday from 9am – 2pm. You will also be able to explore the Natural Science habitats, Marine Lab, Rainforest, Living History Farm, butterfly garden and trails.
|A Zebra Longwing butterfly|
We headed to RMSC Saturday to get the full experience during the Butterfly Festival, and we weren’t disappointed. Our first stop was the Rainforest Butterfly Encounter, where we were able to get up close with butterflies in the greenhouse. The lines got very long very quickly – some visitors waited over two hours for their time with the butterflies! However since the exhibit will be at RMSC for the next month, there will be plenty of opportunities to visit without waiting in line. We were handed ‘nectar sticks’ to feed the butterflies with, and this provided some neat photo opportunities…
|Mikus with a Red Spotted Purple and Lauris with a Zebra Longwing|
As part of the butterfly festival there were dozens of crafts and activities set up, and Clemson Extension and the SC State Parks were available with brochures, freebies and Madagascar hissing cockroaches(!). Although these will not be part of the adventure over the coming weeks, there will be plenty of other interesting exhibits to explore as part of admission: the Natural Science habitats, the Marine Lab (including touch tanks!) and the Living History Farm with all of its animals and historic structures. Make sure you stop by the butterfly garden to see some wild butterflies!
On our visit we also checked out the STEM exhibits at Symmes Hall of Science. Between the bubble playground, the “extreme science show” and the Starlab portable planetarium we had a jam-packed but educational morning of fun – something I’ve come to expect from the Second Saturday events at Roper Mountain. The next Second Saturday will be the Blueberry Festival on July 9th.
|Vilis on the bubble playground|
Admission to the Butterfly Adventure is free to Roper Mountain Science Center members, otherwise $8.00/adult, $7/children ages 4-12, seniors and military, and free for children 3 and under. Closed on Sundays and the 4th of July, you may buy tickets online or at the ticket booth in the main parking lot. For information on the different types of butterflies you’ll see you can visit the Butterfly Adventure blog, which also features videos of eggs hatching into larvae, caterpillars eating and growing, and a time lapse video of a Monarch butterfly emerging.