Monday, June 12, 2017

Butterfly Adventure

Roper Mountain Science Center has brought back Butterfly Adventure this June, working out the kinks to make the second year of this exhibit a success! In addition to the butterfly adventure habitat, the Harrison Hall of Natural Science and the Living History Farm & Schoolhouse are open to visitors, ensuring that a visit to Roper Mountain this summer is an experience you don’t want to miss.

Butterfly Adventure is open from 9am to 3pm. We timed our visit to arrive early, as we remembered the long lines and extensive wait times last year (see my post A butterfly adventure). However, we need not have bothered, as throughout the day there really weren’t any lines. We were able to stay in the butterfly room in Fred W. Symmes Tropical Rainforest Conservatory for over 30 minutes, and even then only left because the boys were ready to explore further.

Similar to last year, both Discovery Rooms are dedicated to fun activities. In addition to meeting the resident animals that call Roper Mountain home, the boys were able to make a variety of crafts to take home with them. The Design Lab was also a hit in this regard; while the older boys designed their own butterfly to test in the wind tunnels, Vilis made a balloon butterfly, complete with beating wings.

The Ecology Lab and Marine Lab had the usual exhibits, plus a few special displays. On Thursdays and Fridays you can make your own seed balls in the Ecology Lab, and there is a special animal talk in the Marine Lab on Thursday and Friday at 1pm.

On your way to the Living History Farm make a loop in order to swing by the Fossil Pit, the Butterfly Garden, and the two treehouses. Then, across the pond the WildWood play area is a new addition to the RMSC playscape. The natural play area makes use of blocks, bridges and slides for hours of play for all ages; we usually spend quite a bit of time here, but today we still had the farm to explore!

We met the baby lambs at the barn; these tiny little guys were only about a week old! Make sure to stop by at 10am or 12pm when the lamb feeding takes place. On Fridays Red Clay Soap does presentations on the health benefits of goat milk, but volunteers are on hand to help children pet the baby goats throughout the week.

Kids also enjoy the school house craft at 9:30am, and ‘school lessons’ are taught at 11am while storytime is at noon. I recommend a stop in the heritage garden – there is so much in bloom! Finally, a visit to the Kitchen Cabin brings historic food preparation to life.

The cardoon is related to the artichoke

A visit to Butterfly Adventure is included in a RMSC membership, and tickets can be reserved ahead of time. For those visitors who are not members, admission is $8 for adults, $7 for children 4 to 12, and free for 3 and younger. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, from 9am to 3pm with the last entry at 1:30pm. Butterfly Adventure will be closed Sundays, Mondays, and July 4th, and runs through July 7th. Please visit the RMSC website for more information. 

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