Fun Places To Go: Butterfly World
If you are visiting South Florida with (or even without) your children, and you have an opportunity and a least 2 hours to spend, you MUST visit Butterfly World in Coconut Creek. If you’ve ever wondered where the best place to see butterflies might be, this is the place! It has to house one of the largest collections of live butterflies in the world.
I know, I know, you’re thinking “what could be so great about looking at a bunch of butterflies?” Well I must admit, I thought the same thing when the idea to go there was suggested to me. However, I decided to see what it was all about since my then 2 year old was so fascinated by butterflies.
My father-in-law catches caterpillers in his back yard, puts them in a jar, waits for them to go into their cocoon, then hatch. One time we were there when one hatched and my son got to release the butterfly - a monarch. That’s probably why he likes them so much. We figured he’d love to see a bunch of butterflies all at once so we took him there ON his second birthday and ended up having a perfect day!
Before we got there I was picturing walking around in a small indoor aviary with several butterflies sitting on trees here and there. I had been to other butterfly exhibits before where they did a live butterfly release and although it was neat to see, I wasn’t overly excited about 10 or 12 butterflies being released into a very small room only for them to fly away and disappear into the trees. Again, I figured it would be the same thing at Butterfly World: neat to see the various species of butterflies and getting through the whole exhibit would take about half and hour or so. NOT the case!
We walked inside the building and found our way to the butterfly aviary which was not small at all. Upon entering, I was amazed at what I saw through the glass door and I wasn’t even inside yet. We walked through the door and there right before our eyes where THOUSANDS of beautiful butterflies flying right in front of our faces. In fact, they were actually swarming around us.
One little girl had been walking around for about an hour with the same butterfly sitting on her shirt. Her grandmother said it landed there when they arrived and never flew off. So this little girl is just walking around with this butterfly sitting on her like it’s her pet.
Now you aren’t supposed to touch or grab the butterflies. Obviously they are very delicate and they don’t live a very long time to begin with. However, these things are obviously used to being around a lot of people. Some of them were dive bombing us. If you stuck your finger out, they might land on you. Of course the boys were all excited about the possibility of one actually landing on them (and thankfully some did).
One landed on my two year old’s nose and for months after that he would say “butterfly nose”! I guess male butterflies are like their human counterparts. As you can see from these pics, we found one guy was obviously a leg man while another had a foot fetish.
I have never seen that many butterflies in my life and so so beautiful. There are 10,000 butterflies on display and over 150 different species over the course of one year. These are butterflies you will never see in your backyard with brilliant colors and all kinds of shapes and sizes. Amazing!
You can also stop by the Butterfly Farm and Lab Encounter where you can see some of the hundreds of cocoons growing every day. You will also see butterfly eggs and larvae in various stages of growth. Such a great learning opportunity for the kids! The only problem is that with so many live butterflies flying around, it’s hard to get them to stop to see the ones that have yet to hatch.
The aviary was large enough to spend a good hour walking around in-if not longer. You can just move at your own pace and there are benches to sit and enjoy the view. We took our time walking around admiring not only the different species of butterflies, but the exotic plants and trees as well. This place has plenty of “photo ops” if you are into photography whether you are a novice or professional. If you are a nature photographer, this place should be on your must-see list.
There are fountains that cascade into ponds and gorgeous tropical flowers everywhere. There are also tons of different free-flying birds to enjoy and a pond full of Koi and other fish that you can feed if you so choose (food is available to purchase).
Once you make your way through the entire butterfly aviary, there are beautiful grounds surrounded by botanical gardens and flowering Passion Vines with a beautiful bird-filled lake in the middle. Winding paths lead to a lorikeet exhibit where you can purchase a cup of nectar and the lorikeets will sit on your hand and drink from the cup. Very cool! And they are beautiful! There is also a photographer there to take your picture of you feeding the birds and you can purchase the photo when you leave if you are interested.
If you or your kids are “into” bugs, there is also a Bug Zoo. There are all different species of insects, arachnids and other creepy crawlys that are not of the average garden variety kind. My older son’s favorite was the “walking stick”. He’s not a big fan of bugs, but even he enjoyed some of the neat ones there.
There is also a snack bar with tables outside that you can grab a bite to eat or get an ice cream bar or a cold drink. We went when the weather was not too hot, but that’s never going to stop the kids from asking for some ice cream.
Right next door is a very nice gift shop as well where you can purchase mugs, t-shirts, jewelry and various other cool gifts including real butterflies preserved in lucite. If there is anything that exists with a butterfly on it, you can probably find it in their gift shop.
We had a fantastic day when we visited Butterfly World. The kids absolutely LOVED it and surprisingly, so did my husband and I. It truly is a wonderful place to spend a nice afternoon with your family and see perhaps on of the largest collection of butterflies in the world.
There are several exhibits to enjoy and it’s fun AND educational…a perfect combination for the kiddos! Check out their website for discount coupons, bird and butterfly guides, downloadable butterfly books for kids, educational programs they offer, and map and directions.