More than 3,000 blue morpho butterflies call the Butterfly House home this month. It's an awe-inspiring scene that leads many visitors, including the youngest of visitors, ducking and dodging from the careening insects. While meandering the paths of the 8,000-square-foot conservatory, your children will literally be spinning as they try to follow the flight patterns of countless Common Blue Morphos.
A trip through the observatory prompts many questions from budding scientists. Although the staff are friendly, knowledgeable and ready to answer your questions, there isn't much by the way of signage or plaques to help you satiate a child's curiosity, particularly about the morphos. A short video for children runs in the exhibit hall, and a more detailed video appropriate for older children runs in the Emersen Theater. You may still want to consider reading up about the species, natives of Central and South America, before your visit. Special morpho family-friendly actvities for children ages 2 to 12 are available each weekend through March at the Butterfly House, and additional details on the morphos are available in the Butterfly House's butterfly directory.
Be sure to visit the Miracle of Metamorphosis display near the exit of the conservatory. In this window, you can watch butterflies emerge from chrysalides. Before leaving, join your child for some quiet observation on one of the Butterfly House's benches. It's amazing the different butterfly behaviors you'll notice when you're sitting quietly versus romping along the paths. Just maybe, if you're very lucky, you may be delighted to find a morpho has landed on your shoulder.
The Butterfly House is open every day beginning March 1 except Monday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. March Morpho Mania continues through the end of March. Dress in layers; the conservatory is a humid 80 degrees year-round. Allot some additional time to explore dozens of other insect and arachnid displays in the Butterfly House's exhibit hall.
Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House
Faust Park, 15193 Olive Blvd., Chestefield