Summer is the time to appreciate…butterflies! If you haven't seen many winged beauties yet, and want your kids to learn everything about them, take the family on a field trip to a butterfly garden!
Happily, there are four such special exhibits in the area this summer where, for a small admission fee, you can see hundreds of butterflies native to Illinois and the Midwest or even exotic ones from around the world. In Chicago, the Judy Istock Butterfly Haven at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum maintains 500 butterflies of a dozen different species. On the North Shore, in the Butterflies and Blooms tent at the Chicago Botanic Garden you can watch exotic butterflies from Asia, South America, and Africa emerge from chrysalises to feed on flower nectar. In the western suburbs, the Butterflies! is an annual exhibit at Brookfield Zoo, and Peck Farm in Geneva, Illinois hosts the Butterfly House.
(Reminder: Chicago Botanic Garden and Brookfield Zoo also offer discounted admission to the main park through our Museum Pass Program.)
But,where are two of the best blooming places to see butterflies flying free? Your neighborhood parks and your own backyard! Why not make it a summer and fall family project to build a simple butterfly feeder or plant new flowers to attract more butterflies, and watch them come to you! Finally, on sizzling hot days, why not cool off at the library, enjoying the amazing color photographs in our exciting butterfly books (J 595. 789).