Your Thanksgiving Point membership just got a little more valuable. Not only do they have the Farm, The Gardens, The Dinosaur Museum, The Museum of Natural Curiosity, and many other great venues, they have now added a Butterfly Biosphere.
The Butterfly Biosphere is a small museum for children to explore, and the highlight is an amazing butterfly habitat. This place is a must see for anyone who love any type of animal, especially butterflies.
The climate-controlled habitat contains hundreds of butterflies. We spotted butterflies flitting, butterflies sitting, and even butterflies landing on surprised visitors. In fact, upon leaving the biosphere, you’ll be checked to see no butterflies have landed on your clothing.
The biosphere is well laid out to accommodate a lot of visitors. Still, they limit the number of people inside, and timed tickets are required, so there may be a line. Once you enter the biosphere, there are winding paths and multiple levels. Trees and vines of different varieties seem to attract butterflies that range in size from as large as your face to as small as a button. Look closely because butterflies that are holding still can be difficult to spot. Even toddlers are enthralled by the large blue butterflies that drift slowly past.
At the end of the room, there is a set of windows. Make sure to stop by and check out all the chrysalises that are in various stages of development. When we visited, there was a worker answering questions about butterflies and their development stages. We were glad we spent a few minutes there.
Outside the biosphere there are learning opportunities for students. As with all things at Thanksgiving Point, it is very kid friendly. There are museum like displays for older kids and dress up and photo ops for younger kids. We spent about 45 minutes in the biosphere and 45 minutes checking out the museum. There are other insects to see, and hands-on displays. It was an amazing experience!
We also spent about 45 minutes in the play area. There are slides and climbing spots where children can pretend to be bugs themselves. There is even a cave and some small tunnels to climb in. Upstairs there are some hands-on exhibits for kids to learn about noticing the world around them. The play area also has a small toddler area that is fenced off to keep big kids out.
Tips for Visiting Butterfly Biosphere
There are several things that you should know before you visit the biosphere. First, since it is hot and humid inside, leave your coat in the car. We visited in December, and the contrast between the Utah cold and the butterfly’s favorite temperature was striking. We were sweating by the time we left.
Also, make sure to be careful where you step. We saw several butterflies land on the paved path. It would be really sad to accidentally step on one. That said, you will see dead butterflies. Since they only live about a week, and there are around five hundred in the biosphere, the mortality rate is over 70 per day. Workers remove the fallen butterflies, but they are impossible to keep up with. You may want to talk to your children about the lifecycle of the butterflies to make them more at ease.
Make sure to get tickets beforehand. Since they only let a certain amount of people into the butterfly habitat at a time, they require timed tickets to enter. You can purchase at the door, but you might have to wait to enter for quite awhile if it’s busy. We recommend purchasing tickets before you go. If you have a Thanksgiving Point Membership, tickets are free, but still required. Visit Thanksgiving Point’s website for hours, pricing, and tickets.