Name: The Butterfly Place
Location: Westford, Massachusetts
Length of stay: 90 minutes
The Butterfly Place is an indoor garden that is filled with hundreds of butterflies. They are open February 14 through October 31st. It is always best to check the website or call for changes in hours or prices.
Outside there are picnic tables and a butterfly stand for pictures. They provide a tent area during the hotter times in the summer.
You enter in the store. They have a lot of fun butterfly books you can get and well as one they are featured in: From Caterpillar to Butterfly (Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science, Stage 1). It is the story of the Painted Lady. My girls found insect finger puppets they love to play with.
The store also offers Butterfly Mats that show and describe many of the Butterflies that they have. It is only $1 and well worth it. We laminated ours to make them last longer. They have a scavenger hunt for the trip as well.
Farther inside there is a small area with caterpillars and cocoons. For each specimen they show a picture of the butterfly. In addition to the local area butterflies we saw eggs, caterpillars, and cocoons for the Monarch and Painted Lady. At the end of the row is a containment area. This is where the butterflies they have imported from other continents are kept until they hatch. You can often watch a butterfly come out of it’s cocoon and start to spread it wings.
The Butterfly Garden
The Butterfly Garden is the main attraction. The fun part will be seeing hundreds of butterflies all over. There is always a chance one might land on you! I had one in my hair. Another chased A around for a while. The person inside is always nice and helpful. The girls wandered around and loved looking at everything.
They found a few of the butterflies on the mat and pointed them out. This was M.’s first time walking around and she did well. M. was good at pointing out all the butterflies. R. reminded everyone of the rules. A. was all smiles.
And what we came to see: the Butterflies.
The arrangement of different flowers and trees changes each year. Information about the new flowers is provided on the wall. The flowers will start small in February and fill in the area by October. A small fish pond is on the far wall from the entrance. You do have to watch your step as there are currently 17 small quail in the room. Benches are placed throughout the area if you have the chance to sit.
Some suggestions for similar trips:
- Wear short-sleeve shirts. The room is close to 80 degrees all the time.
- Wear bright colors if you want to attract butterflies.
- Call ahead to see if they have big groups planned and ask any questions you might have about the trip.
- If you want to do the scavenger hunt, have a clip board that you can loop around the neck.
- Have lots of space available on your camera.
- Plan on staying about an hour, but allow for more time if the kids want see more.
- Find out the building rules before going and review them with your children.
- Have water or something to drink afterwards.
Favorite picture from the trip: