Turn Your Kids Loose Among The Butterflies

The ever-balmy Butterfly House invites kids to a weekend of radio-controlled critter races, steel drum music and bug crafts at its annual “Hot, Hot, Hot” celebration.

Organizer Amy Hammann explains what makes the tropical conservatory so cool.

• What’s planned for this weekend? The kids can put a butterfly — a play one, of course — on a board and stomp it, and they try to catch it with their nets and squirt a water strider across a kiddie pool. They can make their own bugs with funny shoes and big eyes. … They’ll also learn about scales and why butterflies have those beautiful colors.

• What else will kids learn about butterflies? They eat with their proboscis, which is rolled up like a straw when they’re not using it and then they unroll it to suck up juices.

• So why must the Butterfly House be so warm? For tropical butterflies to be able to fly, it has to be at least 82 degrees. They literally can’t fly if it’s cool. Our entry and exit vestibules are highly air conditioned so when a guest opens a door and is trying to come in, the butterfly will feel that cold and hightail back the other way.

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