To escape the summer heat, head to the new Butterfly Wonderland in Scottsdale, an ideal indoor playground to reconnect with the natural world and learn about its splendors in a tangible and engaging way. Visitors of all ages are welcomed into America’s largest Butterfly pavilion where 2,000 to 3,000 butterflies from around the world fly freely, alighting on fragrant flowering plants and a friendly visitor’s shoulder or finger.
Butterfly Wonderland is a living, sensory experience that begins with the 3-D theatre and the “Flight of the Butterflies” that introduces visitors to the fascinating life of butterflies. Guests then move to the Butterfly Emergence Gallery, where they observe the most dynamic stage of a butterfly metamorphosis. From there, guests move into the dramatic, glass-enclosed atrium that is home to thousands of butterflies from the far reaches of the world, in a carefully controlled rainforest environment. More than a traditional viewing facility, the Conservatory is lush and tropical with waterfalls and colorful plants and trees. A large Koi pond also houses colorful species of fish.
The experience continues at the “Rivers of the Amazon” with large freshwater aquariums that house creatures from the Amazon and other habitats. Through 10-foot picture windows, guests can view exotic fish and even salt water stingrays in a large touch tank. Other ways to learn more about nature’s wonder’s is the Live Ant Colony with 360-degree viewing to follow the ants to different environments and The Honey Bee Extravaganza, an intricate exhibit that features a series of beehives, protected by glass, that allow each visitor an unimpeded view as the bees produce honey and go about their daily activities.
Be sure to visit the Butterfly Treasures gift shop for leisurely shopping and the Café for cool refreshments and lunch on a hot summer’s day. There is also a multi-purpose room for children’s summer birthday parties or private events.
Educational workshops are also scheduled throughout the year such as the “Life Cycle of a Butterfly Workshop” scheduled for Monday, August 26. Due to the interactive nature of the exhibits and more than 150 species of butterflies, no two visits are the same. Watch for the “Fall Color Spectacular” in the autumn season and the “White Christmas” display in December.
Butterfly Wonderland is located at 9500 East Via de Ventura in Scottsdale, AZ 85256 at the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. For more information, call 480-800-3000 or visit www.butterflywonderland.com and www.facebook.com/ButterflyWonderland.