It's that time of year again! Frederick Meijer Gardens is once again host to thousands of exotic tropical butterflies, and they graciously invited us to come by and check it out. Getting to see the butterfly exhibit the day before it opens? How could we refuse?!
We started off in the caterpillar room, with creepy crawlies happily chomping on plants brought in specially for the exhibit. When the exhibit opens, this room is filled with local species of caterpillars crawling and wriggling around. As time goes on, visitors will get to see a caterpillar start to form into a chrysalis, and later transform into a monarch butterfly!
The caterpillar part of the exhibit is fun, educational, and open to the rest of the building interior. The exotic butterfly exhibit is fun and educational, but has an important restriction. Since the butterflies inside are not native species, you have to go through a special door that makes sure none of them escape or hitch a ride home with you.
Starting on March 1st, the huge conservatory will be home to one thousand butterflies. As the exhibit goes on, more butterflies are shipped in as the number swells to almost seven thousand butterflies. The Butterflies Are Blooming exhibit at Frederick Meijer Gardens is the largest temporary butterfly exhibit in the world, so we're very lucky here in West Michigan to have something this incredible.
Butterflies are shipped in once a week by FedEx and the chrysalis is actually hatched on-site at the Meijer Gardens in a special room. Visitors can view this room within the conservatory. There are a number of moths in the room as well, hatched from their cocoons. In the past the moths used to fly around in the exhibit, but since moths are nocturnal there wasn't much to see. In this special viewing room, visitors can see the moths sleeping on the glass even in the daytime (and man are they gorgeous!)
The Butterflies exhibit runs from March 1st to April 30th. This is the 22nd year that Frederick Meijer Gardens has hosted the exhibit, and it's spectacular every time. It's a great place to visit with family, friends, or just to marvel at the beauty that this world has to offer. It's also a great way to step into the tropics in the cold Michigan winter, as the temperatures soar into the 80s and the humidity is more than 70% inside the exhibit!
Take a walk through the Butterflies are Blooming exhibit at Frederick Meijer Gardens this month! You won't be disappointed!