The Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory has something new just in time for the Family Day weekend…the all-new “Swamp Creatures Exhibit“! This exhibit runs from February 8th, 2014 until May 11th, 2014. The Exhibit was created by Little Ray’s Reptile Zoo of Ottawa and the Swamp Creatures Exhibit features animals from the world’s wetlands. These animals include: the Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman, Dumeril’s Monitor, Alligator Snapping Turtle, Stinkpot Turtle (indigenous), Pink Salmon Bird-eating Tarantula, Bullfrog, Budgett’s Frog, Norwegian Rats, Cotton Mouth, Green Anaconda, Yellow Anaconda and the Malaysian Blood Python.
These new creatures are in addition to the over 2,000 butterflies, made up of 45 different species, that call the Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory home. There is no additional charge to enter the conservatory while the Swamp Creatures Exhibit is in town. Regular fees apply at: $13.50+tax for Adults (13+), $8.80+tax for Children (6-12) and Children aged 5 and under are free to enter.
I decided to check out the new exhibit for myself and brought my 2-year-old son, Kaidyn with me. We were greeted right away by the friendly staff at the Niagara Parks that quickly rang us in and informed me of where to go and what I was going to see. They have a spot to put your jackets which many people will find handy since it is very humid in the Butterfly Conservatory to try an emulate the rainforest atmosphere that butterflies are accustomed to. I had a stroller with me, so I threw our jackets in there instead, and continued on. The building is fully wheelchair accessible, which came in handy when it came to maneuvering our way through the paths of the self guided walking tour.
As soon as you pay to enter, the new Swamp Creatures Exhibit is set up right there in the main lobby. Kaidyn loved the indigenous “Stinkpot Turtle” the best and there was a “Zoo Educator” on hand that informed us that this breed of turtle, much like a skunk, will release a “musky” odour when they feel threatened — giving it its name. I watched Kaidyn run from aquarium to aquarium screaming in delight, before the Bird-eating Tarantula creeped me out enough that I decided it was time to enter the Butterfly Conservatory.
*Pictured Above: Waterfall in the main lobby of the Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory.
The gentleman at the door took our tickets and informed us that the first thing that we will see (if we choose to) was a short educational film presentation that is close captioned for the hearing impaired. Since Kaidyn was anxious to see the butterflies, I decided to skip the video presentation and we went right inside.
I can say for certain that kids will LOVE the Butterfly Conservatory! There are thousands of colourful species of all shapes and sizes that swirl about and all around you! Some will even land on you. My son loved chasing them around and kept shouting “Catch them mommy!”, which I’m sure is frowned upon in there, but is something that they are used to from toddlers.
*Kaidyn on the stairs inside the Conservatory. Note: It is fully wheelchair accessible!
The staff inside is so friendly and made the visit an interactive one for my son. There is an Emergence window, where butterflies leave their pupae and prepare to take their first flight. Visitors can watch as butterflies emerge from their chrysalides, dry their wings and prepare for their very first flight into the Conservatory. One gentleman that worked there called Kaidyn over and opened up the window to allow Kaidyn to have the opportunity to have a butterfly sit on his arm, which Kaidyn loved!
*Kaidyn at the Emergence window…thanks for the experience!
The Butterfly Conservatory is large enough at 180 metres of pathways winding in and out of the conservatory, that it took us approximately 1 hour to get through the visit. Be sure to bring a camera to get the most out of this visit. You will not be disappointed! Here are a few photos that I took:
Here’s a nice video of what you will find inside the Butterfly Conservatory:
The Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory is located at 2565 Niagara Parkway, on the grounds of the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens and School of Horticulture. For detailed information on the Conservatory, its hours of operation, admission and parking rates, as well as NPC’s attraction packages, please visit www.niagaraparks.com.
The Swamp Creatures Exhibit at the Butterfly Conservatory is an ideal destination for families on Family Day weekend in Niagara Falls. For a few more things to do in Niagara Falls on Family Day weekend click here.
The Butterfly Conservatory is also part of the Niagara Parks Wonder Pass which features:
*The Butterfly Conservatory
*Journey Behind the Falls
Purchasing the Wonder Pass through the Clifton Hill Niagara Falls Hotel will save you an additional 15% off the retail price as part of the “Build-A-Package”. Click on the link below for information on this package — and more!
I’d like to thank the staff at the Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory for a great time and lasting memories for my son and I. We had a wonderful time and I would recommend the new Swamp Creatures Exhibit to everyone.