I received tickets for my family to visit Texas Discovery Gardens and Butterfly House. I’m giving away a family four-pack of tickets, so be sure to enter at the bottom of this post for a chance to win!
Before I write this post, I need to give fair warning and a disclosure: I don’t. Like. Butterlies.
Not in the “I want them all to die” kind of way. More in the, “I’m terrified of them” kind of way. So, it might surpise some of you to see me writing this post, and I won’t lie…it was challenging. I mean, I struggled with editing the butterfly photos – that’s how ridiculous this fear is. But I realize this phobia is irrational, and I don’t want my kids to be afraid of something as silly as a butterfly – or worse, miss out on cool life experiences because of me – so I sucked it up and took the kids to the Butterfly House.
No, I didn’t actually go in (because that would be nuts)…that’s what Charles was there for. It turns out, though, that the Butterfly House is really, really cool for most of society – and even better, there’s plenty to see and do for non-butterfly-lovers like myself.
If you like in the Dallas area, or are visiting Dallas, you might want to add this to your list of places to visit. Here are some tips for planning your visit and taking full advantage of all Texas Discovery Gardens has to offer!
Texas Adventure Gardens are located at Fair Park. The gardens and butterfly house are attached, but have no fear – if you don’t like butterflies (this is a real thing, people!), you can still visit the gardens and insectarium without having to go inside the butterfly house. Whew!
The first thing Charles and the kids did was get a tour of the butterfly house. We were there in time for the release, which takes place every day at noon. This is when they release the freshly-hatched butterflies. The kids really loved this…they learned a lot, too, and have been telling me all about the cool stuff they learned, like how a butterfly used to be a caterpillar and what they like to eat (people, right?).
The butterfly house is pretty warm and humid, so keep that in mind when dressing for the experience (layers are a good idea).
The best part is the kids got to be in the butterfly habitat. Rather than viewing them through a window, they had the chance to experience butterflies in a setting that really encouraged their curiosity (and trust me…these are some curious kids).
Because there are so many butterflies (hundreds!), there were lots of opportunities to get close to them. The kids even had the chance to hold a chrysalis (which houses a nearly grown butterfly).
It takes about twenty minutes to walk through the butterfly house, but you can walk through it as many times as you like (it gets warm inside, so you may want to come out and cool off before going in for another visit).
While the kids were looking at butterflies, I checked out the insectarium. Suprisingly, So, I’m not squeamish about bugs or snakes (generally speaking, that is…I mean, I really didn’t like stumbling upon scorpions when we lived in the country, but…if I’m prepared, I think bugs and snakes are pretty cool).
The Insectarium had lots of strange bugs on display. The giant scorpions (larger than my hand, whaaaaat) were definitely not something you see every day, but I think the coolest part was when Claire got to touch a hissing cockroach (I even heard it hissing)!
Once you’ve visited the butterflies, and the insects, be sure to step outside to walk through the gardens.
The first public garden in Texas to be certified 100% organic, the gardens are maintained using sustainable methods. It happened to be a beautiful day when we visited, so we brought a picnic with us. There are several pagodas in the garden, along with lots of benches and a few nice grassy areas, that are perfect for enjoying an outdoor lunch!
The kids loved running around the gardens as much as they loved visiting the butterflies, and I was glad we had brought lunch so we could enjoy the day outdoors.
There are lots and lots of family-friendly activities taking place at Texas Discovery Gardens.
This weekend is the Travel to the Tropics event. Tour the butterfly house and learn about all the countries they come from. You’ll even get a lei and a passport!
If you have itty-bitties (under five), check out the Stories and More story time experience. These are geared towards little kids (activities end with the butterfly release at noon…just in time for naps!).
- You can learn more about these activities, along with all of the other fun stuff going on at Texas Discovery Gardens, here.
- You can find directions, hours, and ticket pricing here.
You also have the chance to win a family four-pack of tickets here! Simply leave a comment below telling me you’d like to visit the butterfly house and gardens! Contest is open until 12:00 PM CST on January 30th. I’ll notify the winner via email (so be sure to fill out the email portion of the comment form with your correct email!), and you’ll have 48 hours to respond (or I’ll have to draw another winner). Good luck!
Updated 2/1/14: Congrats Shannon! You’re my winner! 🙂