Not everybody likes bugs, but there are many people that love to learn about and observe how bugs behave and the different patterns that they follow. Many also don't realize how important insects are for all ecosystems.
Whether it is population control, food for other animals, or pollination, nature would be brutally affected if many important species of insects went extinct. That's why insect museums started popping up all over the world and still are to this day. Even though it might not be your shtick, we definitely encourage you to have a look at some of the top ten most amazing museums, and decide if you're interested!
10 The Harrell House Bug Museum
The Harrell House Bug Museum prides itself on being "a unique, family friendly experience". Located in Santa Fe, New Mexico, they have over 4,700 insects on display, featuring many different genus and species from all over the world, and many different time periods. They encourage their guests to hold and play with some of their live specimens (of which they have 150)! The museum also feeds their animals daily, which the public can get in on as well.
9 Insect Village At Pacific Science Center
With insects of all kinds, the Insect Village at Pacific Science Center in Seattle, makes sure that there is plenty of variety, displaying many insects with a great span of live specimens, as well. Some of these live insects include stick insects, cockroaches, beetles, bees and so many more. They even have exhibits about animals that aren't true insects, such as the African Giant Millipede. He may sound scary and give you the chills, but the website assures potential customers that all he wants is a little cucumber.
8 The Bug Museum
This bug museum in Washington has a very cheerful and quaint atmosphere. The tiny museum and gift shop allows a close up and personal experience that is suitable for all families, individuals and groups. Stopping at this location means seeing an array of bug displays as well as live specimens. They even have an eight foot long ant farm that you can observes. You haven't even heard the best part, yet! It's free! The only money you'll be spending here is if you want something at the gift shop!
7 Bohart Museum Of Entomology
This museum has a great amount of history to it, being dedicated to a very important faculty member of the University of California where the museum is located. Dr. Richard M. Bohart (left) was a beloved member of the faculty for 50 years, as the website states.
He published over 200 papers and articles! The best part is that the collections you can see at the Bohart Museum, stemmed from displays that Bohart and his students made together. It can be fun to see the history behind the museum, sometimes, and in this case it's pretty heart warming.
6 Monsanto Insectarium At Saint Louis Zoo
The insectarium that is part of the Saint Louis Zoo is so big that it has its own building! As the website boasts, it's "one of a handful of exhibits in North America dedicated solely to bugs" and contains "more than 20 major exhibit areas, with more than 100 species of live insects". If that is not enough to tickle your fancy, then we aren't quite sure what will! And just like the Bug Museum above, this insectarium has no admission fee, so your family can enjoy the entire day at the Saint Louis insectarium for free!
5 The Houston Museum Of Natural Science
The insectarium and bug exhibit at The Houston Museum of Natural Science is just one of the many exhibits at this incredible establishment. Since insects are the focus of this list, though, the Cockrell Butterfly Center is definitely worth mentioning. Even though the butterfly sanctuary has been the center of attention since its opening in 1994, there are also many displays that you can meander around. During the summers, the center also holds fun activities that are free of charge with the purchase of a Butterfly Center ticket.
4 Lyman Entomological Museum
McGill University is one of the most prestigious schools in Canada, located in Ottawa, Ontario. Housing about 40,000 students, it isn't the biggest school by any means, but if you are interested in bugs, the trip is extremely worth-while. The museum located within the school itself contains about three million specimens and is actually "the largest university insect collection in Canada". It's a pretty old insectarium, as it was founded by Henry H. Lyman in 1914. The website is extremely informative, giving the history of the site as well as some of the highlights of the exhibits. So check it out and see if you're interested before making the trek all the way to Ottawa!
3 Insectarium At Audubon Nature Institute
This incredible institute is full of so many fun things to do. If you're not planning a trip to the area, it might be a good idea to add it into your adventure. Not only does this Nature Institute have an insectarium, it also has an aquarium, zoo, nature center, as well as other on-site activities. The Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, although quite pricey, starting from $17.95, offers great package deals that can save you a few dollars per person, that way you get to see as many exhibits as you'd like!
2 May Natural History Museum
This insect museum is a little bit different than the ones we have already seen on this list. Located just outside of Colorado Springs, the insectarium is actually the world's largest private insect collection. It has over 7,000 amazing specimens, which include butterflies, spiders, moths, strange beetles and more. The founder, James May, explored the world for about 80 years, finding an incredible amount of species. This museum is definitely very interesting, and if it doesn't hit the spot, we're not sure what will!
1 Butterfly Wonderland
Butterflies are truly some of the most beautiful creatures on this planet. Every kid dreams of having a butterfly landing on their nose, and every parent dreams of taking the photo. The people at Butterfly Wonderland in Arizona take advantage of that; in a good way! With a collection of over 3,000 live butterflies, you can visit their butterfly sanctuary and explore all the pretty colours and enjoy the gentle creatures. They even have special events and activities for children, making it the perfect family outing, if that's what you're into!