AAA Editor Notes
Butterfly World is in Tradewinds Park at 3600 W. Sample Rd. Although butterflies, in all their colorful glory, are the star players here, you will also be treated to vividly hued lorikeets, an insectarium, hummingbirds and gardens in full bloom.
A self-guiding tour takes you first to the laboratory where you'll see hundreds of butterflies in the earliest stages of growth—the egg and larva phase. Then it's on to a favorite area, an aviary with thousands of butterflies from five continents flitting about from flower to flower, frequently landing on your shirt or outstretched hand. Children stand in amazement (as do adults) as these gentle creatures surround them.
A path leads you onward to see cases full of butterfly pupas; if you're lucky, you might be able to watch some young butterflies emerge and test their wings. The next stop is the Tropical Rain Forest Aviary with an abundance of tropical plants and free-flying butterflies and birds. This is a popular place to snap an up-close picture of a stunningly bright butterfly or bird gracefully landing on a branch.
Enjoy a walk through several gardens filled with tropical vines, plants and roses as you head to the Lorikeet Encounter, where these friendly, brilliantly multi-colored Australian natives will flock to you and sip nectar right out of a cup. (A lorikeet is a small, rainbow-colored, very vocal parrot.).
A suspension bridge leads you to an aviary full of hummingbirds and flowering plants, and then, for a change of pace, it's on to a museum and insectarium where you can examine amazing specimens of butterflies and insects, and The Bug Zoo with live scorpions, walking sticks, beetles and an assortment of spiders.
Food is available. Time: Allow 2 hours minimum.