By Christine Davis
When I first brought up the idea of going to the Butterfly Conservatory in Niagara Falls to editor-in-chief Jane Muller she suggested wearing bright colours to attract the butterflies. After being there, I recommend the same, as that’s just what we did and had many of the more than 2,000 tropical butterflies land on us as a result.
Located on the grounds of the Botanical Gardens, this Niagara Parks attraction features 45 different species and 180 metres of lush, tropical pathways to explore at your own pace.
Never having been before, my family didn’t know what to expect, but we were pleasantly surprised by the relaxed environment were we could meander through the rainforest setting, sit when we wanted and of course, take plenty of photos.
The experience begins with a brief video presentation about the conservatory and instructions how to behave inside, then you step right into the tropical environment with butterfly sightings straight away.
My 3-year-old was a little taken back at first as many butterflies swarmed her and her brightly coloured dress, but she quickly became comfortable and eagerly anticipated the butterflies landing on her. A favourite spot in the conservatory is the Emergence Window, where butterflies leave their pupae and prepare for their first flight. I explained that it was just like one of her favourite books, Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which helped her understand what was happening and she was thrilled when we saw one butterfly take flight and another land directly on her brother’s arm.
I recommend stopping in the gift shop for some unique butterfly-related gifts and grabbing a snack and drink to fuel up before walking through the immaculate Botanical Gardens.
Admission to the Butterfly Conservatory can be purchased at the door or as part of the Niagara Falls Adventure Pass. Visit NiagaraParks.com for details.