Bugs are invading Morton Arboretum, and the staff
there couldn't be happier. David Rogers' Big Bugs exhibit of giant
sculptures has returned to the arboretum for the summer, along with
bug programs designed just for kids.
The 12 sculptures are built using natural materials
including trees, dried branches, roots and green saplings. Families
can view an oversized bee hive, ladybug, assassin bug, damsel fly,
spiders, praying mantis, dragon fly, grasshopper and three
"The biggest one, the ant, is 25 feet long and 10 feet
high and weighs 725 pounds," says Katie VanMetre,
exhibit developer for Morton.
Docents will use bug-related props and storytelling
techniques to engage families, she says.
Kids also are invited to become bug detectives as they
explore the exhibit. They will receive a free bug detective guide
and can take part in live insect displays and bug-themed storytimes
in the Children's Garden.
For the more adventurous, there's even an edible insects
program for the whole family. VanMetre, who tried dried crickets,
says they're not as bad as people think.
"They're flavored. I had a sour cream and onion and
there's barbecue and cheese flavor," she
Big Bugs will inhabit the arboretum until Sept. 8 and is free
with admission. For more information visit mortonarb.org.
Liz DeCarlo is the former senior editor at Chicago Parent.
See more of Liz's stories here.
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