Butterflies in the City

It is a treat taking my daughter out on her first excursions in the city. At just about 8 months old, she already adores heading out with mom, dad and brother on buggy adventures. We recently visited the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum with baby in tow, and her smiles and laughter let us all know that she enjoyed herself. Namely, in the butterfly room, where butterflies big and small fluttered around, sometimes even landing upon us. She was also fascinated by the turtles. My son, age 9, was intrigued by snake feeding time, whereupon two snakes dipped into a bowl of goldfish for a luscious buffet. Also, I’ve learned that one is never too oldnor too youngfor the water play area. I would say though, that this museum is perfect for the early childhood set.

We also had a chance to check out the museum’s latest exhibit, Sanctuary: Flight of the Majestic Monarch. Did you know that monarch butterflies embark on a an annual 2,500 mile journey from Canada to Michoacan, Mexico, stopping in our city on the way? We learned much about the toughness and resiliance of these delicately winged creatures, as well as about their struggle with increasing deforestation.

The museum has some wonderful programs this summer, including a new partnership with American Girl. Of note:

Family Art with Hector Duarte (Fridays May 28, June 4, 18, 25, July 2, 9, 16 & Saturday July 10) Join acclaimed muralist Hector Duarte as you create your own work of art inspired by the Museum’s special exhibition Sanctuary: Flight of the Majestic Monarch. Free with Museum admission.

May 28 & June 11, 4:15 p.m. at the Museum, 7:30 p.m. at the American Girl Cafe Discover the wonders of nature-just like Lanie, our 2010 Girl of the Year! Your day starts with a visit to the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, where you and your girl will see a spectacular private butterfly release and learn how to spot birds in the wild. Then, come to American Girl Place for a delicious meal in the Cafe. Transportation to and from the museum provided by Chicago Gray Line. Sponsored by The Westin Michigan Avenue Chicago. Cost: $40, reservations required. Call 877-247-5223 to register.

And this weekend!

Tea with the Turtles (Sunday, May 23, Noon to 3 p.m.) Join us for an afternoon of tea with the turtles! Learn all about the different turtles at the Museum through fun and games, get up-close with the different turtle species and watch them enjoy a meal. This event is sponsored by Argo Tea.

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