One of our favorite field trips every year is to Fredrick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture to see the Butterflies! During the month of March and April every year they host the countries biggest display of butterflies, it is a 15,000 square foot tropical conservatory where more than 6,000 tropical butterflies flying around freely. They have more then 40 different species, it is so amazing for the kids they get the opportunity to see each step of the lifecycle of the butterfly.
Outside in the children’s garden they have a bunch of fun butterfly learning and activities for the kids to explore as well! Of course our homeschooling theme turns into butterflies and includes many different butterfly learning and activities!!
We not only enjoy Fredrick Meijer Gardens during the butterflies, but through out the rest of the year as well. Outside they have a children’s garden that includes a senses garden where children use all of their senses to explore a huge and fun garden for children, they have a water area for the kids shaped like the Great Lakes, a giant sand pit complete with diggers! They have a clubhouse area for the kids to play, trails that go over a huge pond that we have seen ducks, frogs, herons, and beavers on, a Michigan Farm Garden, tram rides, a huge sculpture park, English perennial gardens, and they will soon have a Japanese garden as well. This is just every thing outside.
Inside they have a arid gardens with beautiful plants and cactuses, a carnivorous plant house and a huge tropical conservatory area that is changed out throughout the year, they have the butterflies every March and April and they have Christmas Around The World in December with fully decorated trees from all around the world. We have purchased a membership to the Gardens for many years now and get a lot of use out of it and are so blessed to have something like this so close to us.
When you first start out you walk through the Arid garden area where they have some amazing desert plants and cactuses. My sister and niece went with us and also had a great time!
After that we moved onto the Seasonal Display Greenhouse that has some beautiful garden areas and has areas set up with some chrysalis and caterpillars crawling around on some of the plants!
Here are some of the caterpillars we found.
As you can see one of the chrysalis is about to hatch into a butterfly, the chrysalis is clear and if you look closely you can actually see the butterfly inside of it!
Here is a picture with most of the kids and cousin Ava, Dustin was having a bad day and decided he was not going with us. Oh the joys of teenagers…
Next we enter the butterfly room! They have feeding stations where you get to see lots of butterflies drinking the sweet nectar.
Each week hundreds of chrysalis arrive at the gardens each week and are carefully placed inside the This is the butterfly bungalow where the chrysalises are kept for you to watch the magic of butterflies emerging from a chrysalis! This bungalow is just so amazing. Once the butterflies hatch they are carefully placed onto a plant to get used to their environment and gain strength before taking off into the air.
Because of how hot it is in the room with the butterflies, the little kids never make it to long inside there! After we finished looking at the butterflies we headed outside to check out a few of the fun butterfly activities outside in the Children’s Garden. We didn’t end up doing to many of the activities outside because it was pretty cold that day. Inside a little snack area they had microscopes and magnifying glasses out for the kids to get a close up look at the butterflies found in Michigan.
Of course what fun is a magnifying glass unless we see how funny our faces look with them 🙂
Gabe was telling me this is the big one and this is the little one mommy.
After the kids explored the butterflies found in Michigan they went outside and tried on the butterfly wings and antlers to become butterflies! Because Ethan is not slow trying to get a picture of him as a butterfly was not fun, the only one I managed to get came out pretty blurry, but he does have a huge smile on his face!
Here is my niece as a blue butterfly, as you can see she was a little easier to get a clear picture of 🙂
They have metal butterfly seats for the kids to sit on and get their pictures taken on, so each of the kids got a chance to get a picture taken, except Serena.