Welcome to the whimsical world of butterflies!! Last week the littles and I ventured to Butterfly Wonderland and oh what an experience we had!! Before I go any further I must let you know that I loved it. My grandma loved butterflies and I have inherited that love from her. That being said, it was not a very relaxing visit. Why is that you ask?! Because I went by myself with an 18 month old and a 2 month old. Who does that?! Apparently I do.
I had visions of taking beautiful pictures of butterflies. I had visions of changing out my lenses to get the best shots. I had visions of sitting on a bench and just admiring the colorful creatures flitting about. HA!! Who was I kidding. (For a wonderful post that includes all of the above please visit http://haveteacupwilltravel.com/. That’s the kind of post I envisioned doing.)
So instead here are my top 6 tips for anyone planning to attempt the butterflies with children under the age 2.
6) Don’t bother getting glasses for the 3-D movie. Actually don’t bother even going to the 3-D movie. Oh how I would have loved to sit through that movie and enjoy the virtual monarch butterflies, but no. So when you walk in and you see a bunch of people going into the theater to see the movie entitled “Flight of the Butterflies”, just proceed forward into the museum.
5) If you’re taking an infant, don’t forget your front pack carrier. When you enter The Conservatory you are not allowed to take strollers. Oh how I wish I would have known that ahead of time. I had visions of pushing my kids around in the double stroller with them strapped in tightly. Instead I was carrying my huge (14 pound two month old) infant in my arms while chasing my 1 year old around trying to make sure she didn’t step on or eat any butterflies. There were some close calls. Also, if you will be chasing a toddler, I recommend comfortable foot wear. When we were about to enter the conservatory the worker informed me of the guidelines. No picking flowers, no touching butterflies, watch where you walk because they land on the ground, and stay on the path. My daughter doesn’t talk nor understand such frivolous rules. Yeah…that was fun.
4) If you’re planning to take pictures, this is your warning. The conservatory is HUMID!! Within 2 seconds of being inside my camera lens got all fogged up. While I should have spent my 3 spare seconds of adjusting my camera settings, I was stressing out that the lens was all fogged up and worried I wouldn’t get any pictures. Of course after about 5 minutes it went away, but by then I was so busy chasing Roxie around I was literally snapping pictures while moving. For every picture I ended up with in focus, there were about ten blurry ones. I might as well have just taken my iPhone for all the crappy pictures I ended up with.
3) Take snacks. There is a little eating area in between the conservatory and the fish tanks. where they sell food and drinks. This was a life saver. After all that running around I did chasing after my curious energetic daughter I needed to refuel. I had planned ahead and took snacks for Rox, but I forgot snacks for myself. Pepsi anyone?
2) Enjoy the fish tanks and let your child run to her hearts content. Not really, but kinda. In the middle of all the fish tanks is a touching pool where you can reach in and touch Motoro stingrays. Roxie knew there was water, but she couldn’t reach it or see what was inside. That was perfect. I was getting tired. She did have fun running up to each tank and pointing to all of the colorful fish. It was fun to watch her and not stress too much about her running. The fish are pretty amazing.
1) Make sure you strap your kids back into that stroller before exiting through the gift shop. There were lots of cool little trinkets that your grandma would swoon over. Unfortunately not all of them are unbreakable so I don’t recommend letting little bodies with sticky fingers run loose through there.
So there you have it. I hope you have found this list useful in any way if you are planning a trip there with your kids by your self. Had there been another adult there with me we could have taken turns carrying the baby and chasing after the toddler and taking pictures (okay fine I needed two other adults there with me). My last piece of advice is to go there as close to opening as possible. When I got there it wasn’t too crowded and I could sometimes keep an eye on Rox from a distance. By the time I left it was really crowded and she would have been easy to lose. Will I go again? Yes, either in ten years with my kids or when I can go by myself. Will I take two babies there again by myself? No!! Never again!!