The Tribe hasn’t shared where we’ve been or what we are doing in awhile! That doesn’t mean that things haven’t been happening, it’s just that after being on the road for over 7 years, we sometimes want a break from sharing! lol. But, we’re back, ready to show you some of the fun places that we’ve been going, and new things we’ve been doing!
The Audubon Insectarium and Butterfly Garden, in New Orleans, Louisiana, was the only one of the 3 Audubon destination locations in New Orleans that we had not yet been to! We had visited the Audubon Zoo and the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas on an earlier visit to New Orleans, but at the time the Butterfly Garden and Insectarium was new and we hadn’t made it over there yet.
This year, while we were in the area, we made sure to visit! And we were so glad that we did – it was such a fun treat!
Because the Insectarium is downtown, parking is an important consideration when visiting the Insectarium, or the Aquarium, which is just 2 blocks away! Canal Place Parking is the handiest parking lot, situated between the 2 Audubon locations. We did not take our rv (of course! -taking that thing through the French Quarter would give even us a heart attack!), and we do have a tall van, so we parked in the front outdoor lot, and did not go into the parking garage that is right behind it. Payment is through a kiosk in the middle of the lot, and I believe we paid $10 for our spot. If you take your parking pass with you, you can validate it at many of the local shops or the aquarium or insectarium, and they will take the parking fee off of your entrance fee (basically, making parking free).
The Insectarium is located in the city Federal Building, so make sure to (have your kids 😉 ) leave any ‘weapons’ like pocket knives or leathermans in your vehicle as you do have to go through a manned check point when entering the location.
We were very surprised that the non-assuming exterior of the insectarium was hiding such a great stop!
Inside was a very well laid out, beautiful, clean, and interesting museum full of education displays, live insect exhibits, and interactive areas!
Touring the museum is easy, with a large loop to follow, so our first stop was in the Field Camp.
Here we learned about arthropods, or animals that have their skeletons on the outside (exoskeleton),
like the millipede. The staff member was friendly and informative, and at ease with the kids and let them touch the different insects he had on display.
Throughout the museum are exhibits filled with live insects like these 2 and 3 inch long Madagascar Hissing Cockroach.
One of the kids’ favorite areas in the insectarium is the Underground Gallery;
the kids loved the huge insects that surrounded them in this simulated underground, bug-infested, dark and dank tunnel.
As cool as the underground gallery was, the most shocking area of the insectarium was yet to come. It was the Tiny Termite Café!
There you can choose some snacks from the ‘Bug Buffet’, like the Crispy Cajun Crickets above.
If you dare.
The kids’ favorite snack was the Chocolate Chirp Cookies (like chocolate chip cookies, but topped with a cricket!). Some of the kids were braver than others, and yes, Joel really did eat the Six-Legged Salsa! He requested a piece of mint gum when he was done. rofl.
We learned about termites, which are quite a problem (an expensive one!) in New Orleans.
Another of our favorite areas was the Louisiana area where we learned some fun new facts about one of our favorite areas – the swamps!!! No matter how long we spend in Louisiana, we are still intrigued with and enamored with the swamplands!
The Insectarium has a fun little area where you can build your ideal bug (ours died. lol.), and there is also an immersion theatre where you can view a short informative video
(do NOT tell your kids it’s interactive! hehehe).
The area in the Audubon Insectarium where we spent the most time was the Butterfly Garden! It was warm, so dress in layers 😉 and peaceful and calming. And there were hundreds of butterflies flying around and alighting on the many flowers in the large room. They will alight on you if you hold still!
We hadn’t thought about luring the butterflies when dressing in the morning, so the liked some of us better than others. lol. Red seems to be the color they are drawn to the most. Wear bright colors, and bring your camera!
There were so many different butterflies and moths! There are docents/staff attending the room at all times, and you can ask them questions about the butterflies – we had to ask the names for quite a few of them! Next time we will bring a butterfly guide so we can look them up ourselves (homeschool thing. lol.)
Maybe it was the red dolly carrier that Peanut wore, or maybe it was how still her baby held while the butterfly was on it, but we finally had to hand this lovely Owl Butterfly off to another little girl so we could leave!
We spent at least an hour in the butterfly garden.
We were there while they released a new batch of butterflies that had been hatched in the Insectarium and were ready to try their wings in the Butterfly garden!
They wouldn’t fly far at first, so most alighted on the crowd gathered to watch their release.
There was also a fabulous gift shop, where the kids bought (among other things) a huge spider that haunts the RV.
Other people have that annoying Elf on the Shelf, we have an annoying Spider in the Shower.
We loved our visit to the Insectarium – it was a fun, educational stop for The Tribe.
This location is unlike any zoo/museum-type destination that we’ve been to before, and we’d go back again in a heartbeat!
You can learn more about the unique Audubon Insectarium on the Audubon Nature Institute website –
find the Insectarium here,
as well as check out the tabs for the Zoo and the Aquarium at the top left.
All 3 stops were super family friendly, clean, fun, and educational – the ultimate roadschool adventures!
If Peanut had her way, we’d still be there!
*Disclaimer – many thanks to the Audubon Institute for providing comped tickets for The Tribe to visit the Insectarium. All opinions expressed in this post are our own and are not influenced by the ANI.