Arizona Butterfly Wonderland

My last article featured some of my favorite Arizona attractions.

I found another one – the Butterfly Wonderland! The best part of chaperoning school field trips is finding cool new places. Almost a year ago, Scottsdale became home to this new attraction.

We started our tour with a 3-D IMAX experience. The kids (OK, and me) were reaching out to touch the butterflies as they appeared to fly above their heads.

From the theater, we headed to the Butterfly Emergence Gallery where we saw chrysalises in various stages of transformation. It’s fascinating to watch the newly emerged butterflies unfold their wings for the first time.

The main attraction is the 10,000 square foot, glass enclosed atrium. Be prepared, it is a little steamy in there, but the views are amazing. There are tons of trees and plenty of benches to sit and watch over 30 species of butterflies flutter around.

After we left the atrium, we spent some time at the beehive. I’ve seen beehives in glass so you can see the inner workings, but this one was unique with the tube that led to the outside world. Not only could we watch and learn, but these bees are contributing to pollinating local plant life.

Our last stop was the Rivers of the Amazon Aquatic Life. This room is edged with large fresh water aquariums. But the main attraction is the 1800 gallon touch tank with Motoro Stingrays. Who doesn’t like feeling these sleek beauties?

As much as the kids and I enjoyed our trip to the Butterfly Wonderland, there are plans to make it even better with additional attractions including the largest aquarium in the southwest; a Ripley’s Believe It or Not museum, and a “Taste of the World” culinary showcase. The Odysea Mirror Maze has already opened. Soon families can enjoy a full day of entertainment.

There’s no need to wait, or even take the kids. My parents went with their local Corvette club and also had a good time. With or without the kids, the Butterfly Wonderland is unique way to spend a few hours in Scottsdale.

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