New exhibit at MOSI a-MAZE-ing Butterflies

NEW at MOSI: a-MAZE-ing Butterflies exhibit

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be a butterfly? Now is your chance to experience the incredibile life journey of butterflies in an interactive way like you’ve never been able to do in Tampa Bay… until now.

As your kids play, they will also learn about about the mysterious life cycle of the butterfly, how to indentify different butterfly species, and how these creatures have adapted to survive. It’s what MOSI likes to call edu-tainment. Pretty cool.

So, let’s step inside a-MAZE-ing Butterflies to give you a bit of a preview so you know what to expect before you go.

a-MAZE-ing Butterflies at MOSI zip line
a-MAZE-ing Butterflies at MOSI zip line. Photo provided by Minotaur Mazes.

Things to do at a-MAZE-ing Butterflies at MOSI

You’ll find the exhibit on the first floor exhibit space near the entrance of the museum, so it’s not hard to miss. a-MAZE-ing Butterflies, which was created by the London Natural History Museum and Minotaur Mazes, is set up like a maze.

You and the kids will first recieve a “Lifecycle Garden Card” to help you track your progress through the maze with a stamp at each of the eight life-cycle stations.

As you step inside the maze, you’ll start at the beginning of a buttefly’s life – the egg. From there, you’ll expereince what it’s like to be caterpillar on the Walk the Caterpillar Walk. Here, you’ll step into ‘caterpillar legs’ and inch you way toward the finish line!

It gets better — your kids can then climb on the oversized leaves just like a caterpillar and even make their way through Hairy Plant Attack which mimics the hairs of a passionflower designed to trap caterpillars.

Hairy Plant Attack at a-MAZE-ing Butterflies at MOSI.
Hairy Plant Attack at a-MAZE-ing Butterflies at MOSI.

Just like childhood, life as a caterpillar isn’t forever. When they emerge from Metamorphosis Chamber in a giant pupa pod representing a chrysalis (super cute photo op here), they can fly like a butterfly on the Monarch Migration Monorail zipline.

But watch out for the dead ends –this is a maze, afterall! You might even come across a spider. This is one of the elements of the exhibit that teaches kids about some of the dangers butterflies encounter as they climb across a giant spider web.

Climb a spider web at a-MAZE-ing Butteflies at MOSI

There are more fun ways to play as you make your way through the maze including a foosball table which represents some of the caterpillars Creepy Friends like the carpenter ant which defends metalmark caterpillars from predators like wasps.

You’ll find several play areas like these that are not only fun and interactive, but also teach a valuable lesson.

“There’s something about butterflies that captures everyone’s imagination. They’re beautiful, they’re a scientific marvel and—as you’ll see here at MOSI—their lives are truly an adventure. That’s why this exhibit is such a great experience, not only for kids, but for their families, too.”

a-MAZE-ing Butterflies will be on display at MOSI through May 5, 2024.

The flurry of fun doesn’t end there! Step outside to experience the new LIVECycles Butterfly Garden

MOSI recently brought back the popular butterfly garden in a whole new way with the debut of the LIVECycles Butterfly Garden. You’ll find it next to the SkyTrails Ropes Course.

LIVECycles Butterfly Garden at MOSI
LIVECycles Butterfly Garden at MOSI.

The screened enclosure is home to butterflies at all stages of life. Be on the lookout for caterpillars as they munch on host plants like milkweed, try to spot a chrysalis, and of course walk among the butteflies as they flutter by you.

This outdoor space is also near the playground and the new Zydeco Brew Werks restaurant that recently opened under the dome, so there’s no need to head somewhere else for lunch. They’ve got you covered with even more food options inside the museum.

If you haven’t been to MOSI in awhile, this is a great time to go with the new exhibits and even improved existing exhibits like Mission Moonbase. It’ll be a day filled with learning fun for everyone in the family whether they want to channel their inner superhero, crawl like a caterpillar, journey to the moon, fly a drone, and more!