Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium
If you (or your kids) love everything creepy-crawly, make sure to visit the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium in New Orleans. With different exhibits looking at the life of bugs, plus a walk-through butterfly garden, where bright butterflies swoop around you, the insectarium offers the chance to get to see nature’s smallest critters.
Part of New Orleans’ respected Audubon Nature Institute, the insectarium has more than 50 live exhibits covering all aspects of the life of insects. A termite gallery explores the effects of the wood-eating bugs on a wooden version of the New Orleans skyline, while the Louisiana Swamp habitat takes you through the sights and sounds of the bayou with special visual and audio effects.
The butterfly garden, officially known as the Joe W. and Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation Butterflies in Flight, houses hundreds of butterflies and is one of the insectarium’s most popular attractions. You can expect to see many different colorful types flying past here and possibly even landing on your head or shoulders. Visitors often choose to combine a trip to the insectarium with one of Audubon’s other sites in the city with a combined ticket or New Orleans multi-attraction pass that includes skip-the-line entry.
Things to Know Before You Go
Visitors must pass through a brief security check before entering the federal building housing the insectarium.
Adventurous types can try different edible bugs at the Bug Appetit cafe.
The insectarium is wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
The entrance to the insectarium is located at 423 Canal Street near North Peters Street in the Central Business District. The attraction is accessible by foot from downtown New Orleans, or on the Canal St. Streetcar—the nearest stop is Canal and Magazine. There are paid parking lots nearby.
When to Get There
The insectarium is open daily from 10am–5pm. It is closed for major holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and Mardi Gras. Weekday afternoons are the least busy times to visit. Most people spend around two hours here, and last entry is at 4:30pm.
Audubon Aquarium of the Americas
Part of the Audubon Nature Institute collection, the Aquarium of the Americas is located just two blocks away from the insectarium and brings together more than 500 different species from the marine world under one roof. From sea otters to African penguins, sharks, stingrays, and more, it’s a fascinating look at underwater life.
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