by Marni Patterson
I provide travel writing, photography and video services that promote destinations and provide travel tips. If you need help promoting your attraction, hotel, resort or restaurant, I can help. For more information, visit www.mptravelwriting.com.
You're surrounded by beautiful, tropical flowers. The air is more humid than it is after a monsoon storm. And there are butterflies everywhere you look. It might sound like you're in Costa Rica or the Amazon Rain Forest. But you're not. You're in Scottsdale, AZ at Butterfly Wonderland.
Monarch & Spotted Tiger Glassywing
Butterfly Wonderland is a rainforest paradise filled with thousands of butterflies from all over the world. There are over 70 different species and you can meet them all face-to-face as you walk through the conservatory. There's also a large pond with a waterfall that's home to several dozen colorful Koi fish. And you may get to meet the two resident chickens.
Outside the rainforest area is the largest butterfly emergence gallery in the country. You can watch as live chrysalises transform into beautiful butterflies before they're released into the conservatory.
Don't miss "Flight of the Butterflies," a short film in the 3D theater that chronicles the almost 3,000-mile migration of Monarch butterflies from the United States and Canada to Mexico for the winter. You'll learn all about the life of a butterfly and feel as if you can reach out and touch one as they jump off the screen.
You can also meet reptiles, amphibians and arthropods that coexist with butterflies in rainforests throughout the world. You might see an Asian Water Dragon or Green Tree Python from the tropical wetlands and tree canopy habitats that are common in Southeast Asia, New Guinea, and Australia. However, you'll have to look closely because they're experts at camouflaging themselves.
Hailing from the Amazon are Poison Dart Frogs in a variety of colors, a Goliath Birdeater—the largest spider in the world, iguanas and a Giant Thorny Walking Stick.
You may see the Panther Chameleon, Tomato Frog or Giant Leaf-Tailed Gecko that come from the tropical island of Madagascar and now call Butterfly Wonderland home.
Giant Thorny Walking Stick
Butterfly Wonderland hosts special events throughout the year for children and adults. Examples of events that are held periodically include a trip to Southern Arizona to see Monarchs in their natural habitat as they migrate to Mexico and a class where a local artist teaches you how to paint abstract butterflies.
Kids of all ages will enjoy the Bug Club where they can meet giant beetles, a Giant African Millipede and other exotic creatures. Visit the Butterfly Wonderland website to see a current event schedule
Branded Peacock & Pink Cattleheart
Butterfly Wonderland is open from 9 am to 5 pm 365 days a year. Plan to arrive by 4 pm because ticket sales stop one hour before closing. Strollers are allowed throughout the building, except in the conservatory. So, parents should plan to bring backpacks or Snugglies to carry very young children.
9500 E Via de Ventura
Scottsdale, AZ 85256