By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 12/16/2018
Occurred: 7/15/2018
Topics/Keywords: #Travel #Phoenix #ButterflyWonderland Page Views: 261
Butterfly Wonderland features the largest butterfly conservatory in the country with over 3,000 fluttering butterflies!

More than 3,000 butterflies from around the world flutter among the lush tropical plants and flowers, landing for just long enough to capture the perfect photograph. The flowers, trees and plants within the atrium have been chosen precisely for the butterfly species within. Butterfly Wonderland truly is one of the most amazing butterfly conservatories not only in the country, but also in the world.

For this visit, there was myself, husband Keith, ex-husband Michael, daughter Jenny, and grandkids Gianna and Dominic. In addition, Jenny's friends Danielle and Steve came along with their kids, Rylan and Brielle (who is Gianna's best friend).

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Butterfly Wonderland is located in Scottsdale, about 20 minutes from my apartment, in a complex that includes other family-oriented exhibits, such as an aquarium and an indoor ice rink. Combo tickets are available. However, today, my daughter Jenny and my grandkids were going just to see the butterflies.

The interior is a wide space that is somewhat open to the outside air, with netting to keep the butterflies in. But other than that, given that it was over 100�F when we visited, and quite humid (it's monsoon season here), and humidity is added for the comfort of the butterflies, you won't be surpised to learn we were all soaked with sweat within a few minutes.

The butterfly bench provides a nice backdrop for photos.

Rylan, Steve and Brielle enjoy the koi pond.

Dominic and Gianna loved the fish.

And then, of course, there were the butterflies. Many different species of them!

There were also many, many flowers, providing the butterflies with food and shelter.

Rylan and Dominic are buds.

A handler came out with this Chinese Water Dragon. He's harmless and doesn't mind being petted, but Gianna was torn between interest and revulsion.

Brielle, a little older than Gianna, was first to be brave.

They also had a visible honeybee hive. I couldn't get any of the kids to get near it.

Dominic was quick to point out anything he found interesting.

Like a bowl of melon (like he gets for breakfast) set out for the butterflies. I think he was a little surpised to see that butterflies eat what he eats.

They are very clear that we are not to touch the butterflies. If they land on us we have to just wait for them to leave. Keith was the only one of us on whom a butterfly landed, and he was probably as uncomfortable about it as Gianna would have been.

There was a separate room with a small aquarium. Gianna and Brielle loved this tank, which held sand rays and a couple of nurse sharks.

Gianna and Brielle got a chance to feel different seashells.

There is also a reptile exhibit with various tropical lizards and frogs.

Finally, just shy of the exit, we stopped at the obligatory photo op.

I can definitely recommend Butterfly Wonderland as a terrific place to spend an afternoon with one's family.