Learning about science in a museum is safer than experiencing it firsthand by accidentally ingesting a science textbook. Embrace science with today's Groupon: for $7, you get admission for one adult to Audubon Insectarium at Audubon Nature Institute (up to a $15.95 value), located in downtown New Orleans.
Stationed within the eighteenth century US Custom House, Audubon Insectarium brings together bug-loving kids and kid-loving bugs in a vibrant, educational setting brimming with interactive exhibits. Emerge from a cocoon of boredom by visiting the Metamorphosis Gallery, then witness the fruits of those transformations in an Asian-inspired butterfly garden, home to a colorful collection of free-flying butterflies. Visitors interested in the latest in insect-related art can catch up on high-definition bug cinema in the Terminix Immersion Theater, then sample creature-laden delicacies at the Bug Appétit exhibit, featuring six-legged salsa and hors d’oeuvres topped with queen ants. Audubon Insectarium's bug bonanza also includes a festive, French Quarter–themed Insects of New Orleans Gallery and a hands-on Field Camp, where visitors can ask an expert entomologist what to feed the horrifying bug-man they never meant to create.
Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium
With its imposing, slate-gray façade, the 170-year-old U.S. Custom House may be the last building in which you’d expect to hear the delighted squeals of children. But behind the steely columns, the building erupts into 23,000 square feet of colorful displays and fluttering, scuttling insects, courtesy of the Audubon Society and Insectarium. In the Asian garden, hundreds of butterflies dodge shafts of sunlight to alight on tropical ferns and the shoulders of young visitors. And at the Insects of New Orleans gallery, visitors can ogle the pink katydids, cockroaches, and lovebugs that contribute to the city’s heritage.
These bug-filled displays are all part of the insectarium’s mission to conserve Louisiana’s indigenous species and inspire stewardship in its visitors. While adults can sate their curiosity with the vast array of exotic species, curators gear many displays toward young guests by making them lighthearted and interactive: the Field Camp’s entomologist answers questions about how to collect bugs or break up flea-circus strikes, and at Bug Appétit, chefs dole out insect-filled delicacies to adventurous palates.
Central Business District
423 Canal St.
New Orleans, Louisiana 70130Get Directions