The thing about butterflies in Chicago is that they are free, at least they are on Thursdays, anyway. Although, if we are speaking more literally, butterflies are up for donation. At the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Thursday is pay what you’d like to donate day. Though no one will tell you how much you should slide into the donation box, there will most likely be a museum staffer within less than a yard of said box watching and listening as your change jingles to the bottom. Whatever the admission, whether it be your coveted pocket change or a foreboding evil eye from the staff member on post as consequence for your paying nothing, it promises to be worth it. The Butterfly Haven alone is enough to transport the most jaded adult right back to the wonder of 6 year old-dome.
Over 70 butterfly species flutter about you as a tiny birds fill the air with singing amid a greenhouse filled with gorgeous flowers and tropical trees. Be sure to bring your camera because kodak moments will abound. Although, I personally have never made it out of the Butterfly Haven in enough time to visit the museum’s other exhibits, there is plenty to keep any visitor busy. The Nature Museum’s other permanent exhibits include Mysteries of the Marsh, Istock Family Look-in Animal Lab, the Wilderness Walk, Hands-on Habitat, Extreme Green House and the Micole Birdwalk.
Other offerings are a host of workshops, classes and programs for both children and adults, even a delightfully serene Saturday morning yoga class in the Butterfly Haven starts in June.
The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum is located at 2430 N Cannon Drive Chicago, IL 60614 and is open M-F 9:30-4:30 and S-S 10-5. Admission is $6-$9, Yoga is $15.