Sunday, January 30, 2011

Come To The Tropics at Texas Discovery Gardens

Yesterday we spent some time at Texas Discovery Gardens in Dallas for their "Come To The Tropics" event.

We looked at giant hissing cockroaches...



...and big scary scorpions...



But the highlight of the event was the warm, humid butterfly house where butterflies fly freely around you as you walk through the tropical gardens of the two story greenhouse.



We were disappointed that we didn't get more pictures of butterflies but they were very active and hard to capture. But the kids saw a lot of them flying all around and they learned about the stages of butterfly development.



Rachel especially loved the giant colorful butterfly kites just outside of the butterfly house.



Next we did a fun butterfly craft. Take a piece of construction paper and fold it in half. Then use a template that looks like a curled up caterpillar and trace it on the construction paper. Make sure the curved side of the caterpillar is on the folded side of the construction paper.



Cut out the pattern and decorate your caterpillar.



When the caterpillar is "grown" you can open up the contstruction paper and he becomes a butterfly! Decorate the inside to look like a butterfly.



We decided to take a break and listen to a live band that was playing. I got us each a glass of Bubble Tea. What? You don't know what Bubble Tea is? Don't worry, I didn't either but it sounded fun. Nicholas and Rachel got Blue Raspberry Bubble Tea.



Bubble teas come in various fruit flavors and while it has a tea base, it is actually quite milky in texture. What is most unique about them is that there are small tapioca balls or pearls called "boba" in the bottom of the drink. You get a superwide straw with the drink so that when you take a sip you can also get a tapioca pearl to "eat" along with it.

It sounded neat but the pearls were much bigger than I expected and I found it too unusual for my taste. I kept having a hard time figuring out if I was drinking it or eating it.

Rachel didn't care for it much either.



Actually neither of our kids liked it at all. Maybe that's why one of their drinks got spilled all over the floor.



We decided the great outdoors was a better place for us so we headed out to the gardens for some fresh air. We watched the minnows and koi fish in the pond.



Of course, our kids are free-range kids so if there are wide-open spaces then they can be found running freely.





And, like most kids, they have an innate attraction to water that they just can't resist.



Even when the water is near freezing temperatures. Note Nicholas' appreciation of said cold water!



Yep, maybe just sitting next to the fountain is a better idea.



Rachel was so cute as she held out her arms and walked on the edging of the grassy area as if it were a balance beam. I see gymnastics in our future!



I love outdoor sculptures. It's fancy artwork that is ok for kids to touch!



It was nice getting to see the butterflies and spending time in the gardens as a family.

Texas Discovery Gardens is located at 3601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Dallas. You can reach them at (214) 428-7476 or get more info from their website at www.texasdiscoverygardens.org. Texas Discovery Gardens is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm. Each Tuesday, the gardens are open for free (butterfly house admission is regular price). Butterfly House and Garden Admission is $8 Adults, $6 Seniors (60+), $4 Children (3-11), and free for under 3.

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