While in Branson during Spring Break, we decided to check out The Butterfly Palace and Rainforest Adventure. As is almost everything in Branson, it proved very easy to find. When we first arrived, we entered the main doors which fed into a large circular room with a very high-ceiling. Wide, gradual stairs lined this round room and led to the second floor. This entrance area also doubled as a tastefully arranged gift shop.
We were immediately greeted warmly by the staff as we bought our entry tickets. They also offered clear suggestions and instructions regarding the facility.
As we moved to the left, we found a room housing several lizards, turtles, fish, frogs, and even giant cockroaches. They call this the Science Center and they will, at prescribed times, put on little presentations and allow visitors to hold the creatures.
We next made our way into the Emerald Forest Mirror Maze. It is exactly what it sounds like and I highly recommend you experience it. We had an absolute blast navigating our way through it. Keep those hands out in front of you, though. It’s very easy to walk right into a mirror!
After that we ascended the steps in order to enjoy the Banyan Tree Adventure. This small room is set up to replicate the vines of the Banyan Tree. They are actually green bungee cords, but they are so numerous and thick that it ended up being quite challenging. Once my kids got the hang of it, though, they were able to fly through them. This is a small room and will probably take you no more than a minute or two to traverse, but it’s fun.
Finally, we sought the main event — The Butterfly Aviary! This is a USDA controlled area, so they take your visit very seriously. You will go through one room and wait for the doors to shut before you access the aviary. When you decide to leave the aviary, they will ask you to spin around so they can be sure no butterflies escape. However, there is nothing to stress about. They are so very friendly and they want you to interact with the butterflies. In fact, they will offer you little sweet sticks to entice a visit from our winged friends. My wife and oldest child loved this part of the Palace. Because the butterflies will land on your head, your back, your shoulders, or anywhere on your body, my youngest wasn’t so cracked up about it. She didn’t stay in the aviary very long. We headed back out to the Banyan Tree Adventure. Also, be aware that this room is rather on the warm side. If you’re wearing a sweatshirt or jacket, you’ll want to take it off before entering.
Before leaving, we watched a short film about butterfly migration in the Rainforest Theater. We learned a great deal from this short video, and I would recommend that you give it a watch. They offer different shows at roughly twenty minute increments, so take a look at the placard to see what appeals to you the most.
If you have little ones, I would consider this a priority visit. Though it’s not a large facility, it packs quite a punch. There really is something for everyone at The Butterfly Palace & Rainforest Adventure.
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