During our stay at Niagara Falls KOA we spent a morning visiting the Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. Both are located about 20 minutes away from the falls and are great educational attractions away from the downtown hustle and bustle of the Falls Clifton Hill District.
Niagara Parks Butterfly Conservatory
The butterfly conservatory is located on the same grounds as the Botanical Gardens in an enclosed building. Inside the glass dome is a tropical environment with thousands of colourful butterflies.
Before you enter, there is a large board of all the species you can find inside the conservatory and quick 5 minute video shown to visitors describing work being done by the conservatory as well as the rules for inside the dome. From there, guests are given access into the conservatory to complete their self guided tour.
The conservatory is very warm and humid with winding paths of tropical plants, flowers and water features. It’s not uncommon to have butterflies land on your head, clothes and along the pathway. I had to remind the kids many, many times to watch where they step. Some butterflies blend into their surroundings really well.
You can watch butterflies in their last stage of metamorphosis emerge from their chrysalis dry their wings and fly into the conservatory for the first time. How these chrysalis come to be in the conservatory, is explained in the video shown before you enter.
These were my favourite species, the Blue Morpho.
I had a few butterfly friends land on my shoulders and hang out for a while. I believe these were called Rice Paper.
Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens
The Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens are right beside the Butterfly Conservatory and is a great place to take a walk and have the kids burn off some energy. I had never been to a Botanical Garden before but it was really beautiful and I am glad we made some time to tour around.
The gardens are 99 acres in size and include a rose garden, veggie garden and amazing manicured pathways. You can even get a guided tour by horse drawn carriage. Absolutely worth a visit.
Good to know:
- There is no charge to stroll the Botanical Gardens
- The Butterfly Conservatory was $15 per adult and kids under 6 are Free.
- You get your photo taken in front of a green screen before you enter the Conservatory and as you exit you are able to purchase your 8×10 photo for 20$. We bought ours because it’s rare we get a photo where everyone is looking in the same direction!
- 2-3 hours is plenty of time to tour both areas
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