Bug Out at Bugs: Outside the Box at the Canadian Museum of Nature! #BigBugs

The Canadian Museum of Nature is crawling with excitement as it presents its newest traveling exhibit, Bugs: Outside the Box, produced by Outhouse Exhibition Services. This exhibit will be on view from October 23, 2015 until March 27, 2016.

Bugs: Outside the Box allows for visitors to get up close to the insect world. Italian sculptor Lorenzo Possenti created sixteen larger than life models of exotic insects that welcome visitors as they enter the exhibit. To add to these fabulous works of art, the Canadian Museum of Nature has also included its live insects, scientific specimens, vivid videos and even some bugs for visitors can taste!

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The world of entomology is opened up to visitors as they are able to learn more about exotic and local insects; view fantastic images of beetles from the Museum’s collection; look at numerous pinned insects; watch a “bug parade” video projection; experience certain aspects of bug life in the play area of the gallery; and even purchase edible bugs at the gallery!

My friend, Kamerine from The Life of K,  invited me to this event (thanks so much!). I brought the VP of Cuddles along with me to view this exhibit as he is just learning to appreciate the world around him, and he digs bugs! When we entered the gallery, he was a bit taken aback by the sheer size of Lorenzo Possenti’s creations. Many of these sculptures are bigger than him, and they towered over him on their displays. After a while, he became fascinated with them. He especially loved the butterflies and beetles that were on display. Since I am a huge fan of dragonflies, I was drawn to this sculpture. There were also pieces of some of these sculptures that we were able to touch so we could get a feel for what they might feel like. Possenti did an excellent job of creating these larger than life beings.

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One of the entomologists form the Canadian Museum of Nature was on hand to show visitors what a beetle looks like on the inside. She was so amazing with my little guy. She showed him the beetle’s inner workings, and he was able to assist her in putting it back together. This was really great for him to experience, as he would never get to see this with a real beetle unless he becomes an entomologist himself.

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The video projections around this exhibit were amazing! My son loved going up to each of them and gaze at them as they showed different aspects of bug life. His favourite was the Cricket that greets you at the second half of this exhibit. It stares at you and extends its wings. You could hear the sound of its wings as it starts to unfurl them. It was an awesome sight to see.

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The terraria on display were fascinating to view. We were able to see insects such as giant stick insects, jungle nymphs, monarch butterflies, and my son’s favourite, the Hercules beetles.

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Some of the entomologists were on hand to all us to see some of these beautiful creatures outside of their enclosures. They lovingly handled them so we could see them away from their habitats that they painstakingly put together to be as authentic as possible. Though we were not allowed to touch these insects, it was fun to see them interacting with the entomologists and to be able to be so close to them.

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Both of us were entertained in the play area of the gallery. We put our jumping skills to the test as we tried to jump as far as a grasshopper. I was amazed to see just how far a grasshopper could in comparison to a human. I tipped my hat to these creatures.

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We also had a ball pretending to move around “dung” like a dung beetle. My son realized pretty quickly how hard it would be for us to do this all day, but had fun moving the comfy balls around this area.

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This exhibit was a big hit for both of us! We loved seeing the sculptures alongside their regular-sized counterparts. We also enjoyed viewing all of the specimens, both live and collected, on display. Sometimes, I forget just how vast the insect world is, and this exhibit brought this fact back to me.

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Visitors can also view the other related programming near the Museum’s Animalium gallery on the 4th floor. Visitors can become a bug scientist and can learn how to pin insects, and try their hand at drawing them as well. The Museum’s popular Nature Nocturne party on Friday October 30, 2015 will also have the theme Giant bug invasion in honour of this exhibit’s opening. For this weekend, children are invited to turn themselves into their favourite buggy character and join in on the fun of a flower-finding adventure in their Bird Gallery for the “pollinator challenge.”

This exhibition is supported by Orkin Canada. A surcharge of $4 (in addition to regular admission to the museum) applies for the special Bugs: Outside the Box exhibition.

For more details about the Canadian Museum of Nature, or Bugs: Outside the Box, you can visit their website. You can also connect with the Canadian Museum of Nature on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram!

Disclaimer: I was compensated admission to Bugs: Outside the Box in order to write this review. The views I have shared with you are my own.

13 Comments

  1. Louise

    October 25, 2015 at 9:04 am

    I read the post over at Kamerine’s blog too – this looks like so much fun! I will plan to take my kids. They would have a blast at this! It certainly looks like you guys did!

    1. Reese Speaks

      October 25, 2015 at 9:47 am

      Thanks Louise! My son was a bit upset about having to leave. There was so kuch t9 see and do. My other half wants to go because he loves bugs, and we want to get our younger daughter more comfortable around them.

    1. Reese Speaks

      October 26, 2015 at 9:17 pm

      Thanks Kamerine! I cannot wait to go back with the whole family! We would enjoy going through the whole exhibit.

  2. My Busy Family (@MyBusyFamilyNet)

    October 26, 2015 at 6:36 pm

    I get it, I really do… but I’d have to leave this excursion up to the hubs. Some of these bugs are HUGE OMG! I’m not good with bugs but the kids love them :/ lol

  3. Little Miss Kate (@LilMissKateCo)

    October 26, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    Oh this looks like such a neat exhibit. My mom and son have been to the Museum of Nature, but I haven’t been yet. I hope that we can make a trip to go sometime soon.

    1. Reese Speaks

      October 27, 2015 at 1:53 pm

      Thanks Little Miss Kate! When you do visit the Museum of Nature, you will want to visit for the whole day! My little guy and I were at this exhibit for about two hours, and there are four floors to explore and learn from! I hope you enjoy your visit!

  4. Kelly Connor (@_CityMom)

    October 27, 2015 at 12:26 pm

    Coming from a “Bug-Hater” even I think this looks like a fantastic exhibit. I know it would be perfect and so interesting for kids too.

    1. Reese Speaks

      October 27, 2015 at 1:50 pm

      Thanks Kelly! I agree, kids of all ages will love exploring this exhibit and trying their hand at certain bug activities.

  5. Randa @ TBK

    October 27, 2015 at 12:46 pm

    This would be such a great learning experience for the kids!…..me on the other hand maybe not haha.

    1. Reese Speaks

      October 27, 2015 at 1:56 pm

      Thanks Randa! I take it you are not so much of a bug fan? There really is something for everyone to see and take away from Bugs. I think you would love the sculptures at the front of the exhibit. They are really beautiful.

  6. Ladena

    October 27, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    My kids would love this exhibit! They have always been fascinated with bugs. It’s great that kids get to see live bugs up close. Hands on learning is so important!

    1. Reese Speaks

      October 27, 2015 at 7:37 pm

      Thanks Ladena! I love that you can imteract with certain parts of this exhibit, and learn from your experience. I hope you and your family are able to plan a visit!

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