1. Houston Museum of Natural Science: Cockrell Butterfly Center
Visit the Cockrell Butterfly Center at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. Walk through a living butterfly habitat, admire spectacular live and preserved specimens of some of the world’s largest and weirdest arthropods, and enjoy interactive games and quizzes. Upon arrival, enter a three-story glass structure built around a 50-foot (15-meter) waterfall. Once inside, discover a simulated tropical rainforest filled with exotic plants and hundreds of live butterflies imported from butterfly farms around the world. Marvel as these delicate creatures flutter through the vegetation, stop to sip nectar or fruit juices, and occasionally alight on lucky visitors. Feel the enchantment continue with astounding living insects, mounted specimens, larger-than-life models, and interactive games. Search for camouflaged creatures, meet a cricket weatherman, learn how insects are used to solve crimes, watch leaf cutter ants at work, see giant wasp nests, get a close-up look of some of Houston’s largest cockroaches, and more. Tucked underneath the waterfall and behind the cenote pool, discover how insects are particularly important to humans. Listen to interviews with real-life entomologists and take a peek into an entomologist’s lab, where you can look up close at insect specimens. The last entry of the day is at 5:30 PM.