Advance ButterflyFest tickets now on sale for Oct. 13-14 event at Florida Museum

October 2nd, 2007

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History is now selling advance tickets to ButterflyFest, scheduled for Oct. 13-14.

The weekend butterfly festival, now in its second year, features a variety of activities for all ages including live entertainment, crafts and demonstrations, field trips and behind-the-scene tours, exhibits by area non-profit organizations, as well as vendors offering food and butterfly and garden gifts and plants.

“We’ve been receiving so many calls we decided to begin advance ticket sales now to help alleviate long lines during the weekend event,” said ButterflyFest co-coordinator Betty Dunckel. (more…)

Fla. Museum offers "Dinosaurs and Eggs" preschool class Sept. 20

September 14th, 2007

Photo available

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History will offer its monthly preschool program “Wigglers and Walkers” from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Sept. 20 for children ages 2-5. September’s program is “Hatching the Past — Dinosaurs and Eggs.”

Participants in the class will join Florida Museum docents and staff for child-friendly fun while learning about museum exhibits through crafts, stories and other age-appropriate activities. Participants will learn about eggs and the animals that lay them.

The cost for each adult and child pair is $3 for Florida Museum members and $4 for non-members. Each additional child is $1. Pre-registration is not required, but children must be accompanied by an adult. Participants should arrive early to park their strollers and meet new friends. (more…)

Florida Museum to host additional live butterfly releases on weekends

August 10th, 2007

Photos available

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History’s Butterfly Rainforest will offer visitors the opportunity to view live butterfly releases Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. beginning Aug. 18.

“The popularity of the butterfly releases has outstripped the crowd capacity of the Butterfly Rainforest,” said Douglas Noble, head of exhibits and public programs at the museum. “The two additional releases each day offer an opportunity for more visitors to participate in this highly informative and fun event.”

The museum also plans to release the butterflies at multiple locations inside the exhibit and will equip staff members with wireless microphones, allowing more guests to participate at one time. (more…)

Fla. Museum reopens popular Discovery Room family activity area today

July 2nd, 2007

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum reopens one of its most popular family activity areas today, a new and expanded Discovery Room. Previously open only during the summer, the Discovery Room will provide ongoing, interactive family activities daily until 4:30 p.m. through December 2008.

Discovery Room visitors may explore a coral reef, create animals from Florida’s diverse ecosystems in self-guided discovery stations, or complete an arts and craft or coloring project. Scheduled programs include story time, puppets and museum exploration with Dr. Discovery.

“The Discovery Room received an outstanding reception last year, and based on the numerous requests of our members and visitors, we’ve decided to offer it through December 2008,” said Florida Museum of Natural History Education Director Jamie Creola. “The expanded schedule will provide opportunities for increased public engagement with Discovery Room resources and allow our education staff to evaluate current, and develop new, programming and exhibits for that space.” (more…)

Fla. Museum to hold preschool wood work program March 21

March 12th, 2007

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Adults and preschoolers are invited to attend the Florida Museum of Natural History’s “Wigglers and Walkers” program at 3:30 p.m. March 21.

Held every third Wednesday, the classes teach about museum exhibits through stories, crafts and other age-appropriate activities. This spring, participants learn how cultures start with similar natural materials and end with very different results. The March class focuses on wood work and the April 18 subject is natural fibers. (more…)

Fla. Museum hosts parent and preschooler activities Feb. 21

February 15th, 2007

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Join your preschooler at the Florida Museum of Natural History at 3:30 pm Feb. 21 for the “Wigglers and Walkers” class to learn about museum exhibits through stories, crafts and other age-appropriate activities. Every third Wednesday this spring, see how cultures start with similar natural materials and end with very different results, then see what you can create using similar materials. February’s focus is on pottery, March 21 is wood work, and April 18 is natural fibers. All classes begin at 3:30.

The cost for Florida Museum members is $4 for an adult and child pair, with $1 for each additional child. For non-members the cost is $5 for each adult and child pair, with $1 for each additional child. For more information call (352) 846-2000, ext. 277 or visit (more…)

Fla. Museum offers home-school ‘Dinosaur Egg Hunt’ classes in October

September 26th, 2006

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The Florida Museum of Natural History will offer science education programs developed specifically for home-schooled children ages 7-11 without an accompanying adult from 10 a.m. to noon on Oct. 3, Oct. 10, Oct. 17 and Oct. 24. Space for the “Dinosaur Egg Hunt” classes is limited and participants must register for the entire four-week session.

Students will explore the family life of Earth’s largest animals and learn what dinosaur bones, eggs and baby skeletons reveal about these creatures. Participants also will discover how paleontologists dig up clues to the past and why they believe dinosaurs are the ancient relatives of birds. Cost is $64 for Florida Museum members and $76 for non-members. Call (352) 846-2000 ext. 277 or visit for more information.


Inaugural Florida Butterfly Festival to be held Oct. 14-15 Event headquartered at Florida Museum includes photo contest, lectures, field trips

August 4th, 2006

Photos available

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — “Do you have a thing for wings?” Join the Florida Museum of Natural History along with community partners for the inaugural Florida Butterfly Festival Oct. 14-15.

Experience butterflies like never before through expertly guided field trips to natural areas in and around Gainesville. Family activities will entice even the youngest participants to develop a lifelong appreciation and enjoyment of our natural surroundings.

Participants can experience the amazing world of butterflies and learn about the challenges faced throughout their life cycle, including insight into how other cultures perceive this magical creature through a series of lectures by world renowned naturalists.


Florida Butterfly Festival photo contest entries due Sept. 15

May 18th, 2006

Photos available

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The 2006 Florida Butterfly Festival photography contest rules are now available online. The entry fee is $10 per photo, with cash prizes awarded to the top five winners. Other winning entries and honorable mentions will be included in a 2008 calendar and displayed at the Florida Museum of Natural History during the 2006 festival Oct. 14-15. Entry deadline is Friday, Sept. 15. Complete rules and an entry form are available at

The inaugural Florida Butterfly Festival will be held at the University of Florida Cultural Plaza and other area locations, including Kanapaha Botanical Gardens, Morningside Nature Center, Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park, Santa Fe Community College Teaching Zoo and the Thomas Center. The Florida Museum is planning the festival with several community partners, including the Arts Association of Alachua County, Alachua County Visitors and Convention Bureau, City of Gainesville Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art.


Fla. Museum’s free family ‘Discovery Room’ opens June 12

May 15th, 2006

Photo available

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Looking for something the whole family can do this summer? The Florida Museum of Natural History will offer an interactive “Discovery Room” for guests of all ages from June 12- Aug. 13. The room is free and open every day until 4:30 p.m.

Activities include entertaining crafts, including creating creatures from Florida’s diverse ecosystems, hunts for museum treasures and exploration of a coral reef. Guests also may visit during the following scheduled program times for stories, puppets, museum exploration with Dr. Discovery and more!


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