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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.