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Bug Fest

August 11-12, 2018

entomologist talk with museum visitors during Bug Fest


Creepy, crawly, sticky, prickly, wiggly, yucky. And kinda cute. At least that is what we think about bugs at the Academy of Natural Sciences!

Join us on August 11 and 12, 2018, for our annual celebration of insects! Enjoy new activities and shows plus revisit some old favorites—back by popular demand. Talk with real scientists, learn about insects from all over the world, and see specimens from the Academy’s behind-the-scenes collections. Eat bugs, get your face painted, and relax as you enjoy a buggy show.

Free for members or with general museum admission. Save when you purchase tickets online!

Bug Fest 2018 Activities:

Live Bugs!

Take a closer look at some of the most misunderstood and fascinating insects, arachnids and more!

Beneficial Bugs, Problematic Pests

Invertebrates have learned to survive everywhere—even on you! Learn how to attract native species and deter invasive critters, and discover why some bugs we consider “pests” are actually really important to the ecosystems of our bodies and our backyards.

Bug Walks
Hourly, 11 a.m.–3 p.m.

Join Academy entomologists on an expedition just outside the museum. You’ll be amazed by what you find! Space is limited. Sign up in advance in North American Hall on the first level.

Shane Confectionery Presents “Bugs in the Backyard”

Stop by Shane Confectionery's table to view their edible display, Bugs in the Backyard, and to take home your own clear toy candy grasshopper, local-honey caramels or real bugs in sugar amber.

Meet the Entomologists

Talk with entomologists from the Academy and the American Entomological Society, and find out about current research. Get a closer look at some specimens from our collections, and ask whatever insect questions are bugging you.

Auditorium Show: Roach Races Grand Prix
11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Come cheer your favorite roach as it tests its speed on different tracks and races over obstacles. The best competitors will go on to race in the finals!

Auditorium Show: Bug Appétit: Candy with a Crunch
Noon and 3 p.m.

Join Shane Confectionery for a delicious demonstration on how to make candy with an unexpected ingredient: edible inverts! Limited samples offered. Find more in the lobby of Butterflies!

Auditorium Show: Bugs on the Big Screen
1 p.m.

This unique live animal show will take a high-definition look at what makes bugs beautiful, amazing and important.

Auditorium Show: Bedbug-Sniffing Dog Demonstration
4 p.m.

Watch as the dogs from Western Pest Management show off their unique skills with a special demonstration of what they do for a living: sniff out unwanted house guests! Can’t make it? Catch them in Dino Hall at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.


The Bug Ball

Have your face painted or get an insect tattoo. Make and take a creepy crawly critter craft. Anything goes at the Bug Ball!

Meet Eddie the T.  rex

Ask any staff member to find out what time and where everyone’s favorite vertebrate, Eddie the T. rex, will be spotted next.

Bedbug-sniffing Dog Demonstrations
11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Sponsored by Western Pest Services

Learn more about the bugs that bug us and what you can do if you find them in your home from our partners at Western Pest Services. Meet the canines and their companions that help to sniff out these unwanted houseguests. Missed it? Catch them in the Auditorium at 4 p.m.!

Glow In the Dark

From scorpions that are disco-ready under ultraviolet lights to squid that produce their own laser show, invertebrates use light to communicate in a variety of different ways. Check out live bugs, jarred specimens and gorgeous footage of these animals doing what they do best: glowing in the dark!

Icky IDs

Learn how to identify bugs from their parts while we dissect shrimp and other invertebrates at a hi-tech microscope cart. Try your hand at “Bug Splat Squares” to see if you have an eye for, er, detail.

Xtreme Bugs LIVE!

Do you like the baddest beetles, the scariest scorpions and the wildest wasps? Learn fun facts about superlative bugs, create make-and-takes for kids and adults and see some of the coolest LIVE creatures at Bug Fest!

Story Time with Marty the Moose
10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Join Marty the Moose for an interactive story time featuring a buggy tale and live invertebrate. 

xtreme bugs

In the Special Exhibits Gallery: Xtreme Bugs!

Come face-to-feet with nearly 20 massive, colorful, moving bugs, from a fluttering oversized monarch butterfly to a gigantic Madagascar hissing cockroach. Get a bug’s-eye view of the world, explore critter calls, dig for ancient arthropods and play an Xtreme bug facts game.  

Creature Keeper Creepy Crawly Q&A
11:45 a.m.
Free with admission to Xtreme Bugs

Are you mad for mantids? Crazy for cockroaches? Enamored by ants? Meet our knowledgeable, engaging staff and hear all about invertebrate husbandry, biology and conservation in an exclusive presentation featuring a live bug.

Bug Fest is sponsored by Western Pest Services.

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