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Real Mom Review: Wings of Fancy Live Butterfly and Caterpillar Exhibit at Brookside Gardens

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Wings of Fancy at Brookside Gardens

Our visit to the “Wings of Fancy” exhibit at Brookside Gardens was wonderful. The exhibit is located at the South Conservatory, but we parked at the Brookside Garden Visitor Center. We followed the “Butterfly signs” and enjoyed our walk (8 minutes) on the shaded path to the exhibit.

Wings of Fancy at Brookside Gardens

Wings of Fancy at Brookside Gardens

The Wings of Fancy exhibit entrance is located on right side of the conservatory building. Upon check in, we entered the Caterpillar exhibit where we learned about the early stages of the butterfly life cycle and saw a butterfly caterpillar. A highlight of our visit was witnessing the Zebra Longwing butterfly emerge from a chrysalis. The whole process took a mere 2 minutes. It was amazing to see its metamorphosis. 

Next, we entered the main exhibit where we were greeted by colorful butterflies fluttering from flower to flower.

Wings of Fancy at Brookside Gardens

My kids' favorite spot was the butterfly bench where they had a few visitors land on them.

Wings of Fancy Brookside Gardens

They also enjoyed getting a close-up view of the butterflies at the Discovery Station.

Wings of Fancy at Brookside Gardens

The summer heat made the greenhouse a bit on the warm side, so I recommend bringing water with you. We refilled our bottles at the water fountains located across from gift shop.

Wings of Fancy Butterfly Exhibit Brookside Gardens

The gift shop visit was a must for my girls. They enjoyed all of the butterfly jewelry and décor and were able channel their inner butterfly with the colorful costumes. 

Wings of Fancy at Brookside Gardens

After visiting with the butterflies, we stopped to “smell the roses” and strolled through the rose gardens (located right behind wings of fancy exhibit). On our walk back to the Visitor’s Center my kids enjoyed a quick stop at the Children’s garden.

Wings of Fancy Brookside Gardens Wheaton

A few other items to note:
- If you are visiting with little ones know that strollers are not permitted in the exhibit.
- There is no food onsite or permitted within the gardens. If you bring outside food, picnic facilities are available nearby at the Shorefield Area of Wheaton Regional Park.

Between the gorgeous butterflies and beautiful gardens, I would plan on spending 3-4 hours to enjoy all that Brookside Gardens has to offer. Our family will be visiting this magical place again.

~ Sarah Kneip

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