Bug Fest

August 12–13, 2017

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 12 and 13, 2017, 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

Bug Fest 2017 Highlights

Live Displays

Hundreds of live invertebrates will be on display throughout the museum. You’ll see beetles, true bugs, millipedes, centipedes, scorpions, stick insects, cockroaches, caterpillars, tarantulas and other spiders, and more. Hold a cockroach, count the legs on a centipede, and snap a spider selfie.

New in 2017

Swim-pressive Bugs

Dive into the aquatic life of the extraordinary inverts that call the water home. Marvel at these agile arthropods as they perform their very own water ballet! Perfect your beetle backstroke, watch the bugs that walk on water, and go toe-to-toe with toe-biters. Build your own aquatic bug and test it in our Bug Fest Pool. Will your creative critter outswim the rest?

Exoskeletons in the Closet

Face your fears as you come face-to-face with some cool creepy crawlies. Spend time with spiders, take in a centipede feeding, meet some maggots, and scope out  live scorpions. Discover these awesome animals’ stories, and see for yourself what makes them beautiful and beneficial.

Predator or Pollinated?

Celebrate the unique connections between bugs and plants. Indulge your inner science-fiction geek and explore the weird and wonderful world of carnivorous plants. Meet plants that have bugs on the menu!
After you visit our lush, tropical garden in Butterflies!, learn how to make your backyard a paradise for local pollinators. Make and take your own butterfly puddler, and talk to backyard butterfly experts about setting up your pollinator-friendly garden.

Baby Bug Bonanza

Can you find all the little larva hiding around Bug Fest? Learn about the lifecycle of your favorite critters as you embark on the cutest scavenger hunt on six legs!

bug fest

Returing Favorites

Roach Race 500

Cheer on your favorite roach as it tries to conquer three different tracks in the famous Roach Race 500!

Bug Picasso

Who knew how creative cockroaches and maggots could be! These little creatures will crawl and scurry across paper to create one-of-a-kind works of art. Take a unique piece of art home and hang it on your fridge!

Live Invertebrate Stage Show

See our bugs on the big screen!

Bedbug-sniffing Dog Demonstrations

Learn more about the bugs that bug us and what you can do if you find them in your home. Meet the canines and their companions that help to sniff out these unwanted houseguests. (Sponsored by Western Pest Management)

Bug Walks

Join Academy entomologists on an expedition outside the museum to see what species of invertebrates live there.

Bug Appétit

Enjoy culinary art with a buggy twist. Learn what it takes to be a bug chef, and try some interesting invertebrate dishes for yourself.

Meet the Entomologist

Talk with Academy entomologists and representatives from the American Entomological Society. Find out about current research projects, and get an up close look at some specimens from our collections.

Crafty Critters

Create your own bug-themed craft to take home.

bug fest

Open During Bug Fest 2017
Backyard Adventures

Leap into a garden of wonders, where you can experience the magic of a special backyard world. As you ride the bee bike, collect nectar, check out a food web pond, copy critter calls, and even dress up like living creatures, you’ll uncover surprising details about how organisms live and interact in their environments. You can even become a mechanic or engineer by learning the feats of construction that go into building a shed, solving the paver puzzle, and playing garden mini-golf. Figure out how to turn your own garden into a mini-exhibit—you’ll discover more science in your backyard than you’ll ever imagine! (additional fee applies)

Plan your visit, check out our new exhibits, and find out about upcoming activities.
Discover the past and explore the future of the natural sciences in our online exhibits.
Make a difference, browse our programs, and get involved with the natural world.