Bug Fest

August 13–14

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 13 and 14, 2016, for our annual celebration of insects! Enjoy new activities and shows featuring our definitely disgusting and always amazing decomposers, buzz around the hive and be a bee expert, and help build a giant termite mound. Meet some insect invaders and separate fact from fiction when it comes to mosquitoes and lantern flies. 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 2016 Highlights


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 2016

The Hive

What’s the buzz about bees? Come find out for yourself as you encounter these interesting insects, taste some sweet honey, and help build a hive. Try on some “bee goggles” to gather nectar from some nearby flowers, and then learn how to make your own backyard friendlier to these important insects. Make your very own bee beard mask to take home and amaze you friends and family.

Arthropod Architects

Bugs are some of the best builders. Inspect spider webbing up close and meet the live spiders that spin it. See what’s hiding in a wasp nest and work together to build a huge termite mound. Find out if your building skills are up to snuff when you try to build your own beautiful caddisfly casing. Learn which bugs you should thank for some of our own architectural advances, and see a 3-D printer try to build some of our bugs’ super structures. A few lucky guests each day will get to take home some insect-inspired 3-D models.

Delightful Decomposers

Live maggots, slugs, and millipedes take center stage as we look at how these often misunderstood critters help make the world a cleaner place. What’s the difference between a centipede and a millipede? How do bugs help us solve crimes? Are slugs in your garden always a bad thing? Answer all your burning (or rotting) questions!

Invertebrate Invaders!

Learn about the science behind the headlines as you talk to experts about mosquitoes and other invasive (and sometimes destructive) species like lantern flies and ash borer beetles. See specimens and live invaders up close.


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

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. Cajun Chef Zack Lemann and his “Chocolate Chirp” cookies will return to Bug Fest this year!

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.

Open During Bug Fest 2016

Dinosaurs Unearthed

Back by popular demand—roaring, moving, life-size animatronic dinosaurs invade the Academy for a multi-sensory experience for the whole family. State-of-the-art and scientifically accurate—down to the feathers on T. rexDinosaurs Unearthed features more than a dozen realistic, full-bodied dinosaurs, as well as skeletons, fossil casts of skulls, claws, and horns, real specimens of mosasaur and Spinosaurus teeth, an Oviraptor egg, and the ever-popular coprolite (dino poop). Visitors will experience brand-new interactives, such as a multi-touch table and a scale that tells you how you measure up to different dinosaurs. A Dino Detective touch-screen quiz, chances to control dinosaur movements, and other activities encourage exciting hands-on exploration.

Sponsored by:

Western Pest Services Logo

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