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Bug Fest

August 10-11, 2019

green mantis


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 10 and 11, 2019, 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 2019 Activities: 

Live Bugs!

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

Bug Appétit

Tempt your taste buds with some crunchy crickets and savory spiders as we cook up tasty treats with the buggiest ingredients. Chocolate “chirp” cookies and other entomophagy (“bug-eating”) samples will be offered while supplies last.

Auditorium Show: Roach Races Grand Prix
11 a.m., 1 and 3 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: Bugs on the Big Screen
12 p.m.
This unique live animal show will take a high-definition look at what makes bugs beautiful, amazing and important.

Auditorium Show: Bee Yourself
2 p.m.
Meet urban beekeeper and bee-beard aficionado Don Shump of the Philadelphia Bee Company, and bee amazed by these cool colonial creatures and their amazing little worlds.

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.


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.

Bug Urban Legends

Told around a campfire or spread across the internet, urban legends about bugs abound. Meet the (not actually venomous) daddy longlegs and the spiders we (do not really) swallow at night, and separate fact from fiction.

Bedbug-sniffing Dog Demonstrations

11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

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 Management. 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.!


Call it slime, call it mucus, call it web, but call it cool! Bugs make the grooviest goo. Learn about some of the slimier inhabitants of the undergrowth, and find out all the ways that invertebrates use goo to survive. Make and take your own slimy concoction to catch prey, move around or attract a mate, just like these gooey dudes do.

bug walk

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.

Meet the Champions

Come scope out the competition for the Roach Races Grand Prix, and make your predictions for which cockroach will scuttle to glory at 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. in the Auditorium.

Kid’s Corner: Insectivore Restaurant

Our younger guests and their grownups will be charmed by this imaginative experience: making up playful menus for some picky bug eaters!

Bug Enthusiasts

Explore our halls and talk with fellow bug enthusiasts. Learn what you can do to make your world more bug-friendly.

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!

Story Time
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. 


What’s the buzz about bees? Come find out for yourself as you encounter these interesting insects, taste some sweet honey and meet some urban apiarists from the Philadelphia Bee Company. 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.

Special Exhibit: Dinosaurs Around the World

Meet more than a dozen animatronic dinosaurs on a voyage from the tropical beaches of Antarctica to the inland seas of North America Find out how continental drift, sea level fluctuations and volcanic activity allowed dinosaurs to disperse to all corners of the globe. Learn about paleontological research, touch fossil casts, discover and name your own dinosaur, investigate what dinosaurs may have looked like in life and find modern-day dinosaurs right in your own backyard! Special ticket required.

Bug Fest is sponsored by Western Pest Services and Renewal by Andersen.

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