If your kiddo goes loony for ladybugs, silly for spiders, and dotty for dragonflies, they’ll love this list of places to find bugs in Metro Vancouver. We’ve found 5 great places to see insects up close and personal, plus two awesome venues a little further afield, just in case Vancouver Island is in your travel plans this summer.
845 Avison Way, Vancouver
Come for the otters, stay for the insects, we say! After you’ve had your fill of fish, head to the Amazon Critter Corner for an exciting and intimate look at some of the most overlooked creatures in the Amazon – insects. You’ll have a whole new appreciation for the vital role they play. After exploring the lives of these creepy crawlies you may have the opportunity to touch one!
1455 Quebec Street, Vancouver
The Search: Sara Stern Gallery has long been a favourite for our kids. A visit to Science World isn’t complete without crawling through the beaver dam and stopping in to see the Madagascar hissing cockroaches. You can even have an Insect Birthday Party, where you’ll get to explore the science behind the everyday life of an insect, then meet a few real-life insects face-to-face.
5048 – 264th Street, Aldergrove
An often-overlooked display at the Greater Vancouver Zoo is the Vivarium. So make sure to stop in on your next visit to see snakes, turtles, and crocodiles, plus lots of creepy crawly critters! It’s located just behind the big playground. Check the schedule of the day to see if you can catch an interpretive talk.
2212 Main Mall, Vancouver
The Spencer Entomological Collection holds specimens from as far back as the 1830s. Dr. George J. Spencer began the collection in the 1920s, and now the collection holds over 600,000 specimens and is the second-largest entomological collection in western Canada. Over half a million pinned specimens, 75,000 alcohol-preserved specimens and 25,000 specimens on slides showcase BC and the Yukon’s spectacular insect diversity. Now that’s a lot of bugs!
1395 176th Street, Surrey
The Urban Safari Animal Rescue is a fascinating place with over 360 rescued and surrendered exotic animals covering over 160 species. Their Bug Lab is growing with a large collection of mounted insects on loan from one of their members. After you’ve visited the bugs, stick around and see a sugar glider, meet a 3-toed box turtle, or say hello to an iguana.
If your summer travels take you to the island, make sure to stop by these awesome bug-centric venues:
631 Courtney Street, Victoria
The Victoria Bug Zoo opened its doors in 1997 and has been showing visitors of downtown Victoria their awe-inspiring bugs ever since. A visit to this must-see mini zoo offers an excellent opportunity to see and experience live tropical bugs from around the world. All the animals are alive and in tanks!
675 Belleville Street, Victoria
The Entomology Collection at the Royal BC Museum dates back to the 1800s and has over 200,000 specimens. Make sure to sign up for a behind-the-scenes tour, so you can see for yourself where they usually keep those jars, boxe, and bins and experience the working environment of their talented researchers and staff. It’s a fascinating look at the inner workings of bug research and collection.
Bonus Bugs: Outside!
It’s the perfect time of year to explore your backyard or favourite playground to see what type of bugs you can discover. Take along a piece of paper and pencil and see if you can sketch out the bugs in your neighbourhood.
We hope this list of places to find creepy crawly critters inspired you to get out of the house and explore Metro Vancouver! Looking for more fun places to visit? We’ve got you covered:
- 5 reasons to visit Science World with your kids
- new summer exhibits at the Vancouver Aquarium
- petting zoos and other animal fun in Metro Vancouver
By: Michelle Hughes