This summer our family is on a mission to learn and explore more. As a former teacher, I know how important it is to get up and moving to learn and to really allow my children to investigate subject matter that appeals to them — even if it may be something that gives me the willies. All year long we learn curriculum that is set before us, but summer — that’s completely ours and we can learn about slime, cursive, animal predators and even… arachnids if we want to.
My oldest has always been into “creepy” subject matters so all I had to say was, “Spiders!” and she threw on her gym shoes and left her disappointment to miss out on “Q — Queen Day” of second grade at the door. We can always count on Brookfield Zoo to offer us education and movement any time we go. With so much walking, great playgrounds and information everywhere we turn, it’s a great place to get out and motivate us to do some more research when we get home, as well as offer us a mostly technology-free day.
This summer, through September 3, Brookfield Zoo will be offering Amazing Arachnids, an extra exhibit that will entice and engage even the most apprehensive of learners. Along the path to the exhibit are signs with facts that amped up the excitement for the exhibit. Upon entering the exhibit there are two main sections, one focused solely on arachnids and the other on endangered species.
I prepared myself to be uncomfortable around spiders, but this exhibit was fascinating! Up first, you can’t miss the spider made from LEGO bricks, talk about a motivating exercise when you get home! My kids marveled at the size and intricate details. Next we were drawn to a dance floor with a video highlighting the Tarantella dance from Italy, after a short clip on the history, families can learn the simple yet quick movements of this fancy dance. My oldest and I really enjoyed following the video multiple times together.
You can’t miss the many cages throughout the exhibit (with close to 100 different arachnids — if you didn’t know, that means scorpions, too!) and the loads of information from ways arachnids are in folklore, medical research, literature, conservation and more. The staff within the unit shared so much knowledge with our kids, we hung on every word and learned more from them than we’d ever retain from a book.
Engaging with those working the exhibit made the experience that much better as they carried flashlights and black lights to help us see better into the cages. As someone who is jumpy around spiders, I didn’t feel grossed out or uncomfortable at all, which truly came as a surprise. We worked our way through the exhibit digging for fake spiders, completing magnetic puzzles, weaving a web in front of a massive fake spider (now this guy creeped me out!), and playing on tablets to learn more about arachnid movement.
After we had thoroughly explored the exhibit and read fact after fact, we headed out to the gross motor area — the maze! A challenge is before each guest as they spin giant wheels to select an endangered animal and work through the maze learning more about survival and protection of animal species. Placed throughout the maze are larger attractions such as a spider web for climbing, a zip slider, and monkey bars. Our kids loved this maze and raced through it over and over again. We had a great time learning throughout the entire exhibit and highly suggest a trip down and swinging through the Amazing Arachnids Exhibit.
The Amazing Arachnids exhibit requires an additional ticket which costs $5 per adult and $3 per child ages 3-11.
Save on admission with Groupon or grab a museum pass from your library.
Disclosure: We received admission to Brookfield Zoo for an event. No further compensation was received and all thoughts and opinions are my own. Some links provided are affiliate links. We will earn a small commission on purchases made through these links to support the site. Thank you for clicking!
Alli is a boldly authentic mom to three- because who has time to fake it? She enjoys almost all things that moms get to do and strives to find joy in every day. Along with her supportive husband, Alli can be seen (or heard) around Lake County chasing runaway children, eating ice cream and holding someone's hand.
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