Spiders. People tend to either love ’em or hate ’em. Even if you’re more of a hater, you’ll want to stick around for this one.
See, I’m not a huge fan of spiders, either. In fact, they sorta creep me out. But I do spend my fair share of time marveling at webs. There’s something captivating about them once you get over your initial eeks.
But it’s tough to shake those heebie-jeebies. After all, who wants to get caught up in a web? Or worse, have a spider actually crawling on you?
That’s where the NHMLA Spider Pavilion can help. Within this enclosed safe haven, spiders are able to spin their webs in plain view, creating a comfortable, safe and immersive environment to wander through.
The Pavilion’s collection includes more than 300 arachnid inhabitants, none of them dangerous to humans. Provided you stick to the path and tread lightly, you needn’t worry about any unwanted up-close-and-personal encounters.
Insider tip: Before you head into the Spider Pavilion, let your kids know what to expect. An ounce of prevention can go far in preventing a case of the heebie-jeebies.
Once you’re inside, don’t be surprised if it takes your eyes a few minutes to adjust. Some of the webs are so transparent they can be hard to spot. You’ll want to look up – where some spiders appear to be hanging out in mid-air – and in-between the leaves of plants for the best sightings.
During our visit, The Big Explorer loved pointing out each and every spider he could spot, then asking me what type they are, where they’re from, what type of web they spin and on and on.
Thankfully, the staff at the Pavilion came to the rescue with oodles of answers. If ever you wanted to learn about spiders, this is the place to come.
Insider tip: For the best experience, grab a Museum Gallery Interpreter; these people are eager to dispel common misconceptions about spiders and will happily answer questions from even the youngest visitors.
Your time in the Pavilion is limited to 20 or 30 minutes, but you can leave earlier if needed.
- The Spider Pavilion is open through Nov. 8, 2015
- Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with the last ticket sold at 4:30 p.m.
- Special timed tickets are required and are not included in the price of Museum admission ($5 extra for adults, $3 extra for children); free for members
- Tickets are sold in 1/2-hour intervals throughout the day
- The Spider Pavilion is located outside the Museum in a white tent on the South Lawn
- Because this is an outdoor exhibit, it is subject to closure due to inclement weather