Butterfly Girl

For as long as Madelyn has been Madelyn, she has loved butterflies. My mom takes her on lots of nature walks around the neighborhood where they both point out butterflies that flutter from flower to flower. Madelyn also has butterfly art in her bedroom and she has always identified them while flapping her arms. The excitement buzzes in our own backyard when she spots one landing on her chair or playhouse. She has even taken an interest in the life cycle, explaining that the caterpillar goes into a cocoon and sleeps for a while and then comes out as a butterfly. So when my mom said she wanted to take us to the Butterflies Alive! exhibit at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, we made a special day out of it.

With a quick and easy drive up the beautiful coast to the museum, we bee lined to the butterfly exhibit where we roamed around a netted enclosure that featured a gorgeous garden for butterflies and humans alike to enjoy.


Madelyn wore her favorite dress with — gasp! — butterflies on it and made sure to show all the butterflies her spirit wear. She talked to them the way we coo at puppies and newborns: Oh hi, butterflies! You’re so pwetty! How are you today? Do you see my dwess?






We even witnessed two butterflies mating. Madelyn pointed out that their tushies were touching. Gives a whole new meaning to BUTTerflies, ya know? She wanted to hold them since they were really still and connected, but we told her that they needed to be left alone. The exhibit should really advocate for the sock-on-the-doorknob system.



The butterflies were truly beautiful as they surrounded us and for a gal like me who doesn’t like bugs or anything flying around, I found the entire habitat peaceful and wonderful.

Since we were already there and made the drive, we wanted to check out the other exhibits at the museum. The Smokey the Bear exhibit was an interactive lesson about camping in our natural parks, water cycle, camp culture, trees, and the natural beauty that campers enjoy. I love how hands-on it was and that Madelyn was learning without even realizing it. The entire room sparked creativity and, let’s face it, will probably be the closest Madelyn gets to camping. I mean, have you met me? But I thought it was really cool and totally appreciate what it teaches the kiddos.







We breezed through the permanent exhibits like the taxidermy animals, during which Madelyn proceeded to make their accompanying sounds for them. She also saw an elk-like critter and declared it to be Sven. She kind of wasn’t too off base, considering he was — wait for it — FROZEN in time.

It was a really nice day at the museum with Mimi and Madelyn. She loved every second and I hope we will enjoy more museum trips together. The kid’s brain is thirsty and I love opportunities to fill ‘er up.