By Alyssa Green
There are two kinds of kids. Those who scream whenever they see a tiny crawling creature, and those who are immediately mesmerized by those same creatures. For those of you whose child is of the first sort, I would recommend not reading any further.
For those of you with the second sort, you have hit a gold mine! You must visit the Bohart Museum of Entomology in Davis. Located on the UC Davis campus, this “bug and insect” museum, is less like a museum than a working laboratory that allows visitors to peek in on what’s going on in the Entomology world.
We recently had the pleasure of visiting. In addition to pictures and learning charts there is also an extensive collection of insects from around the world. The most interesting (for me) was the butterfly collection that is actually displayed outside the museum in the hallway. Inside, my boys loved seeing the live animals…tarantulas, scorpions, termites at work. They were also thrilled to pick up and hold a hissing cockroach (yuck!) and a large walking stick.
Although we were lucky enough to have one of the staff members come out and explain some things to my kids, generally visitors are on their own unless they are scheduled for a tour, which costs $2.00 per person. I would definitely recommend taking a tour with a small group. Especially if you are like me and don’t really know much about entomology. It was very nice to have someone knowledgeable for my future entomologist son to “discuss” things with.
The museum is small and therefore I would say one hour is plenty of time for your children to check everything out, including the gift corner where you can buy Bohart Museum t-shirts, small toys and most interestingly real scorpion suckers and chocolate covered insects. Mmm…is your mouth watering as much as mine is at the thought of eating real insects? Uh….no. I didn’t think so.
So, if you ever find yourself in Davis with an insect lover in tow, be sure to stop in and visit the Bohart Museum of Entomology for a real treat.