It’s spring! Birds are chirping, bees are buzzing, fairies are flitting and peacocks are, um, yowling. Now’s your chance to celebrate our favorite winged critters! Here’s where to spot them:
1. Peacock Day at the LA County Arboretum
March 25: Celebrate peacocks with a day of activities, including a lecture, garden walks along a peacock discovery trail from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. and peacock crafts from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Kids are encouraged to dress in peacock costumes and join storytelling sessions at 10 a.m., 10:30 a.m. or 11 a.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Adults, $9; kids (5-12), $4. Reservations and separate fee ($3-10) required for lecture.
301 N. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia
2. Faery Hunt and Faery Birthday Party in Griffith Park
March 25: Gather your little fairies and pixies (boys and girls ages 2-10) for an interactive musical show and party with a treasure hunt, dancing, fairy unicorn card readings, fairy face painting, food and frolic. Saturday, 10:30 a.m – 1 p.m. Show or party only, $15; show and party, $25 per person.
2333 Fern Dell Place, Los Angeles
3. Butterfly Pavilion at the Natural History Museum
Through September 4: The Natural History Museum has re-designed and re-built its popular outdoor Butterfly Pavilion exhibit, and it’s now open! Still located on the south side of the museum, the new and permanent structure has enhanced design features for its hundreds of butterfly residents: more vertical fly space, a rounded structure that provides more light, and more space for butterflies to perch. Daily. Separate ticket required.
900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles
4. Butterfly Jungle at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park
Through April 23: Thousands of exotic butterflies create a flurry of color and beauty as they flutter freely around you inside a huge aviary in the Hidden Jungle. Dress like a colorful flower and a butterfly or two may land on you (be sure you have your camera ready). Daily, visit their website for times. Included with admission. Timed tickets with a reserved viewing time are offered to guests during peak times. Visit website for contests, events, butterfly guide and activities.
15500 San Pasqual Valley Road, Escondido
5. Caterpillar Adoption Days at Kidspace
Through April 23: Witness the magic of metamorphosis by adopting a Painted Lady Caterpillar, available while supplies last in the Busy Bee Learning Store. Draw each stage on the life cycle observation sheet and then release your adult butterflies into the natural world at Kidspace’s Grand Butterfly Release on April 22-23. Daily. $4.50-$18.99. Call to check availability before arrival. Please call one week ahead with requests of purchasing 30 or more caterpillars. There are no holds and no shipping.
480 North Arroyo Blvd., Pasadena
6. Lakeshore Learning’s Free Saturday Workshops
March 25: Kids (3+) make a honey bee house. Saturday, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. No reservations necessary.
Carson, (310) 537-4778
Fountain Valley, (714) 963-8255
Laguna Hills, (949) 462-9353
7. Family Day at the Norton Simon Museum
March 25: Examine the blooms and tiny insects in the bouquets of Jan Davidszoon de Heem, one of the greatest painters of the Dutch Golden Age. Welcome spring by drawing flowers, bugs and other vegetation using a magnifying glass. Add your work to a communal mural, and admire your homage to spring. Saturday, 1:30-3:30 p.m. Included with admission. Kids (4-10) and families should meet in the Entrance Gallery.
411 Colorado Blvd., Pasadena
8. Bird Tours at Santa Monica Pier Aquarium
Saturday: Join a naturalist from Heal the Bay’s Santa Monica Pier Aquarium to explore local bird species. Between El Nino and winter migratory species, this is a peak time to view birds along the coast. Saturday, 1 p.m. No pre-registration is required. Included in admission. Aquarium admission: adults, $5; kids (12 and under when accompanied by a paying adult), free. Groups of 10 or more: $3 per person, regardless of age.
1600 Ocean Front Walk, Santa Monica
9. Very Eric Carle at Discovery Cube Orange County
Through May 14: Kids can tumble in grass, weave a web, find new friends, and even become a butterfly as Eric Carle’s “Very” series comes to life. Very Eric Carle is a testament to Carle’s love of nature, his respect for the emotional lives of children, and his recurring themes of friendship, creativity and the power of imagination. Create a butterfly using light and color through shadow play; test dexterity, strength and flexibility by stepping through a giant, web-like structure; compose a night symphony; spin a web on a large weaving wall; test balance by rummaging across a pile of pebbles and more! Included with admission.
2500 North Main St., Santa Ana