Spring Break activities near Sidney: Butterfly Gardens

by admin on February 7, 2012

Spring break activities near VictoriaSo you’ve decided to spend the winter in Sidney BC, and you’re looking forward to a visit from you grandkids during Spring Break. Luckily, there are plenty of spring break activities near Sidney and the Cedarwood Inn. Exploring Glass Beach and fishing off Sidney Pier at the foot of Beacon Avenue are popular things to do with kids, and even on rainy days Sidney does not disappoint, thanks to a charming and very popular bowling alley and one of the best independent theatres on Vancouver Island.

But one destination for kids (of all ages!) on the Saanich Peninsula deserves a special mention: Victoria Butterfly Gardens!

Located on the way to world-famous Butchart Gardens, Victoria Butterfly Gardens is an amazing place, and is home to 75 species of butterflies. It’s also humid and warm, and the tropical plants can provide a brief respite to the (relatively) cold days that can suddenly make an appearance even in late March.

Butterfly Gardens is interesting as it provides an in-depth look at the biology of the butterfly lifecycle – the tour begins with a look at the “emerging” room, where butterfly pupae transform into mature adults, and moves on to an indoor garden of beautiful tropical plants that support these wonderful creatures.

There are 3000 butterflies that reside at the Gardens, and they’re kept company by variety of birds and fish, including flamingos, Japanese koi, and even an ibis. It’s a wonderful place to spend a few hours with children on one of the rainy days that characterize spring in Victoria (but it’s a light rain that is often followed by beautiful cherry blossoms!)

The gardens themselves are yet another attraction on the Saanich Peninsula, an area that is already famous for its botanical heritage. There are 200 species of orchids, thousands of tropical plants are featured, including foods of the world and carnivorous plant displays. This carefully planned combination of trees, bushes, vines and creepers is a balanced eco-system that flourishes without the use of herbicides and pesticides.

In case your kids decide to pepper you with questions about the anatomy of the butterfly (and they *will* ask you about the feeding habits of the Apefly (Spalgis epius) an actual carnivorous butterfly found across Southeast Asia, but, thankfully, not at the butterfly gardens), there are guided tours that run at 11am, 1pm and 3pm daily. These tours are a great way to learn about many of the wonderful but less obvious features of the gardens.

So, if you’re looking for Spring Break activities near Sidney, Butterfly Gardens is the place to be.