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Insects and Bug-Themed Attractions in Orlando for Kids That Are Totally Buzz-Worthy

From the resiliency of The Itsy-Bitsy Spider to the miraculous adaptivity of The Hungry Little Caterpillar to the brave heroism of Ant Man and Wasp, we kind of teach our kids to like or even love bugs from an early age. And it’s a good thing that most children are fascinated by—rather than squeamish of—insects. You see, there are benefits of engaging little love bugs with real-life creepy crawlers. That’s why we’re spotlighting the benefits of bug exploration, as well as spotlighting Orlando’s most buzz-worthy bug-themed attractions.

You might want to crawl on over to scope out some of the many animal activities and encounters in town too!

Benefits of Bugging Out with Kids

Parents worry about bee stings and fire ant bites, which are valid concerns, but exposure to bugs may boost formative skills.

  • Alleviating fear: Like most everything in nature, bugs have purpose. Insects pollinate crops, help eliminate decaying matter (like dead animals) and eliminate pests like other other bugs and weeds. Kids can learn to appreciate insects rather than shriek at the sight of them.
  • Teaching empathy: Rather than stomp on ant hills or squash any and every bug, kids can learn to be kind to all living things, including insects.
  • Science and nature learning: Bugs are a great topic for various educational lessons. How does a caterpillar turn into a butterfly? How do spiders weave a web? Do fireflies really glow? We’re bugging out over the learning potential of various bug topics.
Young Boy Looking at Sign Inside Butterfly Garden at EPCOT -
Sign Inside Butterfly Garden at EPCOT image by Dani Meyering

Best Bug-Themed Attractions in Orlando

1. Black Hammock Bee Farm

2385 Howard Ave., Oviedo, FL 32765

Dennis “The Bee Guy” runs this second-generation working farm specializing in raising bees for honey production and pollination. When Orlando families find bee colonies at their personal residence, Dennis comes out to safely rescue and relocate the bees.

Black Hammock Bee Farm offers classes on backyard bee keeping and provides tours. On these behind-the-scenes experiences, visitors can suit up and walk through the buzzing bee yard to explore hives.

2. “Bug Closet” at The University of Central Florida Collection of Arthropods

Department of Biology, 4110 Libra Dr. (Bldg. 20), BIO301, Orlando, FL 32816

You may cringe at the thought of bugs in your own closet, but insect enthusiasts at UCF think otherwise. The University of Central Florida Collection of Arthropods (UCFC), called the Bug Closet, is one of the largest, completely databased collections worldwide. It has over 575,000 specimen records for insects and other arthropods.

Guided tours by appointment, spanning 30-60 minutes, are customized to match the interests of visitors. These tours highlight interesting insect specimens and more. Note that guided tours have a minimum age requirement of 7 years old and up.

3. Butterfly Encounter at Lukas Nursery

1909 Slavia Road, Oviedo, FL 32765

Lukas Nursery describes itself as a fourth generation, family-owned and operated agri-business. In addition to its retail plant shop and cute farm animals, Lukas Nursey houses one of the largest butterfly conservatories in the Sunshine State with tons of native varieties of winged wonders.

Ranked as one of the 25 largest tourist attractions in Central Florida, Lukas Nursery is open year-round; however, peak butterfly season is from April to September.

The Butterfly Encounter is open daily from 9am-4pm. Tickets are just $8.95 a piece, and free for bitty buggers under 2 years old.

4. Butterfly Garden at Leu Gardens

1920 North Forest Ave., Orlando, FL 32803

In partnership with Orange County Library System, Story Time at Leu Gardens is usually held on the first Monday of the month. Admittance to this indoor activity, featuring children’s book reading, sing-alongs and dancing, is free.

a child looks at plants and identification signs Leu Gardens Orlando
Leu Gardens Orlando with Kids image by Dani Meyering

And best yet… families get free entry into the gardens following Story Time! Leu Gardens is truly lovely for a mommy-and-me outing. Its Butterfly Garden features a variety of annuals, perennials, shrubs, and trees that are attractive to butterflies and moths.

5. Discovering Invertebrates at Central Florida Zoo & Botanical Gardens

3755 W. Seminole Blvd., Sanford, FL 32771

Our hometown zoo may be a bit smaller than those in other touristy towns. Still, Central Florida Zoo is home to over 350 animals, representing more than 100 different species, including insects.

There are over a million different species of invertebrates. And you and your little buggers can see a variety of invertebrate species within the Insect Zoo, nestled inside the Wayne M. Densch Discovery Center, as seen in the photo below.

Also, find more buggy fun in the Butterfly Garden, which is occupied by beautiful butterflies, hummingbirds and other pollinators.

Admittance to Central Florida Zoo is $22.95 per adult and $16.95 per child (3-12). Tickets are discounted when purchased online.

6. Firefly Hikes at Oakland Nature Preserve

747 Machete Trail, Oakland, FL 34760

Fireflies (a type of beetle), known as lightning bugs, are found in every U.S. state except for Hawaii. However, fireflies seem to be less often seen in Florida in comparison to other regions. Fireflies flicker using bioluminescence during twilight to attract mates or prey near the marsh.

During April and beyond, Oakland Nature Preserve offers free, self-guided firefly hikes with extended park hours. A hidden gem among outdoorsy families in Orlando, hike the short trails and wander the boardwalk which ends at Lake Apopka.

In addition to these seasonal firefly hikes, Oakland Nature Preserve is an incredible family-friendly destination all year-round. It’s just off the West Orange Trail so plan it into a bicycling excursion.

Also Try:

There’s nothing creepy—but definitely crawly—about these bug-themed attractions in Orlando! Enjoy.

Creepy Crawly Note: It’s Tough to Be a Bug attraction at Disney’s Animal Kingdom is slated to close sometime soon, which is why it is not featured on our list. It’s also known for being pretty scary for kids.

author avatar
Nancy DeVault
Nancy DeVault is a fitness enthusiast, news junkie, shoe lover, adult beverage fan and travel addict. She works as a Florida-based freelance writer and editor. As mom to two super silly boys, Nancy is always on the hunt for family fun!