It’s time to get buggy with the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences as they host BugFest, the largest one-day bug-centric event in the country. Satisfy all your web weaving, wing flapping, dungball rolling, creepy crawling and (of course) bug munching pursuits in one day: Saturday, Sept. 16, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. It’s free!
This year, BugFest spotlights spiders with a particular close-up on tarantulas. Learn about the fascinating molting process tarantulas go through and how they can regenerate limbs. You can also come face to face with live giant tarantulas from around the world (have you ever seen a Mexican fireleg tarantula?) as well as spiders you might meet in your own backyard.
Throughout the day, BugFest visitors can talk to bug experts, enjoy games and activities (like Stag Beetle Battles and live cockroach racing at the Roachingham 500), or take in live music and presentations designed to entertain and educate the entire family.
If looking at all the live and preserved insects makes you hungry, you can grab a plate of unique food at the Café Insecta, where local restaurants offer a variety of free bug-filled fare, which this year ranges from Bugnana Pudding to Kickin’ Cricket Chicken Salad.
At 5 p.m., enjoy a free screening of the B(ug)-movie classic “Tarantula” (1955). After a spider escapes from an isolated Arizona desert laboratory experimenting in giantism, it grows to tremendous size and wreaks havoc on the local inhabitants.
Don’t forget to take time to see “Spiders: Fear to Fascination,” the Museum’s immersive and amusing special exhibition that reveals the secrets — and the lighter side — of these enigmatic critters through interactive games, augmented reality, hundreds of preserved specimens and dozens of live spiders. Tickets are on sale at the Box Office and online.
BugFest is sponsored by BASF with additional support from Murphy’s Naturals and Syngenta.
About the NC Museum of Natural Sciences
The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh (11 and 121 W. Jones St.) is an active research institution that engages visitors of every age and stage of learning in the wonders of science and the natural world. In addition to two downtown buildings showcasing seven floors of world-class exhibits, the Museum runs Prairie Ridge Ecostation, a 45-acre outdoor education and research facility in west Raleigh, as well as satellite facilities in Whiteville, Greenville and Grifton (Contentnea Creek). Our mission is to illuminate the natural world and inspire its conservation. Downtown Raleigh Hours: Tuesday–Sunday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. General admission is free. For more information, visit www.naturalsciences.org.
About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) manages, promotes, and enhances the things that people love about North Carolina – its diverse arts and culture, rich history, and spectacular natural areas. Through its programs, the department enhances education, stimulates economic development, improves public health, expands accessibility, and strengthens community resiliency.
The department manages over 100 locations across the state, including 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, five science museums, four aquariums, 35 state parks, four recreation areas, dozens of state trails and natural areas, the N.C. Zoo, the N.C Symphony, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, the African American Heritage Commission, the American Indian Heritage Commission, the State Historic Preservation Office, the Office of State Archaeology, the Highway Historical Markers program, the N.C. Land and Water Fund, and the Natural Heritage Program. For more information, please visit www.ncdcr.gov.