|by JD Rinne||Zoos, California, San Diego||16|
Who doesn't like the friendly butterfly? Starting this weekend, the San Diego Zoo will have thousands of the colorful insects on display at the Butterfly Jungle.
The zoo's Wild Animal Park will play host to the Hidden Jungle, an aviary that looks like a South American rain forest. Guests walk through as thousands of species of butterfly, including the blue morpho pictured here, flit from plant to plant, looking for pollen. A close encounter is almost guaranteed, as the butterflies often mistake people for flowers.
Although butterflies are the stars of the show, no pollinator will go uncelebrated—this year's theme is Pollinators of the Animal Kingdom, including birds, bugs, and bats. A Discovery Station in the park will have educational displays about bugs and the ecosystem; there's even a bat cave with live bats. The event is great for kids, with crafts, puzzles, games, a Butterfly Wrangler performing, and a daily butterfly costume parade (so those leftovers from Halloween will get a second use).
Through April 26. Free with the cost of admission, which is $35 for adults and $26 for kids 11 and under. You can buy tickets online.