Bug Fest Is Coming


“’Animal Grossology’ lives up to its name” – Delaware County Times

“There are tons of fun interactive, hands-on things to do” – South Jersey Times

“One of those experiences that your kids will continue to talk about” – MammaTeaches.com


By Carolyn Belardo

Bug Fest—where you can do bug yoga, visit a bug clinic, race a cockroach, and get tips from a popular bug chef on how to cook the critters—will be held all day Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 8 and 9, at the Academy.

Hundreds of live beetles, millipedes, centipedes, scorpions, stick insects, cockroaches, caterpillars, tarantulas, spiders, and more will be wiggling throughout the museum during the popular annual family festival.

The new bug chef this year is David George Gordon, author of the popular The Eat-a-Bug Cookbook. Gordon will prepare some of his favorite recipes incorporating scorpions and crickets and offer samples to the brave, or the merely curious.

In a nod to the July release of Ant-Man, the superhero film based on Marvel Comics characters, there will be plenty of live ants to observe in an ant farm, plus a special display of ant specimens from the museum’s collection of some four million insects. There will be opportunities to touch live bugs and search for bedbugs (they won’t be alive!) too.

"The Bug Chef" with a cooked scorpion. Photo by  Jeff Cole.
“The Bug Chef” with a cooked scorpion. Photo by Jeff Cole.

“This year in our presentations we’re highlighting the creepy, crawly, prickly, wiggly aspects of bugs to carry on the theme of our exhibit Animal Grossology, which is on view through Aug. 30,” said Bug Fest Coordinator Karen Verderame. “You can even get a close-up look at real bug vomit, poop and slime.”

Visitors who come dressed as their favorite bug get $2 off admission.

Also during both days at Bug Fest visitors can:

  • Watch Celebrity Bug Chef David George Gordon cook tasty insect treats (1 p.m. show) and meet him in person from 11 a.m. to noon and from 3 to 5 p.m. Sample some of his buggy treats while supplies last.
  • Practice yoga stretches and poses like a stick insect, grasshopper and mantid.
Photo by Meredith Dolan/ANS
Photo by Meredith Dolan/ANS
  • Take a walk on the wild side of Logan Square with Academy entomologists to look for what insect species live there. Hourly from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Visit a bug clinic to find out how bugs might help or hurt your health.
  • Talk with entomologists and see insects from all over the world.
  • Watch cockroaches and maggots create artworks as they scurry through trails of vibrant paint.
  • Enjoy stage shows featuring live insects magnified. 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
  • Cheer your favorite cockroach to the finish line in the Roach Race 500.
  • Meet a bedbug sniffing dog and learn how dogs do their job with Western Pest Management.
  • Search for lice and find out why they like hair so much.
  • Touch real maggots and discover why they might fill in for bandages.
  • For a detailed list of activities, visit ansp.org/bugfest.

    To purchase tickets in advance, please click here. And don’t forget to wear your bug costume!

    Playing Roach Race 500. Photo by Meredith Dolan/ANS.
    Playing Roach Race 500. Photo by Meredith Dolan/ANS.

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