I am very pleased to see that the Sensational Butterflies trail at The Natural History Museum is returning again in 2017. My family and I visited last year and it was one of the most memorable days out we've had in London.
From 31 March to 17 September, a huge marquee full of beautiful butterflies will be housed within the grounds of the famous museum. Upon entering the tropical tent, the first thing that will hit you is the heat - the climate inside is hot and humid, which is necessary for the butterflies and plants to thrive. All of the species are sourced ethically from Central and South America, Africa and Asia, and are used to tropical temperatures.
Once you've acclimatised (and stripped off a few layers), you can follow the path around the flowers, vines and foliage while hundreds of butterflies of all colours and sizes fly around you (and probably land on you).
You will be able to see the butterflies interacting and feeding on nectar and fruit. You'll probably spot a few caterpillars and chrysallis too (and if you're really lucky you may witness a butterfly emerging from one). It is informative as well as fun and there are interactive learning stations and experts on hand to answer questions.
Our daughter was two at the time and she loved looking at the butterflies fluttering around. We also had our baby sleeping in the pram. Prams are supposed to be left outside the butterfly house for space-saving purposes, but the staff were happy for us to take it in (it was just quite hard to push it around as the floor was shingled).
You can remain inside the marquee for as long as you want, and when you are ready to leave there is a gift shop to browse before exiting. The cost of entering Sensational Butterflies is £5.85 each or £19.80 for a family ticket. Under 4s, members and patrons go in free. You could also combine it with a visit to the main museum, which is free to enter.
The Natural History Museum is open daily from 10.00-17.50 and is located on Cromwell Road. South Kensington is the nearest tube stop. For more information on Sensational Butterflies visit the website.