Homeroom At Home is proud to be partnered with The Academy of Natural Sciences to provide our readers with details on upcoming events, exhibits and programs. We were offered a complimentary family membership in exchange for media coverage. #Sponsored This post may contain affiliate links.

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Oh, the good old days of summer. Running around outdoors: catching butterflies, digging up millipedes, skipping stones and plenty of other outdoor exploration. Not so much has to have changed. The Bug Fest at the Academy Of Natural Sciences is happening this weekend, August 13th & 14th with plenty of hands-on, creepy, slimy discovery fun.

Bug Fest Selfie

Every year, The Academy coordinates an amazing festival of insects. Families can get up close and personal with cockroaches and caterpillars or take selfies with centipedes. Not to mention dine on insect enriched snacks like “Chocolate Chirp Cookies” and “Cajun Crickets” with Chef Zach Lemann. Oh and you gotta check out his bug rap video below, super cool.

More than just a day of family entertainment, the Bug Fest offers demonstrations of bedbug dog sniffers and offers suggestions if these pests find their way into your home. Understanding the role that spiders, maggots and slugs have in our natural world may dissuade families from an insect killing spree. And perhaps pick up a few tricks on keeping said pesky critters out of our homes, like how cinnamon deters ants. All helpful tidbits mixed in with the family fun, crafts and activities.

Bug Fest 2016

The Bug Fest has plenty to explore over the two-day event and below is a quick preview of the exhibits and festival favorites per the Academy’s website (www.ansp.org):

NEW IN 2016

The Hive

What’s the buzz about bees? Come find out for yourself as you encounter these interesting insects, taste some sweet honey, and help build a hive. Try on some “bee goggles” to gather nectar from some nearby flowers, and then learn how to make your own backyard friendlier to these important insects. Make your very own bee beard mask to take home and amaze you friends and family.

Via at Bug Fest 2016Arthropod Architects

Bugs are some of the best builders. Inspect spider webbing up close and meet the live spiders that spin it. See what’s hiding in a wasp nest and work together to build a huge termite mound. Find out if your building skills are up to snuff when you try to build your own beautiful caddisfly casing. Learn which bugs you should thank for some of our own architectural advances, and see a 3-D printer try to build some of our bugs’ super structures. A few lucky guests each day will get to take home some insect-inspired 3-D models.

Delightful Decomposers

Live maggots, slugs, and millipedes take center stage as we look at how these often misunderstood critters help make the world a cleaner place. What’s the difference between a centipede and a millipede? How do bugs help us solve crimes? Are slugs in your garden always a bad thing? Answer all your burning (or rotting) questions!

Invertebrate Invaders!

Learn about the science behind the headlines as you talk to experts about mosquitoes and other invasive (and sometimes destructive) species like lantern flies and ash borer beetles. See specimens and live invaders up close.


Roach Race 500: Cheer on your favorite roach as it tries to conquer three different tracks in the famous Roach Race 500!

Live Invertebrate Stage Show: See our bugs on the big screen!

Demo at Bug Fest 2016Bedbug-sniffing Dog Demonstrations: Learn more about the bugs that bug us and what you can do if you find them in your home. Meet the canines and their companions that help to sniff out these unwanted houseguests. (Sponsored by Western Pest Management)

Bug Walks: Join Academy entomologists on an expedition outside the museum to see what species of invertebrates live there.

Bug Appétit: Enjoy culinary art with a buggy twist. Cajun Chef Zack Lemann and his “Chocolate Chirp” cookies will return to Bug Fest this year!

Meet the Entomologist: Talk with Academy entomologists and representatives from the American Entomological Society. Find out about current research projects and get an up close look at some specimens from our collections.

Crafty Critters: Create your own bug-themed craft to take home.

While a day out exploring is very exciting… it doesn’t have to stop when the museum closes. Consider these cool education kits to keep your children engaged in insects. The Ant Farm by Uncle Milton allows kids to watch the ever-working ants build a colony and travel back and forth in their new community. Insect Lore has fantastic learning toys including the Ladybug Land and Butterfly Garden. All three of these kits have a voucher to mail away for live insects to care for and nurture in their new habitat. The butterflies must be released into the wild within 4 days of transforming into butterflies. It is such an exciting experiment to watch these infant insects transform into adult form. Did you know ladybugs don’t have spots right away? Check out our quick video reviews and jump over to Amazon where you can purchase a kit as a late summer experiment or back to school treat.