Of course, Gainsville is best known as the Home of the University of Florida and the Florida Gators but did you know that on campus is a must-see attraction that best of all is, free!!
Visit the Florida Museum of Natural History and enjoy some family time while learning and exploring. See exhibits like Florida Fossils – Evolution of Life and Land, where you get a walk through time beginning with when the State of Florida was underwater. Learn about energy consumption and conservation at the Our Energy Future exhibit. Explore a hardwood hammock featuring a life-size limestone cave in the Northwest Florida Waterways and Wildlife exhibit. Travel underwater and on land to learn about marine creatures and mangrove forests in the South Florida People and Environments exhibit. These are just a few of the absolutely free exhibits to explore and discover at the Free Florida Museum of Natural History.
A great way to spend an afternoon of fun-filled learning, and did I mention that the museum is free!! With the exception of a small parking fee ($4.00 when we visited), you get a museum visit packed full of learning and hands-on activities enjoyable for the entire family for absolutely free.
The Florida Museum of Natural History is located at the University of Florida Cultural Plaza 3215 Hull Road in Gainesville, Florida.
Florida Museum Butterfly Rainforest
While visiting the Florida Museum of Natural History, you may want to check out the Butterfly Rainforest. There is an entry fee at this exhibit of $14 per adult, $12.00 for seniors, and $7 for children ages 3-17; however, this exhibit is well worth the admission price if you or your children love butterflies.
The butterflies are literally flying all around you as you stroll or even just sit in this enclosed, beautiful tropical setting. A beautiful garden of flowers, tropical plants, and waterfalls with what seems like a thousand butterflies flying freely about.
The facility is both an attraction for public enjoyment as well as a working research and study center. Lepidopterology is the study of butterflies and the University of Florida has one of the largest collections of specimens in the world.
While visiting the Butterfly Rainforest, pick up the free brochures on butterfly identification and how to start your own butterfly garden. This exhibit is fun for everyone, young and not so young. Hours are Monday – Saturday 10 AM – 5 PM and on Sundays from 1-5 PM. The museum is located within the Museum of Natural History on the UF Campus.
Both the Butterfly Rainforest and the Museum of Natural History are Wheelchair accessible.
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