Butterfly House, PEI Preserve Company

The butterfly house at PEI Preserve Company[updated July 2015]

Tucked inside the gardens surrounding the PEI Preserve Company in New Glasgow, PEI is a greenhouse filled with butterflies.

We visited it on our recent trip to PEI on the premise that the butterfly house and gardens would tire out our toddler before we had lunch at the restaurant in the PEI Preserve Company, but really – who doesn’t love butterflies?

We parked by the main PEI Preserve Company building [PRO TIP: there’s another parking lot up the hill that’s closer to the butterfly house]. Once we got directions, we were off up the hill to the butterfly house.

IMG_6784It’s a short walk, although it can seem long carrying a 25lb toddler! On the way, you’ll see some sheep, and we were told that there are also horses tucked away in the gardens.

Cost

Admission to the gardens is $7/person (Amelia was free). [Update: it is $8/person in 2015, group rates are available]

Inside the Butterfly House

Inside the butterfly house at PEI Preserve CompanyIMG_6797The greenhouse has double doors to keep the butterflies from escaping – a good thing, because the enclosure is filled with them. Amelia shrieked in delight when she realized that there were butterflies flying through the air and perched on almost every plant.

butterflies eating orangesSlices of orange are placed around the room to encourage the butterflies to perch in a place where kids can see them more easily, and Amelia spent a lot of time leaning on the benches staring at the butterflies. They showed no inclination to move, even when the orange slice was (carefully!) picked up.

Amelia-PEI-9

Holding the butterflies was a huge hit with kids of all ages.

Butterflies sitting on Kate Each of us was a butterfly perch during our visit, except for Amelia. I suspect the shrieks of delight and constant running convinced the butterflies that she wasn’t a good resting spot.

Taking care of the butterflies

A sign outside reminds you not to touch the wings of the butterflies to avoid harming them.

butterflyStill, butterflies have a short life span, and we saw the attendant scooping up the expired butterflies into a covered container (presumably so the kids didn’t see them and get upset, as my mother pointed out).

Gardens of Hope

IMG_6779The grounds are lovely, with walking paths and some animals as well [TIP: watch out for electrified fences around the animals]. With a toddler in tow, we didn’t have the chance to even come close to exploring all 12 acres. The gardens overlook the River Clyde, and it’s a beautiful spot.

IMG_6825Restaurant

There’s a takeout stand at the main building where you can get meals to enjoy on one of the many benches, as well as a restaurant attached to the PEI Preserve Company store.

Prince Edward island Preserve CompanySadly, the gardens and butterfly house tuckered our wee one out and she was in no mood to wait the half-hour for a table. However, it was lunchtime on a long weekend Saturday, and the fine folks at PEI Tourism tell me that the wait isn’t usually that long. If we’d checked in before we went to the butterfly house, we actually would have gotten a table by the time we were done visiting the butterflies – bad planning on our part!

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