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.
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
The 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.
Slices 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.
Taking care of the butterflies
A sign outside reminds you not to touch the wings of the butterflies to avoid harming them.
Still, 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
The 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.
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.
Sadly, 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!
- What is a butterfly?
- PEI Preserve Company, Gardens of Hope & Butterfly House
- Plant a garden that will attract butterflies to your own yard