Plan ahead! Franklin Park Zoo will be closed to the public all day on Sunday, July 28 due to a private event. If you would like to visit the Zoo on this day, we are happy to welcome you to Stone Zoo which will be open regular hours from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.


Bug Fest

Franklin Park Zoo

Saturday, July 13, 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Don’t judge a bug by its cover! Learn all about these invaluable species at Bug Fest!

What's buzzing:

  • 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.: Don't miss animal encounters, where zookeepers will educate you on all things bugs, insects and arachnids. Located in front of Tropical Forest.
  • 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.: Visit LEGOLAND's activity area for a Caterpillar Workshop, Animal Build Display, and to free build with LEGO bricks. Workshops held every half hour starting at 10:00 a.m. Located outside Children's Zoo.
  • 11:00 and 11:30 a.m.: Zookeeper Jake's Puppet Show. Located in Children's Zoo.
  • 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.: Visit our bee team, who will be working on the Zoo's observation hive. Location: Organic Garden.
  • 1:00 p.m.: Join guide Jeffrey Taylor, IPM Specialist and NE Entomological Society Secretary, on a walking tour of the Organic Garden.
  • 2:00 p.m.: Bee chat. Location: Organic Garden.
  • Visit U.S. Fish and Wildlife’s display table focused on butterflies, beetles, and more. 
  • Look up at the butterfly stilt walker who will be roaming the Zoo.
  • Take a walk through Eric Carle’s “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” story book, and even meet the costumed Very Hungry Caterpillar roaming the Zoo!

Wicked BIG Bugs

While you’re visiting, say hello to the giant bugs that have invaded Franklin Park Zoo for the summer! Roles will be reversed as you venture through the seasonal Wicked BIG Bugs exhibit and find yourself looking up into the eyes of an 8-foot-tall tarantula, or at the tail of a mighty emperor scorpion looming 15 feet in the air! These larger-than-life animatronic insects and arachnids include the red-tailed bumblebee, Mexican red knee tarantula, Madagascan sunset moth, meadow grasshopper, emperor scorpion, and many others. 

Mini, but Mighty

What real insects may lack in size, they make up for with their own kind of super powers. Take the athletic ant, which can carry up to 10-50 times its own bodyweight; or the busy bee, which is responsible for pollinating 80% of the world’s plants – we can thank these buzzing beauties for one out of every three bites of food that we eat! Despite their importance, insect populations are under threat and need our help. Guests of all ages will learn about these pint-size “super heroes,” and how to ensure that we “don’t bug the bugs” by taking simple steps in our everyday lives to contribute to insect conservation – including buying native plants for your garden and avoiding the use of pesticides.