This is not a terrible nightmare, though my seven year old son was a bit skeptical when I described a 20-foot tall, 1200-pound praying mantis. But, after seeing the first ant, he ran through the park for two hours yelling "awesome, awesome!" Featuring 13 gigantic bug sculptures in their natural environment of Glenwood Gardens, this show brings us into the world of insects and arachnids. In this exhibit, we become the small, crushable creatures, as the bugs tower above us.
In this woodsy habitat the bugs appear to be almost moving. Ants march down a grassy hill; a spider weaves her massive web between two trees; a dragonfly lands in a secluded pond; a daddy long legs hides in the dark bushes; and an assassin bug stalks its unknowing prey. The incredible detail, earthy materials, and true proportions will make you look twice.
This traveling exhibit, by sculptor David Rogers, is in Cincinnati through August 21. Since its opening in 1994, Big Bugs has provided visitors around the country a great learning opportunity. For each creature interesting facts about their anatomy, habitat and behavior are displayed (did you know some spiders have 30 eyes!) Entomology experts will be coming on site to meet and greet visitors. Fun events are also planned such as concerts, bug legend and folklore story times, magic shows, and even a "dog day."
Part of the Hamilton County Park District, Glenwood Gardens has much more than just bugs. The Highfield Discovery Garden is a charming, beautifully landscaped children's garden including whimsical areas like Discovery Tree (a 25-foot tree house), Wizard's Garden (with a giant wizard's hat), Trolley Garden (with a large working train display), and Grandma's Scent Garden. The park also hosts daily interactive garden workshops. The Cotswold Cafe sells snacks, treats, and light fare. Admission to the Highfield Discovery Garden includes the Big Bug event, so you can easily make it an afternoon adventure.
Location: Glenwood Gardens 10397 Springfield Pike, Cincinnati, Ohio 45215
Admission: $7 for adults, $5 for children and seniors