Barefoot in Suburbia

Homeschooling & Special Needs, Inspired by the Montessori Way

Field Trip: Franklin Park Conservatory–Butterflies & Blooms August 30, 2011

This week, we took a field trip to the Franklin Park Conservatory in Columbus, Ohio.  During the summer, the conservatory has a program called “Butterflies and Blooms” where they released newly emerged butterflies into the gardens.  The tropical/non-native species are released to an indoor garden and the native species are released outside to the pollinator gardens.  Since we raise butterflies to release in early September every year, it was the perfect opportunity for the kids to see the life cycle happen on a larger scale…with hundreds of chrysalids!

The Franklin Park Conservatory has a permanent Chihuly collection, and so Chihuly's works were incorporated into every exhibit.


I loved this was a glass ceiling with this Chihuly work sitting on top of it.


Some cacti in the desert room.


Some smaller cacti


Blown glass pumpkins in a pumpkin patch


Blown glass pears under a pear tree


We all sat in on a lecture on glass blowing


Some Chihuly pieces floating in a koi pond


Jedi watching the fish


Cute little Bug


Beautiful flower in the Tropical Rainforest indoor butterfly exhibit


This blue butterfly was huge! It's hard to see from this picture, but he was easily the size of my hand.


Bug and her daddy


Monkey & Jedi


As she was releasing the butterflies, she gave a talk on the different types she had in her container. We also went to the release of the native butterflies later that afternoon, where she gave a lecture on the lifecycle and migratory patterns of monarch butterflies.


Bamboo garden


Some glass winged butterflies emerging


Walking to the outdoor gardens


It was well past naptime for Bug


Some flowers in the Pollinator Garden


Some pitcher plants


Another pitcher plant


Sunflowers on a gorgeous day


A huge bee doing his job in the Pollinator Garden




Field Trip #3: Columbus Museum of Art August 3, 2011

The third field trip we took last week was with the homeschool group to the Columbus  Museum of Art.  The last time we were there, the entire museum was undergoing renovations.  This time, the remodeling is finished, and the museum looks spectacular!  In addition to the wonderful works on display, there is now a large (and very fun) children’s area, as well as children’s activities integrated throughout the museum’s regular exhibits.

Monkey using the magnetic utensil display to attempt to create a face.


Jedi trying to make a face with the other magnetic display.


Jedi taking a moment to relax in a nook.


Jedi & Monkey in the fort building area


Monkey & Bug using the animal parts to create new animals.


Still working on their creations.


Bug looking at the animal displays


Bug & Monkey making a magnetic sculpture


Bug & Monkey sculpting


A beautiful work by Chihuly


The kids making sculptures out of packing peanuts and rubber bands


Jedi working with some friends from The Attached Mama (


A lovely piece of art created with scraps of fabric. I'm pretty sure we will have the kids try to recreate this later.


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