We had the opportunity to check out Amazing Arachnids today, the new exhibit opening this Saturday, May 26, 2018 at Brookfield Zoo. This temporary exhibit will be at the zoo through September 3, 2018. Located in the West Mall, near the Great Bear Wilderness and Tropic World, you will be immersed in the world of spiders. They have over 20 types of tarantulas as well as many other species of arachnids. If you and/or your kids like spiders, you will love this exhibit.
We learned a lot about arachnids that we had never heard before, such as how often spiders clean themselves. They are actually extremely meticulous creatures and even organize and dispose of their own waste. Spontaneous Zoo Chats take place periodically during Amazing Arachnids so you can meet different species, learn about them, and ask questions.
The information in the Amazing Arachnids tent is divided into three sections: Science, Art, and Culture. In the Science Cube, 34 arachnids are featured, showing deadly spiders in North America and uses for arachnids and silk in medicine. In the Arts Cube, 31 arachnids are showcased, along with the type of spider that starred in “Charlotte’s Web” and references to music references, such as the “Itsy Bitsy Spider” song. Lastly, in the Culture Cube, how different cultures view spiders is explored, along with arachnids as food.
There are also beautiful photographs by the world-renowned German arachnid photographer Julian Kamzol that illustrate the intricacies of spiders that you can’t normally see.
Interactive Exhibits at Amazing Arachnids
As you walk in, you will see a small dance floor with a display and video teaching you how to dance the Tarantella. Learn the history of this folk dance from Italy and give it a try!
There are a few interactive graphic panels, including information about spider silk along with a Kevlar vest, an up close look at fangs, claws, and stingers, and flip panels that illustrate how spiders molt and grow. You can also see how you compare in size to modern day and prehistoric arachnids on a life-sized banner.
A 7-foot-tall spider with a 10-foot leg span that invites you to weave your own web with ropes and carabiners.
At the Arachnid Mobility center you can move a spider forwards and backwards on the screen to observe how they move their legs up close.
There is also a magnetic wall so kids can rearrange arachnid parts to form their body like a puzzle and a dig table where you can uncover spiders while learning facts.
Mission Safari Maze
My kids’ favorite part was the Mission Safari Maze- a 3,500 square foot neon green modular maze. Four giant colorful spinning wheels that highlight 48 missions or tasks that link you to the stories and strengths of 16 species of animals that can all be seen at Brookfield Zoo.
Each animal has a name and they got a kick out of which name it landed on. After spinning the wheel, you move through the maze to discover a climb-on spider web, jungle vines, swinging bars, and a monorail zip line.
Both the Amazing Arachnids tent and Mission Safari Maze are included in the Amazing Arachnids exhibit. The cost is $5 for adults and $3 for children ages 3-11 and seniors 65 and over. Brookfield Zoo members receive half off admission price. General zoo admission is $21.95 for adults and $15.95 for children ages 3-11 and seniors 65 and over. Park in $14. For further information, visit CZS.org/Arachnids.