Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Butterflies in winter?

I just returned from a weekend trip to Chicago with my daughters. We had a great time, but the cold weather made getting around harder – to say the least. What typically would have been nice walks from our hotel to nearby restaurants turned into trudging through the snow against the cold winter wind, and cab rides won out over walking more times than not.

Now that I’m back, I just learned about a place that, if we had visited, might have infused some summer-like spirit into our experience. The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum has a real-life butterfly garden on its second floor. And what says summer more than butterflies flitting around? I bet that 2,700 square-foot greenhouse is nice and warm, and no mittens or earmuffs are required to walk around among the 75 species of butterflies that reside there.

To be sure, we enjoyed the museums and attractions we visited despite the weather. But if I ever visit Chicago again during the winter – or any other season for that matter – I’m going to put the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum at the top of my places to visit.