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Arts & Culture

New Orleans Museum Month: Get in Touch With Nature

You have just a few more days to take advantage of the inaugural New Orleans Museum Month, an August promotion that entitles those with membership at any of the 15 participating institutions to free admission for two at the other participating spots. We’ve told you about the art museums and history museums on the list; spend the final days of Museum Month at these two New Orleans institutions where you can experience the beauty – and the bugs – of nature. As a bonus, both these places are great for kids.

Four-year-old Craig Drize enjoys the Metamorphis Lab at The Audubon Insectarium.
Four-year-old Craig Drize enjoys the Metamorphis Lab at The Audubon Insectarium. (photo: NOTMC’s Widen Collective)

Audubon Insectarium

Find the beauty in bugs – well, cockroaches are always gross – or at least gain a better appreciation for the tiny critters very much apart of New Orleans life at the Insectarium, the newest of the Audubon institutions. Highlights here include the Butterflies in Flight butterfly garden, which includes hundreds of those winged beauties flying all around you; the Insects of New Orleans gallery, an exhibit about Big Easy bug life (naturally starring cockroaches); and the Bug Appetit café, where you can eat bugs prepared by chefs (which isn’t too out of the ordinary in many countries). Curious kids – and kids at heart – will find a lot to love at this place. Audubon Nature Institute membership starts at $89 for individuals, $129 for a member and guest, and $149 for a family.

Longue Vue House and Gardens

You can spend hours exploring this stunning estate and its eight acres of gardens. The house, built between 1939 and 1942, is one of the few remaining Country Place Era estates in the country. The garden boasts a huge collection of Louisiana irises and other native plants, and the Discovery Garden provides interactive fun for young ones. The three-story house has 20 rooms filled with original furnishings, and the gift shop has a great selection of books, home and garden items. The house and gardens also host frequent art exhibitions; the current one is Wildflowers, an exhibit of botanical sculptures by Trailer McQuilkin. Check the museum’s website for educational events for adults and children. Membership starts at $20 for out-of-state individuals, $35 for local individuals, and $50 for a member and guest.

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