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Nick and Michelle’s Bug Adventure

by Nick LoCicero

A new exhibit opens today at the Orlando Science Center, Harry’s Big Adventure: My Bug World. Last night, Michelle and I had the opportunity to explore this exhibit at the grand opening. We saw bugs, played with bugs and even tried a few bugs for dinner. Yes, dinner… more on that below. But first, a bit about this wonderful new exhibit. Sponsored by Terminix and developed by the Audubon Nature Institute, the exhibit features nine interactive habitats with nearly 20 hands on exhibits and live insects displayed in their natural surroundings.

The exhibit is a multisensory experience that immerses visitors in the world of bugs and combines high technology with creepy crawly fun.

Featuring live bugs, video, audio, games, and more Harry’s Big Adventure is designed to give spectators an up-close view of nature and a new perspective of the role insects play in our environment.

Kids young and old had the chance to be up close and personal with some bugs…

Here is the event’s mascot Harry and I hanging out at the bug exhibit.

One of the hands on exhibits was a home inspection. Children put on a lab coat and helmet and used a checklist to find all the places inside a home where bugs could be hiding.

Michelle stumbled a scene that was reminiscent to my UCF dorm room days… and yes, these guys are live too.

They have different video screens set up telling you everything you ever wanted to know about bugs. And last night, there was a living tree walking around, just like the one at Animal Kingdom.

Kids could interact with this technology that recognized your shadow on the screen and digital butterflies would land on your body.

Now, the delicious part. The Bug Chef station. This is our chef preparing a delicious mixture he calls Red Beans and Yikes! Its a red bean dish but instead of adding rice, you sprinkle on some wax worms. With the consistency of the red beans, you hardly notice the other squishy little creature between your teeth.

If red beans disgust you, how about some roasted crickets? These crunchy little critters are salted and have the taste of pine nuts.

Michelle enjoying a worm-on-apple treat.

Next up, a dish you might inadvertently find at your local Mexican restaurant… meal worms mixed with salsa.

With the crispy chip, you practically didn’t notice the little guy crunching in there as well.

 By this point, I was so used to picking up bugs and eating them, they had to stop me and let me know that these were just for display and for a hands on with the kids.

And these monster cockroaches where there to entertain the crowed by racing down a track. The winner, go freedom to roam around the Science Center. The looser, well, the frying pan was only 10 feet away.

They also had many bug themed sweets to enjoy, but taste of fake gummy worm just isn’t the same.

We had a great time at the opening of the OCS’s new bug exhibit. It’s included with regular OSC admission and will be here for the next few months. So stop on by, learn about bugs and say hi to Harry for me when you do.

Check out the YouTube video of Michelle and I eating some bugs here!

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