Duluth is a wonderful place to raise outdoor kids because of the countless organizations and events that make it easy for parents to share nature with their children. The Duluth Monarch Festival is at the top of this list.
Finley and I almost didn’t attend the inaugural event, as we were quite tired after spending the morning clearing a huge dump pile at the St. Louis River Alliance’s annual cleanup (yet, another organization that welcomes children’s involvement).
Thankfully, we went.
It was kid-friendly and packed with interactive learning opportunities. In the kids activities room, tables were filled with different Monarch butterfly crafts, including bow-tie pasta painting to create little butterflies. Finley spent quite a long time coloring.
Once we moved into the exhibit hall, Finley made a bee line for the face painting table. We had seen dozens of children and adults with Monarchs on their cheeks or black and orange wings around their eyes.
Finley took a seat and said, “I’d like to be a cat.”
She clearly hadn’t picked up on the theme yet. 🙂
With her fancy face, she then headed for the cookie table to pick out a butterfly-shaped treat. If you couldn’t tell yet, the creators of this event put a lot of thought into making it kid-friendly.
Meeting Interesting People
One of the best parts of this event was the interesting people. We met local children’s author Linda Glaser and bought several of her nature-themed books.
We also met local mixed-media artist Mary Plaster, who creates amazing giant puppets.
So Much to Learn
There were plenty of Monarch enthusiasts on hand to share their rich knowledge about the decline of the Monarch population due to development and herbicides. We learned that milkweed is the mainstay of the Monarch diet and left with free native milkweed seeds to plant in our yard. At another booth, we saw live caterpillars at different stages of metamorphosis.
With our new Monarch butterfly knowledge, we look forward to observing the butterflies who make their home in the butterfly houses that Finley and Daley recently made at a free Home Depot workshop.
The Duluth Monarch Buddies organized this fabulous event (you can follow them on their Facebook page). From what I understand, it will be an annual event. Lucky us!
Did you attend the Duluth Monarch Butterfly Festival? Share your experiences in the comment box below. Thanks!