Tropical Butterfly House

A photo of a black butterfly feeding off a red flower at the Tropical Butterfly House

A few weeks ago, I took our eight-year-old to the Tropical Butterfly House near Sheffield, after a request to go somewhere with parrots. We’ve been many times – the first was in 2017, before our now eight-year-old had turned two. And whilst the name implies that it’s just about butterflies, it’s actually a small animal zoo with both indoor and outdoor areas.

There is, of course, a tropical butterfly house there, and the house itself is actually new. The previous indoor bit is now a dedicated bird house. There’s a wide range of different butterflies, along with tropical plants. Outside, there are farm animals, various birds (including parrots), the obligatory meerkats, otters and lemurs. The parrots are often involved in aerial displays, although we didn’t stay for one this time.

The zoo isn’t very big, and you can see everything in half a day. It’s also very much aimed at families with younger children – there are various things that spray water, and lots of fibreglass dinosaurs. It’s worth going to during school holidays, as there are lots of extra activities around Halloween, Christmas and Easter in particular.

The photos from our most recent visit are on Flickr.

Accessibility

The Tropical Butterfly House is about five minute’s drive away from Junction 31 of the M1, and there should be sufficient parking on site. If you don’t have a car, then the X5 bus from Sheffield gets you to within a 15 minute walk away. The site is almost all on one level, with good wheelchair access throughout. Sensory packs and loan wheelchairs are available if booked in advance.

Butterfly Tale

Film poster for Butterfly Tale

At the weekend, I took our 8-year-old to see Butterfly Tale at the cinema. It was only released in the UK on Friday, but has been on general release elsewhere as early as October. It’s a joint Germany and Canada production – indeed, the first minute of the film is just the various logos of producers, distributors and funders. I hadn’t heard of it before, and according to iMDB, it’s grossed less than a $1million so far.

The film is based on the migration of Monarch butterflies. The main characters are Patrick, a butterfly with mis-sized wings who can’t fly, and his friend Marty, who is still a caterpillar. Because they can’t fly, they have to come up with a plan to join the rest of the butterflies on their migration.

It is very much a film for kids. Indeed, our eight-year-old really enjoyed it. It’s not a ground-breaking piece of cinema, and I wouldn’t necessarily recommend seeing it at the cinema unless you have young kids. The animation and story are nothing special. It’s likely to be the sort of random film that you can let you kids watch on streaming if it’s a wet afternoon and you need some peace. Indeed, seeing as the UK is one of the last countries to see a cinema release, I imagine it’s already on streaming services elsewhere.

Most cinema chains seem to have at least a few showings of it right now. When we saw it, there were only around 10 people at the showing – despite it being at the biggest screen. I suspect it’ll have a rather limited run in cinemas.