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For the first time in its 31-year history, Roper Mountain Science Center will be home to hundreds of native butterflies in a living exhibit where visitors can observe and interact with the winged insects.

The Butterfly Adventure is a four-week event that will begin with this Saturday’s Butterfly Festival, the center’s planned Second Saturday event. The Butterfly Festival will run 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. and offer Upstate families their first glimpse of the limited-time exhibit, according to Tommie Reece, community engagement director for RMSC.

“When you walk into the tropical rainforest exhibit, there are hundreds of butterflies flying around,” she said. “If you wear a bright-colored shirt, they’ll land on you. You can feed them. It’s simply magical. It doesn’t matter if you’re 9 months old or 90 years old. It’s a wonderful experience.”

Reece said there isn’t another butterfly experience like the Butterfly Adventure in the immediate area. The Butterfly Adventure will be open to the public 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Mondays – Saturdays June 11 – July 9. It will be closed Sundays and July 4.

“We’re excited about it,” Reece said. “The tropical rainforest is filled with blooming plants right now, so it’s a great habitat for the butterflies.”

In addition to the Butterfly Adventure, other favorite exhibits at RMSC will be open daily through July 9. The center’s planetarium and observatory are closed for renovations, but families who want to experience the Living History Farm, Harrison Hall of Natural Sciences and Symmes Hall of Science on a weekday this summer will have plenty of opportunities to do so. The attractions are typically only available during Second Saturday events but will be open daily during the same hours as the Butterfly Adventure.

“We want to be open to the public more and in a meaningful, fun, engaging way,” Reece said. “This exhibit allows us to do all of that.”

Admission to the center includes all activities and attractions, she added. Visitors can also play in the center’s tree houses, walk its nature trails or rest in the arboretum.

Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for kids 4 – 12, and free for kids 3 and younger and RMSC members. For more information, visit www.RoperMountain.org.

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