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The Philadelphia Insectarium

One man’s tribute to the wonderful world of insects

The Philadelphia Insectarium

At the Philadelphia Insectarium. Credit: R. Kennedy for GPTMC



The employees at the Insectarium, who preside over two floors of live and mounted insects from around the world, want to take the ickiness out of the bug kingdom as they give you a chance to look at, hold, play with and even eat the inhabitants of the insect world. Kids love shrieking at the Madagascar hissing cockroaches, squealing at the Mexican tarantulas, and crawling through the bungee-cord spider web.

The tank of glow-in-the-dark scorpions, the working beehive and the collections of exotic butterflies equally fascinate them. Birthday parties are a big draw here, and what birthday cake wouldn’t be complemented by a side dish of chocolate-covered crickets, a specialty of the house?


In 1991, Steve Kanya, owner of Steve’s Wildlife & Pest Control, found a way to tease the business owners across the street, who hated insects. He put a 55-gallon aquarium in his window to display “the catch of the day,” such as a rat or scorpion. Neighbors started coming by to marvel and a light bulb went off. A year later, Kanya opened the Insectarium, the only insect museum in the tristate area.

Butterfly Pavillion

The Insectarium’s Butterfly Pavilion is one of the largest of its kind in North America. The 7,000-square-foot space offers an array of interactive exhibitions, hands-on learning opportunities and high-tech displays to offer a glimpse into the life of a butterfly. Hundreds of live tropical and native butterflies fly around the Pavilion amidst waterfalls and a ferrofluid fountain for visitors to watch and admire.

more about the Butterfly Pavilion

Insider Tip

Check out the Cockroach Kitchen and discover what not to leave around to feed those shell-backed buggers.

Great Kids’ Stuff

Make sure they get a taste of Insectarium delicacies like Barbecued Baby Beetles, Cricket Lick-It Taffy or Chocolate-covered Mealworms.

More Information

To learn more about The Philadelphia Insectarium, click the button below.

more about The Philadelphia Insectarium


8046 Frankford Avenue Philadelphia, PA 19136
(215) 335-9500

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