This year’s BugFest includes an interactive Butterfly Dome
BugFest, Bernheim’s celebration of insects and their relatives, welcomes families to meet multi-legged creatures, have fun on an Insect Safari, dare to Eat-A-Bug and much more. Children are encouraged to dress as their favorite bugs for the Bug Parade and dance the buggy boogie. This year, a special new experience allows visitors to interact with butterflies in an onsite Butterfly Dome and (gently) handle them while learning about butterfly habitats. The Butterfly Dome will open at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 28 and will be open every day until Sunday, Oct. 6 when, starting at 11 a.m., visitors are invited to select a butterfly and release it back to its natural habitat for the great Butterfly Release!
Bernheim’s Fall Plant Sale invites visitors to browse a varied selection of unique plants including trees, shrubs, grasses and perennials. Horticulturists will be on hand to answer questions and share information. All plants are suitable for north central Kentucky growing, and plant sale proceeds benefit Bernheim.
The fun doesn’t end there. Bernheim has numerous programs and events planned as autumn approaches:
First Sunday Nature Hike: Late Bloomers
Meet a Volunteer Naturalist at the Visitor Center on Sunday, Sept. 1, from 2 – 3 p.m. for an engaging 45 to 60-minute nature walk exploring late summer and fall blooms. Registration is not required for this free event, and all ages are welcome. No pets allowed, and participants are encouraged to wear comfortable walking shoes.
Lunch & Learn: Monarch Migration
Practice the delicate art of butterfly observation on Wednesday, Sept. 4, from 10:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. with Bernheim’s butterfly expert Corinne Mastey, who has raised and released hundreds of butterflies over the years. Join in on the fun and learn tips to become more skilled at this delightful art.
Bernheim Lunch & Learn programs are designed for adults who enjoy spending time outdoors with others and celebrating the natural world. Each program includes group introductions, a short hike and lunch at Isaac’s Café.
Registration and payment are due by 4 p.m. on the day prior to start of program. Please call (502) 955-8512 or visit Bernheim.org to register. The cost is $15 for members and $20 for non-members.
ECO Kids Discovery Days
The E-C-O stands for Every Child Outside, and that’s exactly where kids can be found during ECO Kids Discovery Days. Discovery Days take place the first and third Saturday of each month at Bernheim’s Visitor Center and include:
On Your Own Challenge from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Discovery Stations from 1 – 4 p.m.
Hike of the Day led by a Bernheim guide, starts at the Visitor Center at 2 p.m. and runs 45-60 minutes.
On Saturday, Sept. 7, it’s all about Damsels and Dragons. Families will have fun observing and identifying real-life damsels and dragons – damselflies and dragonflies, that is – with the On Your Own Challenge identification sheet. Children can also explore hands-on Discovery Stations and join the Hike of the Day during the afternoon.
On Saturday, Sept. 21, kids will be Getting Dirty by exploring forest floor soil layers, looking for evidence of the FBI (fungus, bacteria, invertebrates) and celebrating the decomposition that keeps life going.
For details on ECO Kids Discovery Days, call (502) 955-8512 or visit Bernheim.org.
ECO Kids Pollywog Play Party
Pollywogs (infants to five-year-olds) are invited to the Education Center, on Saturday, Sept. 7, from 10:30 a.m. – noon for a morning of discovery. Early learners will participate in Behaving Like Bugs and Bees where they will meet live critters, go on an insect safari, dress like a bug and much more.
Registration is required by 4 p.m. on the day prior to program by calling (502) 955-8512 or visiting Bernheim.org. The cost is $10 for Bernheim members and $15 for non-members. The fee covers one caregiver and one child.
Meet a Volunteer Naturalist at the Visitor Center on Sunday, Sept. 8, from 2 – 3 p.m. for an engaging 45 to 60-minute nature walk exploring late summer and fall blooms. Registration is not required for this free event, and all ages are welcome. No pets allowed, and participants are encouraged to wear comfortable walking shoes.
Forest Homeschool Hike – The Food Chain
On Wednesday, Sept. 11 from 1 – 2 p.m., Bernheim is taking homeschool to the forest. This school year, Bernheim is offering opportunities for homeschool families and co-ops to join Bernheim educators for an afternoon of learning, exercising and adventure. Appropriate for grades K-5, each Forest Homeschool Hike will include a short lesson at the Education Center Silo Stage followed by a hike that will bring this month’s lesson —The Food Chain —to life.
Registration and payment are due by 4 p.m. the day before. Please call (502) 955-8512 or visit Bernheim.org to register. The cost for Bernheim members is $5 a student and $7 a student for non-members. There is no fee for adults, but an adult must accompany children.
Bernheim at Night
Bernheim’s night programs add mystery and magic to make memorable experiences. Exploring Bernheim at night provides opportunities to observe and celebrate seasonal and nocturnal changes in our surroundings.
Quarter Moon Hike
Join Bernheim on Friday, Sept. 6, from 8 – 10 p.m. for a trek through Bernheim’s holly collection, around Olmsted Ponds to the Earth Measure sculpture and into the Big Prairie.
Full “Harvest” Moon Hike
Visitors are invited to Bernheim on Saturday, Sept. 14, from 7:45 – 9:45 p.m. to enjoy a nature hike under the light of a full moon. This Full Moon Hike includes a walk around Lake Nevin Loop, with plenty of stops to observe the night sky, discuss nocturnal happenings and consider our cosmic connections.
Creatures of the Night: Screech Owls
Summer is an opera, complete with throaty vocals, high pitched vibratos and an expert cast of creatures, each playing its part in this ancient drama. Journey with Bill Napper and fellow Volunteer Naturalists on Friday, Sept. 20, from 7:30 — 10 p.m. on a Creatures of the Night driving tour into sections of Bernheim where crepuscular and nocturnal creatures are most active. This program includes a small amount of hiking through easy terrain.
Late Summer Star Stories and Sky Watch
Join Volunteer Naturalists and the Louisville Astronomical Society (LAS) on Saturday, Sept. 21, from 8 – 10 p.m. to see the brilliant stars and constellations of summer through the telescopes graciously provided by LAS. If overcast, a virtual astronomy program will be presented inside the Garden Pavilion.
All Bernheim at Night programs are $10 for members and $12 for non-members. Groups meet at the Garden Pavilion unless otherwise noted in the event description. Registration and payment are required by 4 p.m. on the day prior to the program. Call (502) 955-8512 to reserve a spot or visit Bernheim.org. Space is limited for events, and pets are not allowed.
A $10 per-car donation is suggested at the front gate for non-members.