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Saturday, May 18, 2002 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Families

Are kids bugging you to get out? Try these ideas

The zoo's Bug World exhibit, located in the Family Farm area, features a collection of insects, arachnids and other arthropods. Nearby, children can pretend to be a spider on a giant rope web in the Habitat Discovery Loop.

Nearly 1,000 butterflies representing at least 15 North American species flit around the seasonal Butterflies & Blooms exhibit, which runs through Sept. 30.

The zoo's Bug Club for children ages 5 to 12 meets from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. the fourth Sunday of the month. Members study a different aspect of bugs each session. Cost is $35 for zoo members, $45 for nonmembers per quarter, with a one-time materials fee of $10. For more information or to register, call 206-684-4841.

Stop by the Bugs on Wheels special cart to discover up close such strange and beautiful bugs as the Chilean rose tarantula. The cart is stationed throughout areas of the zoo; times are not scheduled.

During a spider program, kids can pretend to be arachnids and meet live spiders up close. 1 p.m. Sundays and Mondays, Open Air Theater, beginning May 26.

The Arthropods of Africa cart in the African Village features a giant millipede and a Madagascar hissing cockroach for an up-close encounter. Times and days vary.

The zoo is open 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. daily, 5500 Phinney Ave. N., Seattle; $4.25-$9.50, parking $3.50 (206-684-3000 or www.zoo.org).

PACIFIC SCIENCE CENTER

In the Tropical Butterfly House, visitors can walk in a lush, indoor tropical environment among free-flying butterflies. Species raised on tropical butterfly farm arrive each week as chrysalises.

In the adjacent Insect Village, visitors learn more about insects and other arthropods through giant robotic insects, interactive exhibits and displays of live bugs. Sure to gross out even the hardiest eater is a display explaining culinary uses of insects.

The center is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. weekends through Friday, then 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily through the summer, 200 Second Ave. N., Seattle; admission $5.50-$8 (206-443-2001 or www.pacsci.org).

BURKE MUSEUM

A 9-foot-high transparent Bug Wall displays 600 Northwest insect specimens, including beetles, crickets, moths and butterflies. Using an interactive computer screen, visitors can read interesting facts about 100 species of local bugs.

The museum will stage a whole day of buggy activities for families this fall during its annual Bug Blast from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 29.

A traveling insect collection available to educators includes lesson plans for grades 1 to 12, four boxes of local insects, four boxes of local butterflies and moths and one box on unusual, non-native insects. It also offers reference materials, magazines, a video and software. Cost is $20 for a week, $25 for two weeks. To reserve a collection, call the Education Division at 206-543-5591.

The museum is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily (closed July 4), open until 8 p.m. Thursdays, 17th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 45th Street, University of Washington, Seattle; $3-$6.50; free admission on the first Thursday of each month (206-543-5590 or www.burkemuseum.org).

CLASSES

Camp Long will lead an all-day field trip to Roslyn to study water bugs June 29. Cost is $15 adults, $7 children, including transportation.

This summer, Camp Long will stage the Insect Fear Film Festival, with bug programs followed by screenings of bug movies. After the movie, participants will check moth lights. Movies include "Them," July 5; "The Fly," July 26; "Deadly Mantis," Aug. 2; "Beginning of the End," Aug. 16; and "The Hellstrom Chronicles," Aug. 30. The programs run 7-10 p.m. and cost $2 a person.

Two Saturday naturalist programs will include chasing bugs July 27 and looking at pond water bugs, Aug. 3. Programs run 2 to 3:30 p.m. and cost $4 a person.

For more information or to register, call 206-684-7434.

Discovery Park offers programs on bugs, spiders and pond life for organized groups on request. The programs are tailored to preschool- through elementary-school-age children. For more information, call 206-386-4236.

Everett Parks and Recreation will offer a class on arthropods, including spiders, insects, millipedes and crustaceans. The class for age 8 and up will include use of microscopes. 2 to 3:30 p.m., June 8, Lions Hall, $5. To register, call 425-257-8300.

The Northwest Stream Center teaches classes on pond life and wetland critters to organized groups by request. Call 425-316-8592 for more information.

King County Parks will give an "Introduction to Insects" for adults and children age 12 and up from 10 a.m. to noon June 15 at the Cottage Lake Pool in Woodinville, $5. To register, call 206-296-4171.

The Seattle Tilth Children's Garden will offer several hands-on garden camps for children from age 1 to 10 focusing on bugs, slugs and spiders. One class for kids ages 5 to 10 focuses on gardening for insects and fairies and includes making a bug palace. For more information or to register, call 206-633-0451, Ext. 2.

RESOURCES

WEB SITES

Bug of the Month: The Spencer Entomology Museum at the University of British Columbia highlights bugs found in the Pacific Northwest. (www.insecta.com/insecta/index.shtml)

University of Kentucky Department of Entomology: Teacher/parent resources, articles and activities on insects for kids. (www.uky.edu/Agriculture/Entomology/ythfacts/entyouth.htm)

Butterflies of Washington: Pictures and biological information about butterflies found in our state by the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center. (www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/distr/lepid/bflyusa/wa/toc.htm)

North American Butterfly Association: Butterfly images, answers to common questions, and listings of recent sightings. (www.naba.org)

Y.E.S. Minibeast World: Produced by the Young Entomologists' Society, various pages offer educational information on spiders, insects and butterflies. (members.aol.com/YESedu/mainmenu.html)

BOOKS

Many books focus on insects, but here are a few recommended by local naturalists:

"Bugs of Washington and Oregon" by John Acorn and Ian Sheldon.

"Golden Guide Insects: A Guide to Familiar American Insects," by Herbert Spencer Zim.

"Golden Guide Pond Life: A Guide to Common Plants and Animals of North American Ponds and Lakes," by George Kell Reid.

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