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Photo Credit: Victoria Caruso

Looking for an indoor activity to escape the cold weather? A tropical garden filled with flowers, trees, and vibrant butterflies awaits you at the Long Island Aquarium in Riverhead.

The aquarium’s Butterflies, Bugs and Bees habitat is the only one of its kind on Long Island. Inside, visitors can meander down a stone path and watch as butterflies freely flutter from branch to branch. Scattered among the flowers are hanging bowls of halved oranges and banana peels that attract the butterflies and provide nutrition.

At any given time, there are roughly 40 to 50 different butterfly species roaming the habitat. Each week, the aquarium’s entomologists take in anywhere from 800 to 1,200 pupae, or chrysalis, the penultimate stage in a butterfly’s metamorphosis.

There is also a wide variety of other interesting insects, including stick bugs, beetles and bees, housed behind glass throughout the enchanting garden.

Spend a minute with us there.