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3 things to do on Long Island with kids who love butterflies

A monarch butterfly and a moth on a

A monarch butterfly and a moth on a flower in the butterfly center at Sweetbriar Nature Center in Smithtown. Credit: John Dunn

Here are three butterfly events for families on Long Island this weekend.

The Butterfly Garden at Sweetbriar Nature Center in Smithtown has been around since 1996 and is home to plants such as milkweed, verbena, black-eyed Susans and phlox — all of which attract butterflies. Families can take a walk through the garden and see up to 15 different varieties among a population of about 50 butterflies. It’s open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day, but a butterfly coloring craft is set up on Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is $5, $3 for seniors and kids under 12, and free for non-walking toddlers. Call 631-979-6344 or go to sweetbriarnc.org for more information.

Garden City’s Long Island Children’s Museum is inviting children into the Milkweed Garden to participate in a monarch larva monitoring project. Real data will be collected by measuring plants, rainfall and counting monarch eggs, and the information will be sent to the University of Minnesota Monarch Lab for analysis. Meet at the front desk every Friday at 2 p.m. to collect data. The program is best for ages 4 and up and is free with museum admission of $14. Call 516-224-5828 or go to licm.org for more information.

The butterfly children’s workshop at the Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium 10 a.m. to noon Friday is for the little ones (ages 3 to 4). Kids will take a gander through the butterfly collections, taking turns wearing a butterfly costume and a moth costume. They will be taught about butterfly and moth attributes such as body types, wings and eyes and how moths and butterflies differ. A craft session follows where kids can decorate their own butterfly or moth and make a windsock. Admission is $20. Call 631-854-5539 to reserve. More information is at vanderbiltmuseum.org

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