Experience the magical world of Bugs

Discover how the jewel wasp is a killer brain surgeon at the "Bugs" exhibition through February 4, 2024. Grand Rapids Public Museum courtesy photo.

The Grand Rapids Public Museum is encouraging visitors to check out bugs!

The traveling exhibit was crafted by Te Papa, the National Museum of New Zealand, along with Wētā Workshop, known for Oscar winning special effects as seen in motion pictures like King Kong and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. 

Grand Rapids Public Museum is hosting traveling exhibit, “Bugs”through Feb. 4, 2024.

Te Papa is recognized as a world leader in innovative museum experiences attracting over 1.5 million visitors a year (in a country of only four million people), seamlessly blending science, art, and history with the culture of New Zealand’s indigenous Mäori people.  Its  touring exhibit “Bugs” is on display at the Grand Rapids Public Museum through Feb. 4. The traveling show was realized under the co-leadership of Oscar winner Richard Taylor, the Wētā Workshop CEO and founder whose New Zealand special effects workshop and sculpture studio is also a tourist destination and producer of consumer products. 

“For 450 million years, bugs have been getting smarter. From brain surgery to teamwork to the power of flight – they really can do it all. Now they’re sharing their genius to help humans make the world a better place,” said Taylor.

It’s not the first time it he collaborated with Te Papa. The pair are responsible for an  exhibition called “Gallipoli: The scale of our war,” which broke records for exhibition attendance.

“Bugs is a must-see for the West Michigan community, and time is ticking to experience it,” said Dustin Tyler, VP of Marketing & Public Relations at the Grand Rapids Public Museum. “With its dazzling visual presentations, engaging hands-on activities, and enriching educational insights, this exhibit is a unique journey for all ages. As the exhibit’s final days approach, it’s your last chance to witness this unforgettable and impactful experience.”

Photo courtesy of Grand Rapids Public Museum.

The exhibition is built around four immersive chambers, where visitors experience the incredible talents of four extraordinary insects: 

  • Meet the gorgeous orchid mantis, who hunts her prey disguised as the most beautiful flower of all.
  • Discover how the jewel wasp is a killer brain surgeon, turning its victim into a zombie, ready to do its bidding.
  • Witness the incredible flight of the dragonfly in the zoetrope, a spectacular 3D animation unlike anything on the planet.
  • Join other visitors in bees vs. hornet: You become the bees defending your hive from the deadly hornet. 

“Bugs” is included with general admission to the Museum. The GRPM offers discounts for Kent County residents, and Kent County children aged 17 and under visit for free every day. Visitors may reserve their tickets to visit the Museum in advance by visiting grpm.org.

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