ENTOPIA BUTTERFLY FARM WITH KIDS
Entopia Butterfly Farm with kids is a must visit destination. Ella and Jack are obsessed with butterflies, so I knew Entopia would be a day trip they’d love. It’s an outdoor enclosure with butterflies flying free, as well as reptiles and insects to see, and an indoor discovery centre. I’m here to tell you exactly why it’s a worth a visit with your kids and all the details you need to know before you go.
A LITTLE ABOUT ENTOPIA
Entopia was established in 1986 by a young self-taught entomologist, David Goh. Since opening Entopia has had over 5 million visitors. It has won many national awards and was also voted the #1 most popular attraction in Penang on TripAdvisor. There are two areas, the outdoor ‘Natureland’ a butterfly filled tropical garden, and the indoor ‘Cocoon’ a multi section interactive discovery centre.
HOW TO GET THERE
Entopia is in Teluk Bahang, at the north west end of Penang Island. It’s about 22km/13.6 miles from Georgetown, and easy to reach via the local bus, RapidPenang. We use the app Moovit everywhere we go to give us the bus route and times and it’s been awesome. The #101 bus goes from Georgetown through the Komtar bus station, so it’s easy to connect to if you’re not staying close to the #101 line. It drives right past our apartment – very easy for us! The bus ticket from where we got on at Island Plaza to Entopia was 2.80RM ($1NZD/$.070USD) each adult. Kids under 7 years old are free.
If you want a quicker, albeit more expensive, trip try a Grab LINK (the Uber of South East Asia). Download the app, type in ‘Entopia’ as your destination and the app will find you and your kids a ride. You have the option to pay by cash or card. According to my Grab app a trip from Georgetown to Entopia should cost you about 26RM ($9.60NZD/$6.40USD).
ENTRY FEES AND OPENING HOURS
Entry to Entopia for non-malaysian passport holders is 65RM ($23.80NZD/$15.90USD) for adults; 45RM ($16.50NZD/$11USD) for children aged 4-12, and free for under 4’s. We bought our tickets from Klook, an online discount ticket provider. The tickets cost 56.98RM ($20.80NZD/$13.90USD) for adults and 39.39RM ($14.40NZD/$9.60USD) for kids. As well as being cheaper, the Klook adult ticket included a free Butterfly Pea Flower Vanilla ice cream.
Entopia is open from 9am to 6pm including weekends, with the last entry at 5pm. We went on a Monday to avoid the weekend crowds, and it was much busier than I’d anticipated! The outdoor Natureland is undercover with lots of natural shade so I would feel comfortable being there during the middle of the day. It’s hot and humid all day anyway as those are the conditions the butterflies like.
There are easily accessible toilets, a cafe, a gift store at the end. The Entopia map shows you where to find it all. We brought our own snacks and also popped into the Tapestree Cafe. The cafe was very expensive – as are any cafes at popular attractions – we got E+J some hot chips to share. There was a good range of snacks, meals and drinks, but unless you’re happy paying a premium I would recommend bringing along your own.
WAS IT A WINNER?
Yes! I would definitely suggest visiting Entopia Butterfly Farm with your kids. When you first arrive you’re in the Natureland area, and walk through a small cave. You’ll see snakes, spiders and other creepy crawlies, including an open pit of scorpions. Yeah, we had to stop Jack from climbing in there! It’s quite dark, which is perfect to see the bright blue glow-in-the-dark scorpions. I actually had no idea some scorpions were phosphorescent, they are just gorgeous – and a bit scary.
When you exit the cave there is a beautiful waterfall and pond with giant catfish swimming around. Poor Ella was disappointed the catfish weren’t a cat with a fish tail. The path through the tropical garden is easy for the little ones to walk themselves, though equally as easy for them to climb the rails at the sides of the ponds like Jack did more than once. There are butterfly feeding stations filled with fruit throughout the park where you can watch the butterflies land. Ella was fascinated to learn butterflies can taste with their feet. You’ll also see stick insects, dragon flies, lizards, snapping turtles and more animals.
There are many nature learning activities at Entopia during different times of the day. We were there midmorning so participated in the ‘Vita Nova’ celebration by releasing newly emerged butterflies. Ella and I got to hold caterpillars, and pupas, and learn about the butterflies life cycle. The best part of the while trip was being able to release a newly hatched butterfly. It’s a one-of-a kind experience. Ella couldn’t believe she got her own butterfly, she named it butter and was in awe the whole time. If you can get there for the Vita Nova (11:30am and 4pm) I highly recommend it.
After a snack stop at the Tapestree cafe to feed the tribe, we headed indoors to the Cocoon area. There are two different levels and so much for the kids to do. You could definitely spend a couple of hours learning and exploring. There are interactive screens, movie theatre style rooms showing educational shows, and play areas. Unfortunately for us, at this point E+J had almost had enough, and weren’t interested in doing anything other than running and screaming/squealing whenever they saw another bug enclosure.
We headed out through the gift shop, picking up our free Butterfly Pea Flower Vanilla ice cream. You can purchase them too, I think they were 3RM ($1.10NZD/$0.70USD). Our ice creams were devoured in seconds by E+J and were delicious, at least the one lick I got was!