Bug Lab

See the world the bugs built

Now Open

For the first time in North America, see the world the bugs built at Discovery Place Science

Experience the immersive world of bugs and their amazing abilities that inspire human innovation.

Larger-than-life bug models are your guides as you journey through hands-on activities and challenges. Enter the ‘operating theatre’ of the iridescent jewel wasp and witness her turn a cockroach into a zombie. Join forces with the Japanese honeybees to help them defeat their greatest enemy, the giant hornet. In a game of skill, try and beat the orchid mantis’s lightning-fast reflexes.

Explore four immersive chambers throughout the exhibition and get up close and personal with four insects and their amazing adaptations.

  • Meet the 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 with other visitors in Bees vs Hornet: you become the bees defending your hive from the deadly hornet.

From swarm intelligence to mind control, you’ll discover bugs hold the key to life-altering secrets. The bugs have left it in our hands now—come unearth what the future would look like if we could match their brilliance.


Bug Lab was created by New Zealand’s world-renowned museum Te Papa, working with five time Academy Award-winning film studio Weta Workshop.

Members General Admission
Adults (ages 14-59) $3 $20
Children (ages 2-13) $3 $16
Seniors (ages 60+) / Military $3 $18
Welcome Participants n/a $4
Child younger than 2 FREE FREE

Bug Lab tickets include full-day admission to Discovery Place Science. Children ages 13 and younger must be accompanied by a responsible adult while in the Museum. All prices subject to applicable sales tax.

Members General Admission
Adults (ages 14-59) $7 $24
Children (ages 2-13) $7 $20
Seniors (ages 60+) / Military $7 $22
Welcome Participants n/a $8

Bug Lab tickets include full-day admission to Discovery Place Science. Children ages 13 and younger must be accompanied by a responsible adult while in the Museum. All prices subject to applicable sales tax.

Bug Lab Admissions Bug Lab + IMAX
Group Adult (15+ people) $15 $19
Group Child (2-13)/Senior (60+) $13 $17
School Group (Students & Chaperones) $8 $13

Group pricing may not be purchased online. Bug Lab tickets include full-day admission to Discovery Place Science. Children ages 13 and younger must be accompanied by a responsible adult while in the Museum. All prices subject to applicable sales tax.

Buy Tickets

Buy Tickets

FAQs

  • Do I need a reservation to see Bug Lab?

    No. Tickets for Bug Lab may be used at any time during your visit to the Museum.

  • How do I purchase tickets?

    Tickets are available online at discoveryplacescience.org, by calling 704.372.6261 x300 or in person at Museum Admissions.

  • How do we purchase group tickets?

    Group tickets may be purchased by calling 704.372.6261 x300.

  • What times is the exhibition open?

    The exhibition is open during regular Museum operating hours: Monday - Friday 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Saturday 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and Sunday noon - 5:00 p.m.

  • How long can you stay inside the exhibition? How long will it take to tour the exhibition?

    Within the hours the exhibition is open, you can stay as long as you like. We recommend allowing about one to two hours. The length of time will vary on how long each visitor wishes to explore each chamber of the exhibition. You may re-enter the exhibition at any time during your Museum visit.

  • Are strollers and wheelchairs allowed in the exhibition?

    Yes, both strollers and wheelchairs are allowed.

  • Are food and beverages allowed in the exhibition?

    No. In order to protect the exhibits and to keep the Museum clean, food and beverages are not allowed in Bug Lab.

  • Can I take photographs or film in the exhibition?

    Cell phone photography is allowed. Flash photography, commercial cameras and video are not allowed.

  • Are cell phones allowed in the exhibition?

    In respect for the specimens and the experience of our guests, talking on cell phones is not permitted at any time inside the exhibition. Cell phones may be used for non-flash photography or texting only.

  • Where do we park?

    Cars and vans with clearance less than 7' 8" can park in the Discovery Place Science Parking Deck for an additional charge. Parking for larger vehicles is available at an off-site lot with shuttle service for bus/van drivers Monday - Friday.

    All buses should arrive at 6th St. Admissions. One teacher should exit the bus and will be greeted by a Discovery Place Science team member who will provide check-in directions. Please have students remain on the bus until directed to disembark.

    Parking Rates
    First Hour: FREE
    1 Hour +: $12.00
    After 5:00 p.m.: $5.00

    Rates repeat at 3:00 a.m.

  • What is the minimum number of tickets required for a group purchase?

    To receive the group discount, you must purchase a minimum of 15 tickets.