Roughly two hours from Basel (the train will drop you off right in front of the gardens), located in Kerzers, sits the interactive and incredible Papiliorama. With a butterfly sanctuary filled with exotic and stunning butterflies filling the air with beautiful colors and graceful flights, we were all immediately captivated. Our children were wrapped in warmth of the glass domed houses, as they watched in amazement as the 60 butterfly species swirled overhead, landed on their shoulders, feet and heads. We were all mesmerized and the cold temperatures outside dissipated.
After we existed the butterfly area, and learned all about the life cycle of a butterfly, we moved onto the nocturnal room. We quickly explained what nocturnal means to our children and without really thinking much further; we dove into the next experience. Whew, was the room dark! So, dark in fact it took a few moments for our eyes to adjust and once they did, we were amazed at the fact that there were live bats just flying around freely. Whoosh…there goes another one. We all thought this was incredibly cool and slightly, well, unnerving.
The botanical garden is not confined to the inside; outside, another world awaits. A small petting zoo is on site and a fantastic playground. If the weather is good, the children will lose themselves with the animals and engaging play area.
A restaurant is also on premise, but we packed our lunch and enjoyed a leisurely meal in the restaurant area designated for those wanting to picnic.
Overall, we had a wonderful day filled with new discoveries, educational opportunities, and lots of laughter. On a side note, a beautiful thing about Papiliorama is their dedication to rain forest preservation. Papiliorama has a “sister foundation” in Belize where conservation and protection is at the forefront.
Opening Hours: Daily except for December 25 and January 1
Summer Hours: 9:00 – 18:00 (last entry is 17:15)
Winter Hours: 10:00 – 17:00 (last entry 16:15)
Admission Cost: Adults: CHF 18 Children (4-15): CHF 9
For a side trip from Kerzers, consider visiting the village of Murten, just a short ride via train from the botanical gardens.