Butterflies 1BB doesn’t even start school until September yet with the school holidays now upon us I already feel like we should ‘do’ something with our free time.

I’m also conscious that we’re now just six weeks away from her entrance to Big School when life as we know it will change forever, and I want to make the most of the time we have left together (eyes aren’t welling up, honest).

So I thought I’d start a series of posts featuring summer days out with the kids, and here’s my first suggestion:

Sensational Butterflies Exhibition, London

What: A tropical butterfly house where you can walk among free-flying butterflies from around the world
Where: Natural History Museum, South Kensington
How much: Adults: £5.90, under fours: free (my favourite word), families: £19.80

Be prepared to duck. The butterfly house on the East lawn of the Natural History Museum is home to butterflies every colour of the rainbow flying freely under one roof. Some of which are bat size (who knew?)

Seemingly oblivious to the swathes of people in their midst, the butterflies (and some moths) flutter swoop and dive as you’re taken on a trail around their tropical plant-festooned home. You’re not allowed to touch them, but there’s not much you can do if one lands on you and BB was desperate.

So desperate she insisted on wearing a clashing ensemble of a floral-patterned dress and leggings in the hope the butterflies would mistake them as flowers. They didn’t, but the reason they didn’t land on her was probably because she couldn’t keep still long enough.

On the trail visitors can chart the life of the butterfly from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly, and collect stamps along the way. This was BB’s favourite bit: standing at the stamp station and administering her stamps.

The exhibition is temporary, but has proven so popular it’s now in its seventh year. There are butterflies from Africa, Asia and South America and there’s even a glass house of chrysalises where you can watch the butterflies as they ‘hatch’ (not sure if that’s actually the correct term).

The exhibition runs every day from now until September 13 with last entry at 17.15.

My top tips: Wear layers – it’s excruciatingly hot and humid in the butterfly house. And if you’ve got a baby take a papoose so you can leave your pushchair in the buggy park – I spent most of my time looking at the floor to make sure I wasn’t rolling over unsuspecting butterflies…

Life Unexpected