This year’s theme is “Bugs That Blend In" at the Penitentiary Glen Reservation

Bug Day Boy Looking At Tarantula Roger Lokar
Bug Day at Penitentiary Glen is happening Sunday, September 8. Enjoy games, crafts, live animal presentations, songs and storytelling

By Mimi Vanderhaven

From a perfectly camouflaged caterpillar to a devout, bright green praying mantis, Lake Metroparks Bug Day, set for Sunday, September 8, at Penitentiary Glen Reservation, is an action-packed event filled with games, crafts, live animal presentations, songs, storytelling and family fun that will help kids of all ages learn more about these amazing creatures.

“This year’s theme—Bugs That Blend In!—celebrates species of all shapes, sizes, colors and characteristics that you have to look closely to spot,” says Kirsten Bull, Lake Metroparks Children’s Schoolhouse Nature Park Manager.

She says the program has grown over the past 31 years, and they can expect as many as 5,000 people who come from all over to find out more about bugs.

“It’s always a good idea to encourage kids to take a closer look at their surroundings,” she says. “We’ll have on display interesting species, such as the Phasmidas, better known as walking sticks or stick bugs, and Katydids, known for their distinctive voices. In addition to exploring the local bug populations, in the live bug show we’ll also investigate exotic ones, such as the bright green stink bug, a cousin to our brown stink bugs, as well as moths and butterflies. And there will be live bug displays in the Nature Center.”

Kids can earn a Bugology degree by participating in at least five of the many activities that take place from noon to 4 p.m. You can also visit the Kevin P. Clinton Wildlife Center to meet native Ohio wildlife and find out what bugs they like to eat.

Free train rides, operated by the Lake Shore Live Steamers, take place 1-3 p.m., weather permitting.

Other activities to enjoy at Penitentiary Glen Reservation: Hike more than eight miles of scenic trails, interact with nature in Nature Play, a children’s outdoor wild play space, discover the beautiful butterfly gardens or enjoy a leisurely picnic. Browse The Nature Store for bug-themed gifts, bird feeders, T-shirts, field guides, toys, children’s books and more.

Penitentiary Glen Reservation is located at 8668 Kirtland-Chardon Road in Kirtland. For more information, visit With the mission of conserving and preserving the natural resources of Lake County, Lake Metroparks provides more than 3.3 million visitors each year with educational and recreational programs and activities.