Insectropolis: Exploring The Bugseum Of New Jersey


Let’s face it—a museum dedicated to bugs seems kinda icky, but a visit to Insectropolis in Toms River puts these creepy crawlers into a whole new light. From arthropods to bees to insects, spending time at the Bugseum of New Jersey is a unique and (dare we say) fun way to learn more about them and gain insight into how they help the environment. Kids will love to play insect games, discover new facts, and even touch live bugs (um, yes?). Read on to learn more about one of NJ’s most fascinating and coolest museums. (Featured photo taken at Insectropolis)


Learn all about the “good guy” insects at Insectropolis. 

Start at Bug University

The museum follows a loop, starting with taxonomy and how it helps scientists name all living things. Spin the wheels of Metamorphosis and lift the flaps of Phylum Arthropoda–by the time you finish the exhibit, you’ll have a “degree” in all things bugs. As you make your way around the loop, step onto a ladybug step stool and use the touch screens to test your knowledge. You can also visit the WBug Radio to learn all about animal communication. Other interactive exhibits include The Rock State Prison, which features larger-than-life infamous bugs like mosquitos and fleas that get a bad rap, and Top Cops, the carnivores of the pest species.

Insectropolis ants

Learn all about ants and how they work together. Photo taken at Insectropolis

More to explore

Next is The Rubber Tree Plant exhibit, which makes you feel like you’ve entered a bug’s world. A flat-screen television live streams a hardworking ant colony, showing how their work is divided and how teamwork can make anything happen. After that, kids will love getting on their knees, crawling through the Mud Tube, and feeling like a termite in the deep underground. Another cool spot is the Creepy Cavern, where you’ll find tons of tarantulas with peculiar names like Twinkle Toes or Charon. With a donation of $20, you can name their creepy crawlers. There’s more to see, including the Hive Airport, where your littles can learn about honeybees or peer through the windows to see the featured live arthropods (it changes with the seasons) in the Insectropolis Zoo.

creepy crawler Insectropolis

Touch a creepy crawler while you are at Insectropolis. Photo taken at Insectropolis

Touch a creepy crawler

One of the highlights of the Bugseum is the live demos of insects in rooms off the main floor. The live demos happen at scheduled times, so it’s best to check ahead for planning purposes. Seeing a live demonstration is a must—it gives you a chance to hold everything from a tarantula to a millipede to a scorpion. If you or your kids get put off by holding it, don’t worry. The instructor goes around and gives everyone an opportunity to pet it instead, but only if you want to.

Insectropolis spider

There is no shortage of creepy crawlers at Insectropolis. Photo taken at Insectropolis

What to know before you go

The entrance to Insectropolis is in the same area as its parent company, Ozane, a pest control company. Once you enter Insectropolis, the museum itself is small, and you can travel one loop. Depending on your child’s interest level, your visit could take about 1-2 hours. The museum is stroller-friendly, and everything is all on one floor but it can get crowded during busier times. Restrooms are available, and there is a gift shop full of classic childhood toys, books, butterfly gardens, fun bug candies, and jewelry. Admission is $12 per visitor, and ages 2 and under are free, and you can purchase tickets onsite. Hours vary during the summer and school year, so it’s best to check ahead before you go. Also, check out their event calendar for special events such as Pysanky Ukrainian Egg Decorating and booking parties and special tours. .

For more information, visit the Insectropolis website, Instagram and Facebook.

1761 Route 9
Toms River, NJ 08755
(732) 349-7090

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About Author

Melanie Bodner has always had a love for writing, but now she has a new love…being a mom. Before having her kids, Melanie was no stranger to writing or working with children. She wrote for a local newspaper as a reporter and taught English and Dance in a public school. Now Melanie enjoys spending time with her kids, doing yoga, writing and decorating her home. Check out her Instagram @burlapbythebeach.