Spiders…eek! I’ve never been a fan of the eight legged arachnids. There’s just something so creepy crawly about them that to this day I have to call my dad when I see one in the house. Not common garden spiders. Those I can handle. And Daddy Long Legs. They’re not so bad. But anything darker, fuzzier or (God-forbid) bigger and I’m sunk. Needless to say, when I was invited to visit the new Spider Pavilion at the Natural History Museum I thought I would have to decline. But then I decided that perhaps in a controlled environment I could handle them. So I grabbed my mom for reinforcement (and a possible shield if I’m to be perfectly honest) and headed to the museum.

If the pavilion looks familiar that’s because I visited it a couple months ago to view butterflies. Since their season is over the museum decided to bring in some new tenants – spiders. The pavilion is open during museum hours via timed ticketing as there’s only so many folks the pavilion can hold. We decided to get inside during the first session bright and early last Saturday and while waiting we had a chance to view tarantulas and jumping spiders safely ensconced in closed habitats.

I must admit they were fascinating to look at while safely behind glass and I appreciated the humorous displays they were housed in (spider cupcakes? Genius).

Soon enough it was time to enter the pavilion and I was really starting to regret having decided to wear flip flops. We went inside and OH. MY. GOODNESS.

They were gigantic! I don’t know if the photos capture how huge they were but they were HUGE. Seriously, there was one near the roof that was so big I kept asking my mom if it was fake (“It’s a toy, right? Surely it’s a toy. Right?”) and she kept having to assure me it was really real. My only solace was that they weren’t poisonous.

And, honestly, they couldn’t care less about me or any of the other visitors. They were simply hanging out in their webs enjoying the unseasonably warm November morning. They really are fascinating creatures even though they give me the creeps. I may have been the first one to leave the pavilion but I did appreciate seeing them. Leave it to the Natural History Museum to get me to voluntarily spend time with creatures that churn my stomach.

If you too want to get up close and personal the Spider Pavilion is open from now until December 11.

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