Firefly Viewing Nights at the Arb

Firefly Viewing Nights at the Arb

(Chaska, MN) — June 6th, 2024 — Experience the magic of summer nights at the Arb with hundreds of fireflies flashing through the sky! Bring your family and friends along to marvel at the wonder of these glowing winged beetles (also known as lightning bugs). Begin your firefly viewing experience by gathering to learn about these special creatures from local experts.

You’ll be able to pick from a few options for firefly-viewing hikes throughout the Arboretum grounds. We’ll note which route offers the best viewing each night.

We’ll kick off every evening with an outdoor program in the Ordway Picnic Shelter & Trex Deck, featuring nocturnal experts and storytellers from 8:30-9:15 p.m., followed by a Q&A. See the schedule below for presenter details.

Date and Time

June 27-29, July 5-6, July 11-14; Evenings from 8:30-10:30 p.m.


Assorted hiking paths TBD


Special Ticketed Event:

  • $7.50 for members and children. 27.50 non-members


Presenter Schedule

June 27, 28 and 29 – Bats with Jill Utrup

Jill Utrup with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will lead an educational program about native bats followed by a conversational, observational walk. Expect to dial up your bat knowledge as Jill touches on bats’ unique traits, charm, ecological importance, and why they need our help now more than ever. Jill’s program will also feature acoustic detectors, which allow participants to see and “hear” the echolocation calls bats are making in real time. The software the detectors rely on is able to differentiate between different calls bats are making as they are flying over and determine what species is calling. 

July 5 – Raptors with Max Murphy

The Raptor Center’s presentation-style program will feature a live, great horned owl, falcon and hawk. The presenter will handle and present the birds to the audience, during which you’ll learn what makes these birds unique while getting a close-up view. 

July 6 & 14 – Nocturnal Animals with the Black Storytellers Alliance

Black Storytellers Alliance (BSA) is a nonprofit organization based in North Minneapolis that is dedicated to walking alongside their community in finding, connecting and expanding the knowledge, practice and power of the African Oral Tradition once practiced widely across the African Diaspora many years ago. Performers from BSA will tell African folktales, fables and myths related to nocturnal creatures.

July 11 & 13 – Nature at Night with Laura LeFebvre

Laura LeFebvre will present Nature at Night. Naturalist Laura will be sharing how nocturnal animals are adapted for nightlife. We will discuss how their acute senses help them to hear, see, smell, hunt and hide at night. Laura will help guide you in using your nocturnal senses to hear and see some night life on your own. Tune in and you’ll be surprised how active nature is at night!

July 12 – Owls with Bob Ebsen

When daylight ends, some of nature’s most fascinating predators become active. Often heard, seldom seen, owls rule the night sky. Join us for an evening program with the Wildlife Science Center featuring three live owls! Expect to learn all about the amazing adaptations these nocturnal birds of prey rely on to find prey, hide, defend territory, and take care of their young. You’ll also be invited to touch and interact with a collection of raptor artifacts to find out firsthand why birds can fly and we cannot.

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