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Step Into The Giant World Of ‘Big Bugs’ At Dawes Arboretum This Summer

If you’re looking for a larger-than-life outdoor adventure this summer, look no further than The Dawes Arboretum in Newark.

This Memorial Day Weekend marks the exciting debut of the “Big Bugs” art exhibit by David Rogers. Imagine wandering through the lush landscapes of the Arboretum, only to come face-to-face with a 25-foot-long praying mantis or a dragonfly with a wingspan wider than your car!

dawes areboretum
via Facebook

But first, let’s step back and appreciate The Dawes Arboretum itself, a gem in Central Ohio’s natural and cultural landscape. Established in 1929 by Beman and Bertie Dawes, the Arboretum was born out of a passion for nature and a vision for environmental education. Spanning nearly 2,000 acres, it offers a rich tapestry of forests, prairies, and wetlands, not to mention a living library of over 5,000 types of trees and plants.

READ MORE: Dawes Arboretum Is The Day Trip For Anyone Looking For A Little Magic In Their Life

Now, back to the bugs.

The “Big Bugs” exhibit isn’t just any art display. These sculptures, crafted by the talented David Rogers, are made entirely from natural materials such as cedar, locust, and willow.

These towering insects have been wowing audiences across the country since their debut in 1994. They’ve graced iconic spaces like the New York Botanical Gardens and even Disney’s EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival. Now, they’re set to make a splash in Central Ohio.

“We could not be more thrilled to welcome this massive installation to The Arboretum this summer—our biggest one yet,” said Katie Carter, Interim CEO at The Arboretum. “The ‘Big Bugs’ are incredible works of art, and will be a very fun, educational experience for our guests. While very large in scale, these critters will fit right into our beautiful landscape.”

The exhibit features 10 different insects, each astonishing in its own right.

There’s a massive spider dangling from its web, a ladybug that could carry you away, and a grasshopper that looks like it might leap over the tree line at any moment. It’s not just an opportunity to marvel at the scale and craftsmanship of these sculptures; it’s a chance to engage with nature and art in a whole new way.

big bugs dawes arboretum spider
Photo via The Dawes Arboretum.

What’s even better? Visiting this exhibition is an affordable outing.

Admission is free for Arboretum members, $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 5-15, and free for those under 5. It’s a fantastic way to spend a day with family, exploring and learning together in one of the most scenic spots around Columbus.

The “Big Bugs” will be at The Dawes Arboretum starting from Memorial Day Weekend, giving you the perfect excuse to start your summer with a bit of adventure. Make sure to bring your camera and your curiosity—you won’t want to miss snapping a selfie with these behemoth beetles or gargantuan grasshoppers.

For more details on the exhibit and other exciting events at The Dawes Arboretum this summer, visit their website at Whether you’re a nature lover, an art enthusiast, or just looking for a unique day out, “Big Bugs” promises to be an unforgettable experience.