By Andrew Kramer

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Some see them as creepy. Others find them intriguing.

But if you consider yourself a bug lover, the Academy of Natural Sciences is the place to be this weekend.

Bug Fest features everything from cockroaches to praying mantises to centipedes. At Samantha Gravarz’s table:

“These are all our predator arachnids and insects, so we have our rose haired tarantulas, so you know most people are afraid of tarantulas and spiders and things. We want to show people these things are not trying to hurt you,” she said.

Then over in Tracey Brooks’ are:

“A variety of different beetles throughout the world,” she explains. “We have some here that are from Indonesia, Malaysia, and one from Thailand on the table as well. We even have some dung beetles added into the mix.”

Eight-year-old Grace had one word to describe what it was like to touch one:


10-year-old Terrance was a little more receptive.

“I touched the millipede. Felt like a fish. It was scaly.”

He enjoyed the hands-on part of the festival, and learned a few things too.

“Scorpions, the smaller they are, the more venomous they are, but the bigger they are, they aren’t really that dangerous,” he says.

Other highlights of the event include the Roach Race, Live Invertebrate Shows, and even a “Bug Appetite” area.