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Xtreme BUGS Will Be All Abuzz at Union Station

September 19, 2014

September 19, 2014
Union Station Media Contact: Michael Tritt

Xtreme BUGS Will Be All Abuzz at Union Station

Xtreme BUGS to invade Union Station as next grand exhibition. Includes something for everyone: Science, Robotics, Conservation and Nature



Xtreme BUGS to invade Union Station as next grand exhibition.  Includes something for everyone:  Science, Animatronic, Conservation and Nature

­­ KANSAS CITY, MO – What if the ants crawling on your counter, the spider in your doorway, or the butterfly in your garden were the size of your car? What would they look like at that giant size? What bizarre physical characteristics would you notice? And what mind-boggling behaviors would you observe? You can find out, beginning October 17, 2014, in Union Station’s Bank of America Gallery.

Union Station’s new Xtreme BUGS exhibition will feature over 100 giant bugs, including many that are powered by animatronic, in vibrant, naturalistic habitats. There’s a 15-foot-long Japanese hornet, a fluttering monarch butterfly, a ladybug, a line of marching ants, an orchid mantis, stinkbugs, spiders, honeybees and more.

Enveloped in the larger-than-life landscape of Xtreme BUGS, visitors will be transported into a vivid, dynamic and awe-inspiring environment where insects gather together in extreme populations to survive — either by functioning as one superorganism, hibernating in winter, migrating long distances, or by coming together at random for food, water, weather or procreation. The exhibit also highlights the solitary nature of most arachnids, as well as the intriguing exceptions to that rule.

“Not a day goes by that I’m not asked what’s next at Union Station,” George Guastello, president and CEO of Union Station said.  “What a thrill it is to announce Xtreme BUGS as our next featured exhibition.  Our guests have come to expect great educational content, impressive interactive displays and world-class productions that capture imaginations and leave one feeling enriched from an amazing journey.  Xtreme BUGS will continue that Union Station tradition.”

By sending guests into a fully immersive environment where the bugs are larger than we are, the experience invites fresh perspectives. The exaggerated size of each animatronic model offers an up-close look at the bizarre structures, features and physical characteristics of these (usually) tiny creatures.

Not only are the bugs larger-than-life, so are their naturalistic settings.  The guest truly experiences how the world would appear from a bug’s eye view.  Vibrant backdrops illustrate bug habitats found around the world.  From a dewy rainforest floor to the expanse of sub-Saharan Africa, a gentle meadow to a boggy burrow, each giant, moving bug is surrounded by exhibition elements like giant mushroom caps and giant blades of grass.

“As guests descend into the world of Xtreme BUGS, they will see, hear and feel the wonder of a world around us rarely considered,” Jerry Baber, executive vice president and COO of Union Station said.  “This exhibition has new interactive activities for all ages and is the perfect complement to our wildly popular Nature Center within Science City.  Parents and families will want to make a day of it with Xtreme BUGS, our living Nature Center examples, and even a few bug movies being planned for our Planetarium and Extreme Screen Theatre.  It’s going to be so fun to see jaws drop and eyes pop as guests encounter the Xtreme BUGS.”

Engaging interpretive content weaves together the science behind each bug’s amazingly Xtreme capabilities.  From dragonflies that can see in almost every direction at once, to Orb Weaver spiders with silk as strong as steel and Leaf-Cutter ants that can carry 50 times their own body weight, the experience delivers a series of memorable discoveries.

Xtreme BUGS is for the whole family,” shared Guastello.  “Kansas City and the entire region look to Union Station to deliver great quality and variety.  This unique family exhibition fulfills those expectations and then some.  As well, school groups will love Xtreme BUGS.  Not only is the experience very affordable, it’s supported with a terrific educator guide to enrich and extend learning into the classroom.”

Xtreme BUGS is produced by Dinosaurs Unearthed, the Vancouver-based company that also produced the wildly popular Dinosaurs Unearthed exhibition at Union Station in 2010, which drew nearly 150,000 visitors.

Tickets for Xtreme BUGS go on sale starting September 19, 2014.  Admission pricing to Xtreme BUGS is set to be family friendly: Adults - $12.50; children (up to 12) - $9.50; Union Station members - $7.50; and children age 2 and younger are always admitted free of charge. (Strollers will be welcome in this exhibition.) Senior and military discounts will be available every Tuesday.  Discounted group pricing will also be available. 

Xtreme BUGS at Union Station will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. The exhibition will be closed on Mondays, with some holiday exceptions.  For more information, please visit or call (816) 460-2020.


About Union Station Kansas City, Inc.  Union Station Kansas City is a historical landmark and civic asset renovated and reopened to the public in 1999 that will celebrate its Centennial anniversary on Oct. 30, 2014. The organization, driven by its mission of science and history education and entertainment, hosts a variety of world-class traveling exhibits. Union Station was the first North American site for the fascinating exhibit, “The Discovery of King Tut.” Union Station also is the home several other attractions, including Kansas City’s Science Center; the popular Model Railroad Experience; the Gottlieb Planetarium; the Regnier Extreme Screen Theatre, the region’s largest screen 3D movie theater; H&R Block City Stage featuring live theater, and a selection of unique shops, restaurants. Union Station is also home to prominent area civic organizations and businesses. Visit for details.

About Dinosaurs Unearthed – Dinosaurs Unearthed, located in Richmond, British Columbia Canada, produces a range of traveling exhibitions that includes Dinosaurs Unearthed, Extreme Dinosaurs and Xtreme BUGS!  The company creates outstanding guest experiences that are engaging, entertaining and grounded in current science.  Since 2007, many exhibitions have opened to great success throughout North America, Australia and Europe, inspiring millions of guests in museums, science centers, zoos and other venues.