Where can you go to learn more about butterflies? A great place to observe and study Lepidoptera is at a butterfly house, where live butterflies are in an enclosure and you can walk through their habitat. Or you can visit a public butterfly garden to see live butterflies visiting native plants. These exhibits educate and encourage people to support the creation and preservation of native butterfly habitats. The following places to visit are arranged alphabetically by state.
A butterfly house, garden or farm is an enclosed butterfly habitat where hundreds of different butterfly species live and breed in a very natural, yet controlled environment. A butterfly house is very much an observatory, where you can walk into the butterfly habitat and interact with the butterflies. And they will interact with you, too, especially if you wear bright clothing and smell good (butterflies like floral perfumes). There is little difference between a butterfly house, garden or farm, other than a farm may be more interested in breeding the butterflies than the butterfly house or garden, so the farm may have more host plants than the others.
Most butterfly farms will be open to the public with guided tours so that you and your family can walk through them and look at all of the wonderful species of butterflies of the world in one place. You can see how they eat, live, and grow, and if you are lucky, you can watch some butterflies emerge from their cocoons and take their first baby butterfly flight.
You will find two different “kinds” of plants in a butterfly house, nectar plants and host plants. Nectar plants and flowers are the kinds that produce the nectar that butterflies like to eat. There are many, many varieties of nectar plants, and you will see most of them in a large butterfly house because different species of butterflies are partial to different nectar plants. Some of the nectar plants you may see in a butterfly house are butterfly bush, rose of Sharon, hawthorn, sunflowers, marigolds, and coneflowers. Of course, these are only a few of the many, many varieties of nectar plants and flowers that butterflies love.
Host plants are the plants that caterpillars eat, and so butterflies lay their eggs on them. Caterpillars are picky eaters and if they hatch on a plant that they don’t like to eat, they won’t eat it and they won’t survive because they are unable to travel to another plant that they like better. It is important for a butterfly house to have a large variety of host plants for this reason. Some host plants include different varieties of milkweed, snapdragons, hackberry, fennel, clovers and alfalfa. There are several small and large trees that make wonderful host plants as well like willows, aspen, elm and cottonwood. You may see many of the smaller trees growing in a butterfly house.
Most butterfly houses, gardens and farms will charge a small fee or ask for a donation in order to walk through it or to take the guided tour. This fee or donation is to help the butterfly house with its butterfly conservation efforts.
Native butterflies in all stages of the life cycle. The Center consists of 20 acres that are being restored with native vegetation, including wildflower meadows of butterfly adult and larval plants. Elberta, AL. Phone 251-987-1200.
Tucson Botanical Gardens
This garden includes a variety of low-water-use plants that attract butterflies in both the larval and adult stages of their life cycles. Signs illustrate many of the butterflies that can be found in souther n Arizona gardens. 2150 N. Alvernon Way, Tucson, AZ. Phone 520-326-9686.
You’ll be welcomed into a magnificent, lush, rainforest environment where thousands of butterflies from around the world fly freely, alighting on fragrant flowering plants and, quite possibly, on a friendly visitor’s shoulder or finger. They also have a large live ant colony and bee hive to observe. 9500 E. Via de Ventura, Scottsdale, AZ 85256. Phone 480-800-3000.
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, CA. Where you can experience the beauty and fun of live free-flying butterflies. adults $15 children (ages 3-12) $6. Children age 2 and under are admitted free. 900 Exposition Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90007. Phone 213-763-DINO.
Butterfly Farms operates a 2000 Square foot butterfly free flight house open to the public showcasing native Southern California butterflies. We are a non profit and offer educational group tours, conduct research on native butterflies and promote conservation and habitat restoration. Vista, CA. Phone 760-613-5867.
The Butterfly Pavilion is a 16,000 square foot facility covering five acres Westminster, Colorado. Visitors to the facility find themselves surrounded by more than 1,200 free-flying butterflies. Westminster, CO. Phone 303-469-5441.
They have endless educational possibilities at the Butterfly Ho use. Self-guided tours or you can have a volunteer take you. This butterfly farm contains 24 native species. Grand Junction, CO. Phone 970-245-3288.
Discover the secret lives of a captive (and captivating!) group of insects while exploring the Delaware Nature Society’s Butterfly House at Ashland Nature Center. From mid-June through August, this 18’x30′ mesh greenhouse is home to about 15 species of butterflies and moths including great spangled fritillaries, monarchs, swallowtails, painted ladies and cecropias. 3511 Barley Mill Rd Hockessin, DE 19707. Phone 302-239-2334.
Come face-to-face with exotic, vibrant butterflies fluttering atop a lush tropical canvas of foliage and flowers as you experience the Butterfly Rainforest, the Florida Museum of Natural History’s newest permanent exhibit. SW 34th Street and Hull Road. Gainesville, FL 32611. Phone 352-846-2000.
Three thousand butterflies are on display every day in The Wings of the Tropics Exhibit in The Clinton Family Conservatory. These butterflies represent about forty different species at a time, creating a living rainbow for visitors to walk through. The Garden is capable of displaying up to two hundred different species at once, and will be continually rotating species for education, study and pure delight. 10901 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables, FL 33156. Phone: 305-667-1651
Panhandle Butterfly House
A small, friendly and educational facility open to the public mid April through Labor Day. Totally supported by donations and volunteers. Navarre, Florida. Located in Navarre Park on Hwy. 98 at the foot of the Navarre bridge.
There are about 30 to 50 species of butterflies in the conservatory. Some butterflies are always present but others are only available seasonally, so you might see many different butterflies each time you visit. Key West, Florida. Phone 305-296-2988.
Millions of visitors have strolled through the Callaway Gardens tropical house where butterflies fill the air with brilliant color. This 4 ?acre conservatory contains approximately 1,000 tropical butterflies representing 50 species from Malaysia, the Philippines, Tanzania and Costa Rica. Pine Mountain, GA. Phone 706-663-2281.
The Indianapolis Zoo has a Butterfly house at the Hilbert conservatory. As you walk through the warm, aromatic indoor garden, 40 species of butterflies will flit nearby — and one might even land on you! 317-630-2001 | 1200 W. Washington St. Indpls., IN 46222 |9am-4pm, Wednesday-Sunday
Every week in summer, hundreds of butterflies emerge. And, when they are ready to take wing, keepers release them—infusing a rainbow of colors into the zoo’s outdoor garden exhibit. 3300 Golf Road, Brookfield, IL 60513. Phone 708-688-8000.
Visit the 2,700 square foot Judy Istock Butterfly Haven that includes a 28-foot tall greenhouse aflutter with live butterflies! Over 500 butterflies representing a dozen species native to the Midwest. Nature Museum, 2430 N. Cannon Drive, Chicago, IL. Phone 773-549-0606.
The 2 ,500 square foot Christina Reiman Butterfly Wing at Reiman Gardens features nearly 1,000 exotic and native butterflies among tropical plants. Group tours are available, and handicapped accessible. Ames, Iowa. 515-294-2710.
The Butterfly Garden is located on the south east side of the Historic Conservatory. It is home to hundreds of native butterflies which gather during the hot calm days of summer. 1500 Denison Avenue, Manhattan, KS 66506. Phone 785-532-3271.
Located in the historic U.S. Custom House on Canal Street in downtown New Orleans, Audubon Insectarium will delight you with ï¿½up close and personal live insect encounters, the indelible story of the Crescent City and insects, and Life Underground, where you’ll be shrunk to insect size. Phone 504-861-2537
Asian, Costa Rican and North American butterflies take flight in our international exhibit celebrating its 12th season. Be surrounded by butterflies flying freely among the tropical flowering nectar plants. 1500 Glenallan Avenue, Wheaton, MD 20902. Phone 301-962-1453.
The Butterfly Place is an indoor living environment which has been carefully designed for the propagation and development of butterflies. A 3,100 sq. ft. glass atrium towers to a height of over 27 ft. and contains up to 500 butterflies representing as many as 50 different species. Westford, MA. 978-392-0955.
Educates and encourages individuals to support the creation and preservation of native butterfly and moth habitats throughout the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. South Deerfield, MA. Phone 413-665-2805.
At the Butterfly House you can walk through their garden while 500 – 700 butterflies from all over the world are in flight. You are welcome to spend as long as you like enjoying the beauty and tranquillity. Sawyers Greenhouse, 1308 McGaulpin, Mackinac Island, MI. Phone 906-847-3972.
The Butterfly House showcases native butterflies and the wildflowers with which they are associated. The garden inside simulates several typical habitats of central New Jersey ï¿½ field, wetland, and wet meadow. Plants include those that are nectar sources for adults, and those that serve as food for caterpillars. 31 Titus Mill Rd, Pennington NJ 08534. Phone: 609-737-3735.
Adirondack Butterfly House
Butterflies such as the eastern tiger swallowtails live among other species such as luna and cecropia moths. The 30-by-55-foot structure duplicates the natural environment of the region. It contains roadside wild flowers such as milkweed, garden-variety flowers, host plants and trees that are used by butterflies and moths. Phone 518-327-3000.
Enter a lush rain-forest environment and walk among approximately 800 brilliantly-colored, free-flying tropical and native butterflies that flutter about (and may even land on shoulders or hands). One Manhattan Square, Rochester, NY 14607. Phone 585-263-2700.
Our 30×50 screened enclosure is home to over 20 species of native North American butterflies and moths complete with lush vegetation and flowers necessary for their survival. 62 Eckernkamp Drive, Smithtown, New York 11787. 631-979-6344.
Magic Wings Butterfly House
Encounter 1,000 exotic butterflies fluttering through rainforest trees, feeding on vibrant tropical flowers, and gliding over a flowing stream. The conservatory maintains a welcoming tropical climate of 80 degrees F (27C). Get a larger-than-life view of insects in the Aventis CropScience Insectarium. Durham, NC. Phone 919-220-5429.
The Butterfly House contains over 1000 butterflies with many different species from North & South America and Asia. The facility was built with the idea of developing beautiful gardens in a controlled environment to exhibit butterflies to the general public. An opportunity to learn about the life cycle of the butterfly and how to promote a healthy environment for these special insects will be provided as well.11455 Obee Rd, Whitehouse, OH 43571. Phone 419-877-2733.
This 20,000 square foot open area is designed especially for butterflies. Oklahoma City, OK.
The Papilion Butterfly House
This unique structure serves as an open air captive sanctuary for many varieties of Oklahoma native butterflies and gives visitors an up close and personal experience. Watch the amazing metamorphosis of butterflies hatching daily throughout the summer months. Honor Heights Park, Muskogee, OK.
Experience wonder in this hands-on family attraction with live butterflies, interactive displays, childrenï¿½s Art Space, watch a video, enjoy a fascinating mini-program, hand feed butterflies. 18 Church Rd., Jim Thorpe, PA 18229. Phone 570-325-4848.
Their splendor and amazing lifecycle make butterflies everyone’s favorite insect. The Butterfly House at Hershey Gardens is home to more than 300 of these marvelous creatures. Representing nearly 25 butterfly varieties, the Butterfly House has nectar plants for food and host plants for egg-laying and caterpillar feeding. 170 Hotel Rd, Hershey, PA. Phone 717-534-3492.
Native butterflies flutter among hundreds of flowers, and birds fly above as you walk through the enchanting Cypress Gardens Butterfly House. The 2,500 square foot building features various species of butterflies, turtles and birds. There are several information signs to help visitors identify the butterflies, caterpillars and host plants. Cypress Gardens Road, SC. Phone 843-553-0515.
Roper Mountain Butterfly Garden
The Greater Greenville Master Gardeners maintain the butterfly garden at Roper Mountain Science Center. In 2002, it was certified a National Wildlife Federation Schoolyard Habitat. Greenville, SC. Phone 864-281-1188.
Perennials and annuals, carefully researched for their food value, virtually covered a garden 110’ by 55’. The garden boasts both host plants for the caterpillars as well as nectar sources for the butterflies. 4500 S. Oxbow Ave., Sioux Falls, SD 57106. Phone 605-362-2777.
By the Noon Sertoma Club, an international service organization. All of our hundreds of butterflies roam free in our flight room so if you are lucky and are wearing an attractive color of clothing you too might have a close encounter with one of our butterflies! Sioux Falls, SD 605-334-9466.
Butterfly Garden at TN Aquarium
Imagine an indoor rainforest filled with hundreds of jewel-colored butterflies that hover over flowers, sip nectar from feeding stations and even alight on charmed guests. These exotic and beautiful butterflies delight the senses, and visitors to the Butterfly Garden in the Tennessee Aquariumï¿½s Ocean Journey building will discover other reasons to appreciate these whimsical creatures. One Broad Street, Chattanooga, TN 37401. Phone 800-262-0695.
The South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center is one of Corpus Christi’s five major attractions, and a leading South Texas nature tourism destination. Venture into the delightful 2600 square-foot screened Butterfly House, and new Bromeliad Conservatory. 8545 S. Staples Street, Corpus Christi, TX 78413. 361-852-2100.
Thrill to the miracle of live butterflies native to Texas at the newest Butterfly exhibit in the state! Walk amongst butterflies feeding and flying in the 3,000 square foot exhibit. seven miles east of Fredericksburg Texas. Phone 800-848-0078.
The Cockerell Butterfly Center at the Houston Museum of Natural Science is a stunning, living exhibit that showcases hundreds of live butterflies in a naturalistic rainforest setting. Housed in a three-story glass structured rain forest that is home to exotic live butterflies, insects and plants. One Herman Circle Drive, Houston, TX. Phone 713-639-4678.
San Antonio Zoo ‘Caterpillar Flight School’
Visitors experience a spectacular butterfly garden where they are immersed in a lush butterfly habitat surrounded by hundreds of butterflies moving freely throughout the exhibit. Fifteen to 20 species of butterflies delight guests through intimate interaction. 3903 N. St. Maryï¿½s Street, San Antonio, TX 78212. Phone 210-734-7184.
A two story organic tropical butterfly house features a Canopy Level entry and hundreds of free-flying exotic butterflies. Outside, our 7.5 acres feature native and adapted plants that attract all stages of the butterfly lifecycle. Open daily from 10 am to 5 pm. 3601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Dallas, Texas 75210. Phone 214-428-7476.
The butterfly open-air hatchery garden has been filled with local flowers and plants that attract numerous butterflies, providing visitors with a view of many of Austin’s attractive species as well as migrating varieties. Guided tours feature the interaction between insects and plants in an ecosystem . 2220 Barton Springs Rd, Austin, TX 78746. Phone 512-477-8672.
The 2-acre Bristow Butterfly Garden provides a habitat to attract and support butterflies and moths during all stages of their life cycle. Within the garden you will find a swallowtail and monarch nursery, nectar garden, moonlight garden and butterfly bush collection. 6700 Azalea Garden Road, Norfolk, Virginia 23518. 757-441-5830.
The Bug Museum is fun for the whole family. See live butterflies and other exotic live bugs. Have the opportunity to discover all about life cycles and insect parts with our microscopes and displays; see a wall sized ant farm where the ants travel between tubes to each gallery. Visit the gift store where you can buy live caterpillars and other fun creatures. 1118 Charleston Beach RD W, Bremerton, WA 98312. Phone 800-870-4BUG.
This magical garden was the very first Demo Garden for the WSU Kitsap County Master Gardener Program and is lovingly tended by a volunteer crew. Master gardeners are duty Wed mornings from 9-12. Bremerton, WA on Tracyton Blvd. at Fairgrounds Rd. Parking is on the road and the park is down hill toward the water. Just follow the path. The park is always open.
At the Woodland Park Zoo. The exhibit offers nearly 1,000 butterflies in flight, representing at least 15 North American species; an opportunity to discover each of four distinct life stages of a butterfly; and an outdoor Conservation Garden to demonstrate how to attract wild butterflies to your own backyard. 5500 Phinney Ave. Seattle, WA. Phone 206-548-2599.
Even if the weather outside is frightful, you will find it delightful inside the Tropical Butterfly House where temperatures are always a balmy 80 degrees and the humidity near 80 percent. Surrounded by tropical flora, stroll down a garden path while nearly 1,000 colorful butterflies flutter freely around you. Seattle, WA, Pacific Science Center.
The Butterfly Garden at the Smithsonian was installed in the summer of 1995. Once a typical strip of urban land this space has been transformed into a beautiful urban habitat for butterflies as well as many other creatures. Smithsonian Institute, National Museum of Natural History, Tenth and Constitution Avenues, NW, Washington, DC. Phone 202-673-4717.
The Butterfly House lets you walk among and interact with a variety of native Wisconsin butterflies in their natural environment. Don’t be surprised if you discover that a butterfly has gently landed on your shoulder or arm. Different species are prevalent at different times throughout the summer, so you’ll want to return often to experience the beauty and magic of butterflies. Cty Hwy K, Fall Creek, WI 54742. Phone 715-877-2212.
The Australian Butterfly Sanctuary’s 3666 cubic meter aviary is home to over 1500 magnificent tropical butterflies that are hand reared on the premises. It is the largest butterfly flight aviary in Australia, and prides itself on providing a quality wildlife experience in the heart of Kuranda. 8 Rob Veivers Drive, Kuranda QLD 4881 Australia. Phone (07) 4093 7575.
A very unconventional place! This private property is at tiny Garradunga, just north of Innisfail, on the coastal fringe of Far North Queensland. Against a back drop of rural development the owner-operators of the Australian Insect Farm have established a viable ecological farm with the potential to generate economic incentives for the retention of rainforest.
Butterfly Creek`s, Tropical Butterfly House is Australasia`s premier butterfly house, hosting over 700 free-flying, brilliantly colorful exotic butterflies from Asia and South America. The Butterfly House is temperature controlled to 28 degrees C with 70 – 80% humidity, streams, misting and waterfalls so as to replicate the conditions of the butterflies usual environment.
Stroll among hundreds of live butterflies in our all weather indoor rainforest setting. Share the world of the butterfly as they fly, court, mate, sip nectar or rest in the light showing off their fascinating colors and patterns.
Located in the Cayo district of Belize, between limestone hills covered with lush vegetation you will find “Green Hills”, the Belize Butterfly Ranch and Botanical Collections. Dozens of native butterfly species are being reared at Green Hills
Imagine strolling through the tropical gardens filled with trees, plants flowers and butterflies from around the world. Share the world of the butterfly as they fly, sip nectar, court or simply bask in the sunlight, showing of their glorious colours. Coombs BC Canada. Phone 250-248-7026.
This magical attraction features over 2,000 colorful tropical butterflies floating freely among lush, exotic blossoms and greenery. Paths wind through the rainforest setting, past a pond and waterfall and the Emergence window, where butterflies leave their pupae and prepare to take their first flight! 2405 Niagara Parkway, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.
Close to 400 free-flying tropical butterflies make their home amidst more than 200 exotic plants, set within a climate-controlled glass structure located near the Science Center’s second floor. 100 Ramsey Lake Road, Sudbury ON P3E 5S9. Phone 705-523-4629.
Enter a lush tropical garden and discover thousands of live flying butterflies from Costa Rica and the Philippines. Learn about butterfly metamorphosis while you watch butterflies emerge from their chrysalides! 2500 Kossuth Rd, Cambridge Ontario,N3H 4R7. Phone: 519-653-1234.
The Butterfly Farm is widely recognized as one of the most popular destinations close to San Jose, all guests receive a two-hour guided tour. Inside the Butterfly Farms enclosed tropical garden, hundreds of Costa Rican butterflies flutter around flowers as trained guides explain about the life cycle and natural history of these fascinating creatures.
Spirogyra is a butterfly farm and garden located within walking distance of San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital. One of our goals is to keep this area, located in the last forested part of the city as a “green oasis’ where people can learn about butterflies an their role in the environment and hopefully become sensitive and more aware of the importance of preserving one’s habitat. 50 east, 150 south from the main entrance to “El Pueblo” shopping center. Phone 506-222-2937.
WHS Butterfly Farm
Butterfly farm in the Philippines dedicated to the conservation of butterflies and creation of jobs through sustainable development of wildlife as well as ecotourism.