From the largest temporary butterfly exhibit in the U.S. with 7,000 butterflies to the small enclosures with only native butterfly species, you’re sure to enjoy learning about butterflies as you watch them fly around these Michigan butterfly houses. Pick your favorites to visit from the descriptions below.
Butterflies Are Blooming
Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park
1000 E Beltline Ave NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49525
(616) 957-1580 | Website
HOURS: 11 am to 5 p.m. Sunday
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday through Saturday
9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday
This butterfly exhibit is only temporary, though it occurs each year in March through April. During this time, 7,000 tropical butterflies from over 50 species of tropical butterflies, such as the Doris longwing, Tropical swallowtail, and common morpho all fly freely in the Tropical Conservatory. You can also find button quail and other small birds in the conservatory.
The exhibit is located in the Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory which is five stories tall and includes 500 species of tropical plants from five different continents.
A glass-encased viewing area called the Observation Station allows you to see the butterflies in their chrysalis and watch them as they emerge as full grown butterflies. Butterflies are released into the Conservatory throughout the day.
Feeding stations are located throughout the room and allow you to get a close view of some of the butterflies as they feed on fruit or a honey-water solution.
ACCESSIBILITY: The entire garden and sculpture park is an ADA regulated and accessible facility. Ramps and paved pathways are found throughout the indoor and outdoor spaces. Read more.
Read more about the Frederik Meijer Gardens
I visited the gardens and sculpture park in May 2015. The butterflies weren’t there yet, but here are some photos of the tropical conservatory where they are housed in season.
Michigan State University Butterflies in the Garden
4-H Children’s Garden (Indoors)
1066 Bogue St.
East Lansing, MI 48824
517-335-5191 ext. 1-349 | Website
HOURS: 2 pm to 4 pm Monday thru Friday
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Open mid-March through the end of April in the indoor 4-H Children’s Garden of the Michigan State University Department of Horticulture, guests can view butterflies flying in the garden. Butterfly Day is a family-friendly event held in late April and has fun-filled activities for children.
Mackinac Island’s Original Butterfly House and Insect Museum
6750 McGulpin St.
Mackinac Island, MI 49757
906-847-3972 | Website
HOURS: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. before Memorial Day
10 a.m. to 6 p.m. after Labor Day
The 3rd oldest living butterfly exhibit in the United States and first in Michigan. This 1800-square-foot glass-enclosed greenhouse includes a variety of tropical plants and hundreds of butterflies. Guests will be given a chart to help in identifying the butterflies.
The house has two feeding stations where butterflies will gather. Butterflies from around the world can be found in the house, including Chinese swallowtail, Great Mormon, Monarchs, Ricepaper, Blue Morpho, and more.
Adjacent to the butterfly house is an exhibit called “Insect World” with a variety of live and pinned insects, a pond with turtles and goldfish, lizards, and an interactive musical butterfly wall. Gift shop. You can obtain a wristband with your ticket purchase, which will allow you to return at any time during the same day.
ACCESSIBILITY: Butterfly house paths are paving stones. Entrance to the house has a ramp. No cars are allowed on the island.
Wings of Mackinac Butterfly Conservatory
7528 Carriage Rd.
Mackinac Island, MI 49757
906-847-9464 | Website
HOURS: Unknown, Mid-May through October only.
Glass-enclosed, smaller butterfly conservatory, but it is filled with butterflies of over 200 species. Conservatory is climate-controlled and planted with lush vegetation. A small gift shop is located in the same building.
ACCESSIBILITY: While the butterfly conservatory is handicap accessible with concrete stone pavers inside the conservatory, no cars are allowed on the island and the path to the house and to the conservatory is compact gravel crush. It is unclear how one would access the facility.
Butterfly House at Wiegand’s Nursery
47747 Romeo Plank Rd.
Macomb, MI 48044
Visit the Nursery’s website
HOURS: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Sunday, weather permitting. Seasonally open only (June through September)
Featuring only native butterfly species, this seasonally open 30×55′ butterfly house is located on the 40-acre Ray Wiegand’s Nursery. Visitors can view up to 12 species of native Michigan butterflies in the wood-frame enclosure with a poly covering.
Staff at the Butterfly House are available on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays to guide you through the house and teach you about the butterfly life cycle, different species, and host and food plants.
Kids (and adults) can feed the butterflies using a paintbrush soaked in sugar water.
Private tours of the House are an option for groups of 12 or more by appointment.
Caterpillar houses are set up in a separate, adjacent location. These are completely enclosed and protect the caterpillars while allowing visitors to view the life cycle of a butterfly.
Butterflies in Bloom
1809 Eastman Avenue
Midland, MI 48640
Visit the Dow Gardens website
HOURS: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily from March to April
From early March to mid-April each year, the Butterflies in Bloom exhibit opens up at Dow Gardens. White peacocks, longwings, blue morphos, paper kites, and many more can be found in the exhibit. Nearly 4,000 butterflies can be housed in the exhibit throughout the season.
The Gardens has a chrysallis case where butterflies emerge. Butterflies are released into the exhibit at various times.
ACCESSIBILITY: From the entrance, it is a 0.25 mile walk to the exhibit. Wheelchair accessible through the Garden recommends contacting the front desk for details.
G.T. Butterfly House and Bug Zoo
8840 E M-72,
Williamsburg, MI 49690
Visit their website
HOURS: May through October 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Closed July 4th
Wander through the glass enclosure filled with water features, lots of tropical plants, and colorful butterflies from all over the world. Butterflies of more than 12 species can be seen in the Garden.
Their staff is available to help answer questions and to educate visitors about the butterfly life cycle, food plants, and more.
Butterflies are feeling the love! The tropical environment is perfect for longwing butterflies to frolic in front of you, while in search of food and of course, a mate! Open daily for self-guided tours 10-5. Season ends October 7th
Posted by G.T. Butterfly House & Bug Zoo on Monday, September 10, 2018
The Bug Zoo showcases hundreds of creatures and insects from all over the world including axolotls, ghost mantis, moths, beetles, honeybees, tarantulas, and frogs.
ACCESSIBILITY: The butterfly house is paved stones. The rest of the facility is unknown.
Summit Landscape and Garden Center Butterfly House
3440 Weatherwax Dr.
Jackson MI 49203
Visit the Summit Landscape and Garden Center website
HOURS: Monday – Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Open May through August.
Several hundred native Michigan butterflies can be seen flying around the butterfly house at the Garden. Some of the 14 species of butterflies that you’ll see include the painted lady, eight-spotted foresters, monarch butterflies, and red admirals. With water features and colorful food and host plants, you’ll enjoy the visit to this center.
ACCESSIBILITY: The entry door is 36 inches wide. Pathways are limestone and are 4 to 6 feet wide.