Visiting a butterfly house is a great family friendly activity. Kids will love seeing the colorful insects and plants as well as learning about the butterfly life cycle. Some of the butterfly houses in Missouri offer additional events that kids will love such as reading a book with butterflies or a special butterfly release. Others also offer adult events inside the conservatory. No matter which butterfly house you visit, you’ll enjoy watching these tiny insects fly through the air.
Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House
Missouri Botanical Garden
Faust Park, 15183 Olive Blvd.
Chesterfield, MO 63017
Missouri Botanical Garden website
HOURS: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday
The Missouri Botanical Garden features an outdoor garden, a glass-encased tropical conservatory, an exhibit on invertebrates (including hissing cockroaches), a theater showing a 17-minute video entitled “The Butterfly Effect”, and a gift shop.
The outdoor Native Butterfly Gardens are full of butterfly-attracting plants that provide food, habitat, and host plants for caterpillars. The indoor conservatory houses a large variety of tropical plants, 80 butterfly species, and a display of chrysalises.
The Exhibit Hall has displays on aquatic invertebrates, butterflies of the world, arachnids, and more. A small activity center outside of the butterfly house allows kids to craft, learn more about butterflies, and interact with educational exhibits.
The Garden hosts events at the butterfly house including Books & Butterflies where authors read their books to kids; Morpho Mardi Gras where 1500 Blue Morpho butterflies are released into the conservatory for Mardi Gras; Friday Night Flights with appetizers, jazz music, and drinks; Shutterbug Saturdays to learn about photography; holiday events; and more.
ACCESSIBILITY: Wheelchair accessible. Paths are paved. Easy to access from parking.
Roston Native Butterfly House
Springfield Botanical Gardens
2400 S Scenic Ave
Springfield, MO 65807
Visit the Facebook page for the house
HOURS: May through September 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily
This house has free admission and is part of the Springfield Botanical Gardens. The House is managed by Friends of the Garden and you can volunteer to help care for the plants and insects or just become a member to support their work.
For guided tours or for large group tours, you can contact the Botanical Garden to set up an appointment. They have a Group Request Form that can be filled out to make arrangements.
This is a seasonal exhibit as it is open-air and exposed to the elements. The screened in area includes a small box which displays butterfly chrysalises, lots of food and host plants, and only butterflies native to Missouri.
Butterflies found in the house include monarchs, gray hairstreaks, painted ladies, eastern tiger swallowtails, and many more.
Gray Hairstreak. Can you see why a predator might go for the end with the eye-spots, potentially allowing the butterfly…
Each year, the staff hold a monarch tag and release event where visitors can learn about the migration of monarch butterflies and act as citizen scientists to help tag and release the butterflies so that they are tracked as they travel to Mexico.
Th Butterfly Palace and Rainforest Adventure
4106 W. Hwy 76
Branson, MO 65616
Visit the Butterfly Palace website
HOURS: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Closed on holidays
Over a thousand colorful tropical butterflies of about 50 species can be found in the aviary of the Butterfly Palace. Kids can put on the free pith helmet, binoculars, and magnifying glass to explore the creatures in the aviary – which include birds and all sorts of tropical plants.
Included in your ticket price are several other rainforest-themed adventures: Hidden World of the Butterfly Palace and 3D Flight of the Butterflies movies; a trip through the Banyan Tree Bungee Adventure; entrance to the Living Rainforest Science Center; and the Emerald Mirror Maze. Tickets are good for a three-day period so you can come back as much as you want.
The Living Rainforest Science Center allows visitors to view reptile skin and butterfly wings under a microscope, view a virtual frog dissection, see amphibians and reptiles from rainforests, and explore other rainforest facets.
Daily special events are held at the facility and can be included in your visit. These include critter encounters where you can get up close and personal with a few rainforest residents, butterfly feedings and butterfly releases. The schedule for these changes daily, so check their website.
Lastly, as you complete your visit, you can exit through the gift shop full of all kinds of butterfly themed items from clothing, to toys, and books.
ACCESSIBILITY: unknown for the entire facility. Paths in the butterfly aviary are paved concrete.
Jefferson Farm & Garden Butterfly House
University of Missouri
4800 E New Haven Road
Columbia, MO 65201
Visit the Farm’s Facebook page
Though not available to the general public year-round (the farm generally hosts workshops, field trips, and special events), the Farm puts events for the public. During many of these events, you can learn about farming and food, gardening, water and energy conservation, as well as visit the Butterfly House to view the nearly 200 native butterflies. One of these special events is the Butterfly Festival which is held in June.