Whether you are interested in native butterflies or colorful exotics (or both), Ohio has several butterfly houses that visitors will enjoy. Filled with host and nectar plants, you can see many beautiful flowers as you watch the butterflies fly about. These fun-filled and educational butterfly enclosures are family friendly and can provide hours of entertainment.
Wheeler Farms Butterfly House
11455 Obee Rd.
Whitehouse, OH 43571
Wheeler Farms website
Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; Sunday – 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.; May through August
Thurs – Sat. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. ; and 12 p.m – 4 p.m. Sunday; September
Although this is an indoor facility (3,000-square-foot greenhouse), it is not climate controlled and is closed during winter. Tropical plants and over 1,000 butterflies from around the world fill the greenhouse. Gardens surrounding the butterfly house have many butterfly host and food plants, so you may be able to view native butterflies as well. Their website has a live webcam inside the butterfly house. You might even find a coupon for the ticket price if you visit their website.
ACCESSIBILITY: wheelchair accessible
Butterfly House at Put-in-Bay (Perry’s Cave)
979 Catawba Ave.
Put In Bay, OH 43456
Visit the Perry’s Cave website
Memorial Day to Labor Day: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Spring and Fall: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
View over 50 different exotic butterflies up close in this 4,000 square foot aviary. Peaceful music fills the air as you inhale the sweet scents of butterfly bushes, lantanas, pentas and other nectar producing flowers. Butterflies found in the exhibit include the blue banded swallowtail (Africa), scarlet mormon (SE Asia), green peacock swallowtail (SE Asia), common blue morpho (Central/South America), dead leaf butterfly (SE Asia) and several others.
Perry’s Cave includes other family friendly attractions including mini-golf, the rock wall, gemstone mining, antique car museum, and a giant maze as well as the natural limestone cave.
ACCESSIBILITY: Unknown. South Bass Island is accessible by ferry or other boat as well as small aircraft. Transportation on the island is offered by several companies. The accessibility of the Perry’s Cave facility is unknown.
Cox Arboretum MetroPark Butterfly House
6733 Springboro Pike
Dayton, OH 45449
Visit the Five Rivers Metroparks website
May 1 to October 31: 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Peak season is July to August
Native Ohio butterflies fill the open-air butterfly house at Cox Arboretum MetroPark. From pipevine swallowtail butterflies, tiger swallowtails, red admirals, painted ladies, monarch butterflies, and more, you’ll explore the native plants and butterflies that call Ohio home. The gardens surrounding the enclosure also attract butterflies. The Arboretum also has a Butterfly Trail that showcases the different butterfly habitats in Ohio.
“Buildings, gardens, and paved paths comply with ADA standards. The facility is handicap accessible with the exception of natural trails and the tree tower. Tram tours are available throughout the Arboretum for those with mobility issues (must be scheduled)” (From the MetroParks website). The path in the butterfly house is compressed dirt.
Beech Creek Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve
11929 Beech St. NE
Alliance, OH 44601
Visit the Beech Creek Garden website
Open June 10 – September 15
Monday – Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sunday 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Located in the Botanical Garden, the butterfly enclosure houses 21 species of native butterflies, skippers, and moths. The 60 nectar and host plants in the netted, open-air enclosure provide plenty of viewing opportunities and can help you pick out some plants to add to your garden that will attract native Ohio butterflies.
You can hand feed the butterflies with a sugar water mixture while at the house. You’ll also learn about the caterpillar life cycle inside the Nursery.
Each year, the Garden hosts an Annual Butterfly Release and participants can watch and even assist staff with tagging and releasing monarch butterflies. The release is held in September. Check the website for the specific date and hours.
ACCESSIBILITY: “The brick walkways inside the facility can easily accommodate strollers, walkers, and wheelchairs” (Beech Creek Garden website)
“All areas of Beech Creek Gardens are wheelchair accessible except the hiking trails. We also have several small parking lots throughout the grounds that are reserved for handicapped visitors and anyone who has difficulty walking even if they don’t have a handicapped placard. These small parking lots are located directly outside the Visitor Center, Butterfly House, and Nature Playce. For visitors who plan to use one of these handicapped parking lots, we require that they first park outside the Visitor Center, purchase admission passes, then drive to the parking lot of their choice.” (Beech Creek Garden website)
Van Wert Children’s Garden & Butterfly House
1451 Leeson Ave.
Van Wert, OH 45891
Visit the Van Wert Parks website
In 2006, the Children’s Garden, Gazebo, and Butterfly House was created in the 29.5 acre Smiley Park. Designed for children, there are opportunities or hands-on learning including a Discovery Garden, Dinosaur Garden, Potting Shed, Busy Hands Garden and more. The Butterfly House is filled with many flowering plants and houses many colorful butterflies.