The thrill of watching amazing colors of butterflies fly around you never gets old. Texas has some special places to experience the magic of butterflies from around the world. From open-air seasonal butterfly houses to permanent glass enclosed exhibits with lots of tropical plants (one even has a 50-foot waterfall inside of it!), you can spend hours watching these beautiful insects. Many of the Texas butterfly houses are part of larger exhibits of gardens or insectariums. Find the perfect one for your trip!
Butterfly House at Texas Discovery Gardens
Rosine Smith Sammons Butterfly House & Insectarium
Fair Park, 3601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd
Dallas TX 75210
214-428-7476 ext. 341
Texas Discovery Garden website
HOURS: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Daily, except holidays
The Discovery Gardens includes a two-level indoor butterfly house and insectarium, outdoor native butterfly garden, and an insect display in the lobby. This Texas butterfly house and insectarium is climate controlled, replicating the tropical rainforest environment that is home to the butterflies on display. There are other beneficial insects (to help organically control pests) and some aquatic life as well.
Some of the butterflies seen in the house include blue morpho, monarch, paper kite, zebra longwing, malachite, cloudless sulfur, and owl butterflies. Guests are provided with a flyer identifying the common butterflies in the insectarium. At noon, guests can listen to a talk on butterflies and watch the release of butterflies into the insectarium that have recently emerged from their cocoons.
The Butterfly House is located among the 7.5 acres of outdoor gardens at the Texas Discover Gardens.
ACCESSIBILITY: Butterfly House is 100% wheelchair accessible. Concrete lower path and slatted upper walkway.
Native Texas Butterfly House & Garden at Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary
1 Nature Place
McKinney, TX 75069
Visit the Heard Museum website
HOURS: Open in the Summer Only: Tuesday – Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday 1 p.m. – 5 p.m.; Closed on Mondays.
This seasonal, open-air butterfly house is stocked with lots of native plants that provide food and act as caterpillar hosts to native Texas butterflies. Colorful plants such as bee balm, tropical milkweed, echinacea, and purple passionflower are grown in the enclosure. The Museum also offers butterfly talks hosted by trained volunteers.
Butterflies seen in the house vary depending on availability and season. These may include Gulf Fritillaries, American Ladies, Buckeyes, Pipevine Swallowtails, Sleepy Oranges, and many others native to the area.
The Museum has an annual Spring plant sale where you can buy some of the native plants that attract local butterflies.
It’s National Pollinator Week! Spend some time this week in our Native Texas Butterfly House & Garden to observe the lovely butterflies and other pollinators. You might even see a hummingbird.
Posted by Heard Natural Science Museum & Wildlife Sanctuary on Thursday, June 20, 2019
ACCESSIBILITY: The indoor exhibits at the Heard Museum are wheelchair accessible. The outdoor nature trails are not.
Cockrell Butterfly Center – Houston Museum of Natural Science
5555 Hermann Park Dr.
Houston, TX 77030
Visit the Museum’s website
HOURS: Monday – Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Within the 16 permanent exhibits at the Houston Museum of Natural Science is the Cockrell Butterfly Center, a three-story glass enclosed tropical ecosystem that includes a 50-foot waterfall.
Plants in the tropical conservatory include many beautiful orchids, cacao trees, gingers and spiral gingers, prayer plants, heliconias, milkweeds, pentas, and many more.
Butterflies from all over the world can be found in the conservatory including owl butterflies, longwing butterflies, Thoas Swallowtails, Red Peacock Butterflies, Rice Paper Butterflies, Green Triangle Kite Butterflies, and many others.
The exhibits surrounding the rain forest conservatory feature arthropods, an immersive bee exhibit for small children, and a location where you can speak with entomologists about the importance of insects and see insect specimens up close.
ACCESSIBILITY: The museum is wheelchair accessible and offers a special app addressing accessibility for physical, sensory sensitives and autism spectrum disorder, blind and low vision, and deaf and hard of hearing. Wheelchairs are available for visitors to borrow at no cost on a first-come, first-served basis.
South Texas Botanical Gardens & Nature Center
8545 South Staples
Corpus Christi, TX 78413
Visit the South Texas Botanical Gardens website
HOURS: Daily 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. except holidays
Nestled within the 182-acre gardens is a 2600-square-foot screened butterfly house. Full of colorful host and food plants, butterflies fly all around.
Butterfly House at the San Antonio Zoo
3903 N. St. Mary’s St.
San Antonio, TX 78212
San Antonio Zoo’s website
HOURS: Open March through November. See Zoo Hours
This open-air, seasonal butterfly house is filled with hundreds of butterflies of as many as 30 different species. Lush tropical plants fill the enclosure where butterflies feed on the flowers. Feeding stations are interspersed through the house so that butterflies will alight on the fruit trays.