Butterfly Pavilion | Natural History Museum of Los Angeles

Wander into our exotic Butterfly Pavilion, an environment bursting with beautiful butterflies, moths and glorious greenery. You will discover an astonishing landscape teeming with life and filled with color, growth, and transformation.
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Join us for a two-day celebration of Nature in the City! Explore L.A.'s wild side with special programing and hands-on, fun family activities.

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Butterfly Pavilion

Opening Late Summer

More than 30 native North American butterfly species and an array of plants take up residence every summer for our much-anticipated living habitat, the Butterfly Pavilion. Wander through a unique changing ecosystem, witness free-flying creatures interacting with plant life, and emerge with a better understanding of the environment needed for the survival of these spectacular animals.


Ticket sale date for the Butterfly Pavilion to be announced soon! Sign up for our eNewsletter and be the first to know.

Showcase for Butterflies

The Butterfly Pavilion showcases hundreds of butterflies and the plants that surround them, an interaction that has been refined over the course of millions of years. See up close how butterflies use their tubular mouthparts to obtain nectar and witness caterpillars feed on leaves and go through the process of their transformation into adults. Various butterflies are present at different points during the season and the plants will grow and change. This means that each visit to the Butterfly Pavilion throughout the summer can be a different experience!

Butterflies from Near and Far

Some butterflies in the exhibit mate and lay eggs, however we regularly fill the pavilion with butterflies from all across the United States.

  • 20 species of California natives such as the Monarch, Mourning Cloak, and Buckeye
  • 10 species of subtropical varieties from south Florida and Texas, such as the Malachite and the Grey Cracker

Monarch Waystation

Just outside the entrance to the Butterfly Pavilion, a team of NHM citizen scientists and gardening experts are opening the new Monarch Waystation, where visitors can see every milestone and metamorphosis in a Monarch’s life — from eggs to caterpillars to chrysalises to the adult butterfly.

Much of the Monarchs' natural habitat no longer exists due to urban development and widespread use of herbicides. But here we'll show you how easy it is to have your own Monarch Waystation. 

More about our Monarchs citizen science project here!