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.
Butterfly Pavilion tickets will be available on April 1!
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!
Some butterflies in the exhibit mate and lay eggs, however we regularly fill the pavilion with butterflies from all across the United States.
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!