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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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Live Butterflies

One Hall, Two Exhibits

Partners in Evolution—a free-admission exploration into how insects and other animals have co-evolved with plants.

Illustration: Great Orange Tip Butterfly
Credit: Great Orange Tip butterfly (Hebomoia glaucippe) illustration by Vichai Malikul.

The Butterfly Pavilion—a fee-based, live butterfly experience.

Partners in Evolution

Discover how natural selection has shaped animals and plants together through their ancient and persistent dependencies, and defenses with one another.

Butterfly Pavilion

Take a stroll among live butterflies and exotic plants! Located adjacent to Partners in Evolution, this tropical oasis offers visitors a rare opportunity to get close to a variety of living butterflies from all over the world.

 

Want to see more butterflies
and the plants they like?

Visit the Smithsonian Pollinator Garden (previously the Butterfly Habitat Garden) to see some of the plants that local butterflies prefer for nectar (adults) or leaves (caterpillars). If it is the right time of year, you may see some butterflies in action. This special garden is located just east of the museum, shown on the map as the green area along 9th street.  

Overview of location of Butterfly Pavilion and the Pollinator Garden
Click the map to enlarge the image

Visit  http://www.gardens.si.edu/our-gardens/pollinator-garden.html to learn more.

 

 

Ticket Sales

Tickets are required for the Butterfly Pavilion.

Purchase tickets online to avoid sold out time-slots. They are also available at the Museum on a first-come, first-served basis. Tickets are timed-entry at 15-minute intervals, 40 tickets per interval.

Prices per ticket:
Adults $6
Seniors $5.50 (60+)
Children $5 (2 to 12)
Members $5 (available by phone or at box office)
Groups $4.50 (10 or more, advance purchase by phone; 1 free ticket for every 20). There must be one adult for every 10 children or students.
Groups $5 (10 or more, no advance reservations; no free tickets). There must be one adult for every 10 children or students.
 
Tuesdays - no charge - but free timed-entry tickets are required and are available at the Butterfly Pavilion Box Office each Tuesday beginning at 10:00 am.

Butterfly exhibit illustration

Hours of Operation:

Butterfly Pavilion Hours

Regular Hours
  First Entry: 10:15am
  Final Entry: 5:00pm*

July Extended Hours
July 3 to July 8
Details:
  First Entry: 10:15am
  Final Entry: 6:00pm*
  Exhibit Close: 6:30pm*
  Museum Close: 7:30pm*

* Exceptions: Evenings when the Museum closes early for special events. The Museum is closed on December 25.
 
See Museum Closing Times for additional information, including early closing for special events.

* * * * * * *

Museum Regular Hours
  10:00 am-5:30 pm*

Museum July Extended Hours
July 3 to July 8
Details:
  10:00 am-7:30 pm*

* Exceptions: Evenings when the Museum closes early for special events. The Museum is closed on December 25.
  
See Museum Closing Times for additional information, including early closing for special events.

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