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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 to learn more.



Ticket Sales

Buy Tickets

Timed entry tickets are required for the Butterfly Pavilion.

Ticket Prices
Adults (13-59): $7.50
Seniors (60+): $7
Children(2 to 12): $6.50
Tuesdays: Free

Butterfly Pavilion
Daily Hours of Operation

Regular Hours:
First timed entry: 10:15 am
Last timed entry: 5:00 pm*

* Exceptions: The Butterfly Pavilion is closed on December 25.

Natural History
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