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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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Live Butterflies

Frequently Asked Questions

Illustration of the Common Birdwing butterfly

Where can I buy tickets for the Butterfly Pavilion?

Where can I purchase tickets at the Museum?

How far in advance can I purchase tickets?

Are there any times when the Pavilion is free?

Are there special rates for groups?

What is the group capacity of the Pavilion?

I purchased tickets online. Do I need to pick them up?

What if I am delayed in arriving at the Museum? Can I still enter if it is after my scheduled entry time?

I lost my ticket, what can I do?

Is parking available?

What are the Metro stops nearest to the Natural History Museum?

What accessibility services are available for visitors with disabilities?

Can strollers or tripods be used in the Pavilion?

 

Where can I buy tickets for the Butterfly Pavilion?
Tickets can be purchased online or in person at the National Museum of Natural History.
 
Please note that non-refundable ($2.00) handling charges apply for tickets purchased online.
 
At the Museum, tickets can be purchased outside of the entrance to the Butterfly Pavilion on the second floor or at the Information Desk in the Rotunda on the first floor.

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Where can I purchase tickets at the Museum?
Tickets can be purchased at either of the ticket desks; they are located

  • On the first floor, at the Information Desk within the Museum Rotunda
  • On the second floor, off the Rotunda and above the Mammals Hall, adjacent to the Butterfly Pavilion entrance.

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How far in advance can I purchase tickets?
General admission tickets may be purchased up to a month in advance.

Groups of 10 or more can purchase tickets up to six months in advance, and must purchase tickets at least two weeks prior to their visit to receive the group rate. Please call 202-633-7516, Monday-Friday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.(ET), for more information.
 
Please review your order carefully prior to purchasing tickets; all tickets purchased are final sale. Refunds and exchanges are prohibited.
 
Special Note for Groups of Students and Children: Every 10 students or children admitted into the Butterfly Pavilion must be accompanied by at least one adult.

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Are there any times when the Pavilion is free?
The Butterfly Pavilion is free every Tuesday but timed-entry tickets are required.  These tickets are available only at the Ticket Desk located on the second floor outside of the entrance to the Butterfly Pavilion.
 
Tickets are available beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesdays.  The Pavilion opens at 10:15 a.m., and the final entry is at 5:00 p.m. Pavilion capacity is limited; it is advisable to come early to secure tickets.

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Are there special rates for groups?
Yes. The Smithsonian offers discounts to groups of 10 or more with two week advanced reservations. Please call 202-633-7516 for more information or to book your trip. Groups that reserve in advance receive a great discount. . Special group rate tickets must be purchased at least 2 weeks in advance and are not available for day-of purchases.

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What is the group capacity of the Pavilion?
The Pavilion capacity is limited and the number of tickets available for a time slot does not exceed this limit. To avoid overcrowding, visitors are not admitted until their designated time; if some visitors from the previous time slot are still in the Pavilion, new visitors will be admitted up to the maximum. As visitors leave, those remaining for the designated time slot will be admitted. New visitors are not allowed into the space before their designated entry time.
 
Every 10 students or children admitted into the Butterfly Pavilion must be accompanied by at least one adult.

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I purchased tickets online. Do I need to pick them up?
No. Advance purchase tickets should be printed at home or displayed on a mobile device. Complete instructions for downloading and printing tickets will be emailed in your initial email confirmation after purchasing tickets.

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What if I am delayed in arriving at the Museum? Can I still enter if it is after my scheduled entry time?
We do our best to accommodate late arrivals, if space is available. Should you arrive after your designated entry time, please see one of the Visitor Experience Associates statioined right outside the Butterfly Pavilion Desk on the second floor.

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I lost my ticket, what can I do?
If you misplaced the hard copy of your tickets, you can reprint them using the instructions found in your initial email confirmation. Each timed pass has a unique entry code and can only be used once.

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Is parking available?
Parking is not available at any Smithsonian Museums on the National Mall, including the Natural History Museum.  Street parking may be found in the downtown Washington area. However, please keep in mind that the downtown Washington area is a high traffic area and spaces tend to fill up quickly. We recommend using public transportation.

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What are the Metro stops nearest to the Natural History Museum?
The "Federal Triangle" or "Smithsonian" stations are the closest on the Blue, Orange, and Silver lines.. The “Archives” station is the closest on the Green and Yellow lines.
 
For additional Metro routes, schedules, fares and assistance in planning your trip, visit the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Website.

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What accessibility services are available for visitors with disabilities?
The Butterfly Pavilion is wheelchair accessible.
 
Elevators are located just inside the entrances from the National Mall and Constitution Avenue.
 
The Museum also has wheelchairs that may be borrowed free of charge for use within the building.  The wheelchairs are manually operated.  They may not be taken outside the building.  Wheelchairs are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
 
Service Animals are welcome within the Pavilion, but must remain under the handler’s control at all times. A service animal will be asked to leave the Pavilion should they destroy the living plants or butterflies.
 
For more information on accessibility at Natural History, including parking, entrances, food services and more, please visit our Website Accessibility Website.

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Can strollers or tripods be used in the Pavilion?
Strollers and tripods are not permitted inside the Pavilion.  Young, stroller-age children may walk through with supervision, or be carried.  Strollers may be left outside the entrance of the Butterfly Pavilion at owner’s risk.

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Credits: Common Birdwing, Troides helena. Illustration by Vichai Malikul.

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
Ticket Desks

Online

Group Sales
202-633-7516

Ticketing FAQ

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