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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 are the Natural History box offices?

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 by phone or over the Internet.  Where do I pick them up?

I'm a member. Where can I purchase tickets?

Where are your box offices?

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 at the National Museum of Natural History Box Offices, any other Smithsonian Theater Box Office, on the internet, or by phone at 866.868.7774. Please note that non-refundable handling charges apply for tickets purchased via the internet and telephone.

Here are PDFicon instructions for purchasing tickets online (PDF version) or
 
download online ordering instructions (MSWord version).

Need a PDF reader? Find it here: Download Adobe Acrobat Reader.

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Where are the Natural History box offices?

  • The Museum Rotunda facing the National Mall on Madison Avenue.
  • Johnson IMAX Theater.
  • The second floor, west side of the Rotunda adjacent to the Butterfly Pavilion.

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How far in advance can I purchase tickets?
Tickets may be purchased up to two weeks in advance. Groups of 10 or more may be able to purchase tickets earlier. Please call 866.868.7774 for more information.
 
Special Note for Groups of Students and Children: Every 10 students or children admitted into the Butteryfly 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 at the Butterfly Pavilion Box Office beginning at 10:00 am on Tuesdays.  The Pavilion opens at 10:15 AM, and the final entry is at 5:00 PM (or 30 minutes before closing during Butterfly Pavilion extended hours - see the column to the right for extended hours and exceptions). 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. Please visit our Group Tours Webpage or call 866.868.7774 for more information or to book your trip. Groups that reserve in advance receive a greater discount as well as one complimentary ticket for each 20 paid tickets.
 
If a group of 10 or more comes to the Museum without an advance reservation, they also may qualify for a discount. However, no complimentary tickets are available in this case, regardless of the size of the group.
 
Special Note for Groups of Students and Children: Every 10 students or children admitted into the Butteryfly Pavilion must be accompanied by at least one adult.

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What is the group capacity of the Pavilion?
The Pavilion holds 40 visitors at any time.  As visitors exit the Pavilion, new visitors are let into the space.  Groups larger than 40 will need to select more than one time for entry.

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I purchased tickets by phone or over the internet. Where do I pick them up?
Advance purchase tickets may be picked up at any Smithsonian Theater box office prior to the day of your visit (see below for locations).
 
Please note: On the day of your scheduled visit, advance purchase tickets may be picked up only at a box office in the Natural History Museum; advance purchase tickets are not available for pick-up on the day of the event at any other box office location.

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I'm a member. Where can I purchase tickets?
Smithsonian members may purchase tickets by telephone or in person at any of the Smithsonian box offices ahead of time or at the Natural History Museum on the day they wish to attend. The membership card must be presented in order to receive the appropriate discount. Up to four tickets per visit may be purchased at the discount price. This service is not available on the Internet.

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Where are your box offices?

  • Johnson IMAX Theater, first floor, National Museum of Natural History
  • National Museum of Natural History Rotunda
  • Butterfly Pavilion, second floor, National Museum of Natural History
  • Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater, National Air and Space Museum
  • Albert Einstein Planetarium, National Air and Space Museum
  • Airbus IMAX Theater, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

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Is parking available?
Parking is not available at any Smithsonian Museums, 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. Public transportation may be a better option.

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What are the Metro stops nearest to the Natural History Museum?
1 block from either the "Federal Triangle" or "Smithsonian" stations on the Blue and Orange 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.  For more information on accessibility at Natural History, including parking, entrances, food services and more, please visit our Website http://naturalhistory.si.edu/visit/accessibility.htm.

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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.  Please stop at the Information Desk in the Rotunda or at the Constitution Avenue entrance to ask at about where to leave your stroller or tripod.

 

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

Ticket Sales:

Buy Tickets
In Advance

Telephone
866.868.7774
202.633.8850 (TTY)

On the Internet

Natural History Box Offices

Smithsonian Box Offices

Tickets are required for the Butterfly Pavilion and are available on-line for all days but Tuesdays. Tickets for Tuesday visitors are available on the day of the visit at the Butterfly Pavilion on a first-come, first-served basis (see below*).

Price 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)
Groups $5 (10 or more, no advance reservations; no free tickets)
 
Tickets are timed-entry at 15-minute intervals, 40 tickets per interval. 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.
 
Pavilion capacity is limited; it is advisable to come early to secure tickets.

Butterfly exhibit illustration

Hours of Operation:

Butterfly Pavilion Hours

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

* 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*

* 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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