The Butterfly House in Missouri opened in 1998 to help educate the public about butterflies from around the world. The facility is a part of the Missouri Botanic Garden, and it offers special events, tours, and other programs to visitors. There are dozens of species of butterflies found at this location, divided into two parts - one native and one tropical. The other attractions in this facility's family include the Botanical Garden, the Shaw Nature Reserve, and the EarthWays Center.
At the center of the Butterfly House, guests can find the large Butterfly Conservatory. This areas houses tropical species and is home to up to 80 butterfly species, depending on the time of year. There are also over 150 different plant species in this area, and the nearly 2000 individual butterflies fly freely around the space. The conservatory also has an area called Miracle of Metamorphosis, which gives visitors the opportunity to see hundreds of chrysalises break open, revealing the butterflies inside.
Outside, guests can walk around the outdoor butterfly garden. This part of the facility was planted with a number of species of flowers that serve as food for caterpillars and butterflies. The garden is set up to attract as many species of butterflies from the Missouri area as possible. The garden overlooks the Emerson Lakeside Terrace. With the garden's reflecting pond to the south and a covered patio surface, this is the site of a number of special events, like weddings and birthday parties, every year.
The Butterfly House also has a number of educational opportunities for guests who want to know more in-depth information about these creatures. The Lopata Learning Lab is a formal classroom that holds a number of educational classes and talks every month. Nearby, the site also has an exhibit hall. Called the Grand Hallway, this area has a number of museum-quality showcases that feature information about butterflies, as well as other insects and arachnids. This area also serves as a mini-zoo, as in the Small Wonders exhibit, guests will find living specimens of many kinds of invertebrates and in the Arachnids exhibit, guests can see living spiders, scorpions, and other member of the arachnid family. There's also a Butterflies of the World exhibit, a short children's video that plays continuously, and an Aquatic Invertebrates exhibit. Guests can stop by the Emerson Family Theatre, which shows a 17-minute film called The Butterfly Effect to teach visitors about butterfly anatomy and certain behaviors. When the weather is nice, guests can take advantages of the outdoor Monsanto Teaching Pavillion as well.
Before leaving, guests can stop by the Madame Butterfly Gift Shop, which has souvenirs and educational items relating to butterflies. All of the proceeds from this gift shop go directly to operational costs of the Butterfly House. The facility is open 7 days a week, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM from Memorial Day to Labor Day, and they're open from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM every day except Monday during the rest of the year. The last tickets are sold 30 minutes before closing time, and admission prices range from $4 to $6, with free admission for Missouri Botanical Garden members. Visitors can call 636-530-0076 for more information about the Butterfly House.