Butterfly Forest

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

Through September 7
9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

As the season’s first butterflies start to land on our freshly planted flowers and signal spring, there’s no better time to explore the magic of these winged wonders.

The best place to see these spectacular pollinators? Returning to Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens on Saturday, April 25th, the not-to-miss Butterfly Forest makes for an enchanting family adventure for visitors of all ages.

Step into the glasshouse environs of Phipps’ Stove Room to wonder at the remarkable colors, patterns and flight movements of nature’s very own “flowers that fly.” Marvel as zebra longwings (look for their boldly striped black and white wing patterns!), Pennsylvania monarchs, pipevine swallowtails (can you find their bluish-green metallic colors?), gulf fritillary and many others break free of their chrysalises to soar and glide among the radiant blooms.

Butterfly Forest_CREDIT Julia Petruska_KIDS
Photo by Julia-Petruska.

There are a staggering 20,000 species of butterflies populating the planet, with approximately 575 in the US. At Phipps, visitors will be captivated by 21 different species up close. Learn about the delicate life cycles of nature’s most important pollinators, how they benefit the environment and their favorite aromatic blooms and tropical plants.

If you’re lucky, one of these lovely Lepidoptera might even land on your shoulder! Visitors are invited to get as close as possible, but remember to not touch or hold the butterflies because it could damage their delicate wings. But do take plenty of photos (tripods are not permitted) and share them with family and friends and via social media.

The Butterfly Forest is on view at Phipps through September 7th, so you have lots of chances to explore its beauty. Admission is $15 for adults, $11 for kids 2-18 and free for kids under 2.

Want to see into the future? If you’re heading to Phipps on Saturday, April 25th, also be sure to swing by FutureFest 2015, running from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Join the free all-ages festivities taking place on Phipps’ front lawn to get a glimpse of “the world of tomorrow” via art, demonstrations, performances, science and hands-on activities—from scavenger hunts to craft stations.

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.