Courtesy of the National Aviary.

National Aviary
Through mid-September
Various times

First it was the adorable baby sloth; then it was the naming contest for its newest resident penguin. With the grand opening of its Butterfly Garden, the National Aviary is giving us even more reasons to experience the wonders of nature on the Northside.

Courtesy of the National Aviary.
Courtesy of the National Aviary.

Bringing a new kind of wing to its collections, the interactive, walk-through exhibit is open through mid-September in the Aviary’s scenic outdoor Rose Garden.

Visitors of all ages will have the rare opportunity to get up close and personal with a variety of delicate and colorful butterfly species native to our region, including Painted Ladies, Monarchs, Black Swallowtails, Red Spotted Purples, Viceroys and Giant Swallowtails.

While walking amidst these winged wonders, you can learn about the life cycle, habitats, migration patterns, and physical adaptations of butterflies– including tips for attracting them to your yard.

Courtesy of the National Aviary.
Courtesy of the National Aviary.

Don’t miss the chance to even hand-feed the butterflies a specially formulated nectar mixture. You are welcome to take photos, and talk with experienced docents about the new exhibit. The exhibit’s lush backdrop of flowers and greenery features native plants and flowering annuals generously donated by Best Feeds.

Want more butterflies in your life? Sign up for one of the Aviary‘s special summer classes, including Butterfly Container Gardening on June 16; Beautiful Butterflies on July 21; and the Butterfly Photo Safari on August 18.

Species in the unique exhibit will vary throughout the summer so repeat visits are suggested. The Butterfly Garden is open daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. through mid-September, weather permitting.

Looking for more events? Read our NEXTravaganza! 20 can’t-miss Pittsburgh events & concerts in June and our Top 10 things for families to do in June in Pittsburgh features.

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.