The Butterfly Conservatory

November 20, 2021 — May 29, 2022

Timed entry only. 2nd Floor, next to the Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda.

Adult kneels next to a child and points a butterfly that has landed on a sign inside the Butterfly Conservatory.
D. Finnin/© AMNH

Celebrating its 23rd year at the Museum, this popular attraction transforms the coolest day into a summer escape, inviting visitors to mingle with up to 500 fluttering, iridescent butterflies among blooming tropical flowers and lush green vegetation in 80-degree temperatures. 

How to Reserve Tickets

  • Select a General Admission + One or General Admission + All ticket.
  • Then select Butterflies
View through a magnifying glass shows a butterfly feeding on an orange slice. R. Mickens/© AMNH
Butterfly alights on an evegreen branch. R. Mickens/© AMNH

There are more than 250,000 known species of Lepidoptera, of which about 18,000 are butterflies. Based on their anatomy, butterflies are classified into five families.

This exhibition features butterflies from three of the families: the Pieridae (PYAIR-i-dee), commonly known as whites and sulphurs; the Papilionidae (pah-pill-ee-ON-i-dee), or swallowtails; and the Nymphalidae (nim-FAL-i-dee), which includes morphos, longwings, and others.

Adult butterflies are wonderfully diverse in shape, size, and color. Active during the day, they live almost everywhere around the world, from Arctic tundra to tropical rain forests.

Generous support for The Butterfly Conservatory has been provided by the Eileen P. Bernard Exhibition Fund.