It started small. The idea hatched in Evelyn E. Newman’s mind in 1993. Five short years later, the Butterfly House opened to the public at Faust Park in Chesterfield, Missouri, and visitors were introduced to the beauty and ecological importance of butterflies in a setting like no other.
Shortly after opening its doors, the Butterfly House became one of St. Louis’s top destinations and premiere butterfly houses in the nation. In 2001, it became a division of the Missouri Botanical Garden.
The years passed, and the Butterfly House grew. Its educational programs and special events expanded to the delight of the more than 130,000 people that visit each year. The animal exhibits also grew to include other insects and arthropods, highlighting the important role that these creatures play in keeping ecosystems healthy. In 2015, the Butterfly House led the efforts to launch Project Pollinator to promote the appreciation of pollinators through education programs and the creation of pollinator gardens across our community.
Today, the Butterfly House is one of the only two dedicated insectariums in the country accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums as well as a leader in butterfly conservation. Looking ahead, the Butterfly House will update and double the size of the Entomology Lab to include interactive interpretation of a butterfly’s life cycle, “meet the keeper” opportunities, and new habitats for the invertebrate collection.
To celebrate the past and look toward the future, we’re spending the summer counting down 20 of our favorite things that make the Butterfly House a unique destination in the St. Louis area.
Find inspiration for planting your own butterfly garden
Visit the Butterfly House’s “backyard” demonstration garden and explore some of the beautiful butterfly-attracting plants you can add to your home landscape.
Enjoy free admission as a Garden member
In appreciation of their support, members receive a full year of free general admission to the Butterfly House, Garden and Shaw Nature Reserve. Become a member today!
Witness the butterfly’s life cycle
From chrysalis to colorful flight, all of the fascinating stages of butterflies’ lives are on display for your delight at the Butterfly House.
Tie the knot in style
With multiple indoor and outdoor venues available, the Butterfly House is the perfect fit for an elegant wedding of any size. Learn more about Butterfly House weddings!
Adopt a butterfly
Help support our scientific network by adopting a butterfly on your next visit.
Explore nature with all of your senses
Travel the interactive Nature TREK in our butterfly garden and experience the natural habitats of plants and wildlife.
Discover more than just butterflies
Get up close to dozens of unique insects and arachnids throughout and learn the important role they play in our ecosystems!
Get your game on
The Butterfly House theater is home to dozens of fun ways to while away hot or rainy days indoors.
Enjoy Faust Park
Before or after your Butterfly House visit, explore other attractions in its home, Faust Park.
Dedicate a paver
Commemorate a loved one or a special visit to the Butterfly House with an engraved paving stone.
Celebrate a birthday!
Make your little one’s birthday party take flight with special festivities and a fun romp through the tropical conservatory. Learn more!
Surround yourself with butterflies and colorful plants year round in the tropical conservatory.
Snap a selfie
Become an Instagram sensation with endless photo ops.
Take a class
Stretch your mind (or body!) with unique learning opportunities. See a full list of classes!
Be a keeper for a day
Join our entomology staff for a day and learn what goes into butterfly and insect care. Learn more!
Visit giant insects!
Check out iconic sculptures by the late Bob Cassilly at the Butterfly House entrance.
Taste bug delicacies
Sample chocolate-covered grasshoppers and other delicious insect-based snacks at the Butterfly House gift shop.
Take a unique field trip
The Butterfly House is an unforgettable destination for students in any age group! Plan your class visit today.
Read bug books galore
Browse our library of bug books and crawl into the reading cocoon in our learning lab.
Escape to a fantasy world
Whatever your age, the Butterfly House welcomes you to play make believe.
Evelyn Newman Founder’s Day Celebration
September 18, 2018
Save the date to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Butterfly House with special activities and fun opportunities for the whole family.