For a fun family experience seeing hundreds of butterflies fill a glass-domed conservatory—a tropical landscape in the heart of the Midwest—the Butterfly House in Faust Park is one of the top attractions for those living in or visiting the St. Louis area.
If you enjoy the Butterfly House, you may also want to check out some other local nature attractions like the Missouri Botanical Garden, which has everything from a Japanese garden to a Victorian district. Also, Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center offers educational programs for all ages and three trails on its more than 110 acres of oak hickory forest, and Shaw Nature Reserve is full of diverse activities including chamber music concerts, kayaking classes, and guided hikes.
Location and Admission Details
The Butterfly House, a not-for-profit organization, is located in Faust Park in Chesterfield. It's open every day but Monday, and closed on major holidays, including Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.
Admission costs are lower for seniors and children ages three to 12. Children two and younger and members of the Missouri Botanical Garden get in free. Residents of St. Louis City and County also get free admission the first Tuesday morning of the month, as long as they bring proof of residency.
What You'll See
- The Conservatory: The main attraction at the Butterfly House is the 8,000 square foot, glass-domed Conservatory. The building is home to almost 2,000 butterflies from some 80 species flying freely among hundreds of tropical plants. For most visitors, it takes about 15 to 45 minutes to walk through the conservatory. In warmer months, there is an outdoor butterfly garden to stroll through.
- The Native Butterfly Garden: The outdoor space around the conservatory was designed with plants to attract caterpillars, butterflies, and other park animals. The garden also contains a teaching pavilion and a multi-use patio where people hold events, plus a reflecting pond and several sculptures, including a 30-foot tall caterpillar. The area offers a Nature T.R.E.K. trail—with honeycomb you can climb on—for learning the natural habitats of plants and wildlife.
- The Exhibit Hall: Learn more about various helpful insects. The "Butterflies of the World" exhibit takes a closer look at the amazing diversity found all over the world. There's also a live cockroach display and an interactive Exploration Station for children.
- Emerson Family Theater: If you want to learn even more about butterflies, check out the short movie "The Butterfly Effect," shown throughout the day. The film informs the public about the anatomy and behavior of butterflies.
The Butterfly House hosts special events all year to showcase its exhibits and programs. One of the most popular is Morpho Mardi Gras: Bugs, Butterflies and Beads. Each February and March, the conservatory is filled with over 1,500 Blue Morphos flying around. It's an impressive sight that draws visitors from across the area. Other special events include Friday Night Flights with appetizers, wine, and jazz, and the Winter Jewels celebration during the holidays in December, which includes a view of butterflies in jewel tones and fairy gardens in the Conservatory. For more details on these and other signature events, see the Butterfly House website.
Butterfly House Gift Shop
You can take part of the lovely day with you if you make a stop at the Butterfly House Gift Shop. The shop has a wide variety of butterfly-themed merchandise including clothes, jewelry, home decor, and books. There are also cool toys for kids like bug kits and butterfly nets. The gift shop is open during regular Butterfly House hours.