First of all, I think we can all agree it should be the Papillon Pavillion. How gratifying is that name?
But it’s the butterfly pavillion, and it’s free on Tuesdays. See Try this outing info at the end for ticket prices on other days.
Fluffy is obsessed with catching a butterfly and has even killed one trying. So I planned this trip as a special surprise for her. They start giving out tickets at 10am. By the time we got to the ticket desk at 10:38, the earliest entry time was 1pm. So we had to pay for 3 hours of street parking, eat our lunch in the dinosaur cafe, and do 200+ laps around the empty climate change theater to make it to our ticket time. Fortunately, this is a fabulous place to kill time.
When we were finally let in to the exhibit, the wait was totally worth it!
Fluffy was most anxious that a butterfly should land on her hand, but she obeyed the rules not to touch.
I was the first to be landed upon.
Then just as Fluffs, about to expire with envy, asked for the 8th time “Is there one on my head?”…
a butterfly landed on her foot!
The butterfly then proceeded to climb up her leg in the most tickly, giggle-inducing way.
Then the butterfly wrangler put one on her shoulder… (You can see the other is still on the back of her calf.)
…which climbed to her hand…
…and made all her wildest dreams come true! And also pooped on her. “Mom! It laid an egg on my finger!”
Salty was also blessed by a butterfly.
We had been here once before when Fluff was the boys’ age, and it hadn’t made much of an impression. This go ’round, the experience exceeded all expectation. I was thrilled to be able to make one of Fluffy’s dreams a reality. She has now held a butterfly. Success!
Try this outing:
Difficulty Level: Moderate. With no stroller and two 2 year-olds that don’t watch for butterflies on the ground, but try to grab the ones they do see, this wasn’t as laidback as I would have wished.
- Tuesdays are free, but you still have to pick up timed entry tickets at the exhibit before hand.
- Other days require paid tickets: Adults $6, Seniors $5.50 (60+), Children $5 (2 to 12), Members $5 (available by phone or at box office)
- No strollers in the pavillion.
- You can park your stroller outside the pavillion while you go through.
- Each group gets about 15 minutes in the exhibit.
Fluffy Fun Factor (Preschooler Rating): “It was super-de-duper awesome. All day I just wish I could be there. I think they should have an exhibit for people to catch some so they can bring them home because that was so awesome. Best day of my life!”
We parked a couple blocks away, so walking through the sculpture gardens with the massive fountain pool was a bonus.