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Butterfly in Olbrich's Bolz ConservatoryOlbrich's Blooming Butterflies

Butterfly EmergingMember Preview Day

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Olbrich's Blooming Butterflies

Thursday, July 20 - Sunday, August 13, 2017

10 am - 4 pm daily

Experience the magnificence of free-flying butterflies while strolling through the tropical Bolz Conservatory. Live butterflies emerge from chrysalises daily in the Conservatory, including low-flyers like the playful yellow and black striped zebras and bright orange julias.

More than a dozen species of butterflies, native to both Wisconsin and the more tropical areas of the southern United States can be seen at various times during the exhibit.

The life span of different butterflies varies from a few weeks to a few months. All flying butterflies are allowed to live out their natural lives in the Conservatory, with food sources remaining for them after the exhibit dates.

Monarch Meet-Up
Monarch, Meet-Up, a new program designed to educate visitors about the declining population of monarch butterflies and challenge visitors to take ACTION in monarch conservation.

Butterfly Action Day

Friday, July 28
10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Join us for a special day with representatives from local monarch conservation organizations! Interactive displays focused on monarch butterflies will highlight what you can do to help the population. Monarchs make the longest known insect migration on earth and everyone can make a difference in supporting their spectacular journey!

Displays include a butterfly tagging demonstration, live larva and caterpillars, and an endangered butterfly exhibit. Receive a free native milkweed plant (available for the first 200 visitors) and purchase monarch hatching starter kits!

Collaborating organizations: Wild Ones, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Madison Audubon Society, Friends of Lake Wingra

Ticket Prices

$7 ages 13 & up

$3 ages 3 - 12

Free ages 2 & under

Free for Olbrich Members

To see how Olbrich staff and volunteers prepare for Olbrich's Blooming Butterflies, visit

Behind the Scenes of Blooming Butterflies

Butterfly Identification Guide (PDF)

Member Preview Day

Butterfly ContainerWednesday, July 19, 10 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Be the first to see the live butterflies in the Bolz Conservatory during the second annual Member Preview Day at Olbrich's Blooming Butterflies! Olbrich members get an exclusive sneak peak of the exhibit one day before we open to the public.

This preview event is open to Olbrich members only. To become a member, call 243-0153 or visit our Membership page for more information!



Butterfly Passports

After spotting bright butterflies inside the Bolz Conservatory, children can follow the paths through the outdoor gardens on a quest to complete their Butterfly Passports. Find the five stations, read a few fun facts, then answer a few simple questions. Fill up the passport and earn one free junior cone from Michael's Frozen Custard, valid at the Atwood Avenue location.


Insect collection display

Butterfly CasesAll visitors to Olbrich Botanical Gardens and Olbrich's Blooming Butterflies can be amazed by hundreds of exotic butterflies and insects from one of the most impressive displays of exotic insects in North America. Dan Capps' collection ranges from butterflies to beetles to bees, and includes specimens from every continent.

Meet collector's son, Jeff Capps, in person and talk to him about the amazing insect collection on Fridays from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.


Group Visits to Olbrich's Blooming Butterflies

School groups, daycares, camps, bus tours, and other groups are welcome to visit Olbrich's Blooming Butterflies. We hope you will join us for this truly amazing event and register your group for a visit.

Groups larger than 10 people must register in advance.

Please call 608-246-4550 to schedule a time for your group to visit so we can provide the best experience possible for your group and other visitors as well.

Limited dates and times may be available for group visits.

Olbrich's Blooming Butterflies is $7 for ages 13 & up, $3 for ages 3-12, and free for ages 2 & under. One group leader and the bus driver will receive free admission into the exhibit. Payment can be made on arrival with the Event Manager. Cash, check, debit or credit card (Visa, MasterCard or Discover) are accepted. Please do not bring carry-in food or drink into the building. Outdoor picnic areas are available nearby.


Accessibility at Olbrich's Blooming Butterflies

Wheelchairs and motorized scooters are allowed in the Bolz Conservatory during Olbrich's Blooming Butterflies. For more information about Olbrich's wheelchairs and scooters available for use, please visit the Accessibility Page.



For the enjoyment of all visitors, the use of strollers is discouraged inside the Conservatory. Stroller parking is available in the lobby.



John J. Frautschi Foundation


Media Partners

                                Magic 98                    NBC-15


Wisconsin State Journal


Butterfly Passport Sponsor

Michael's Frozen Custard




Light Gaps Bolz Conservatory Exhibit - March 25-July 16

Cocktails in the Conservatory - March 31

Pansy Sale - April 1

Plant Sale with the Pros - May 12 & 13

Mother's Day Concert - May 14

Gardens Galore Bus Trip - May 19

Olbrich Botanical Gardens is operated as a public-private partnership between the City of Madison Parks Division and the Olbrich Botanical Society.
Olbrich Botanical Gardens | 3330 Atwood Avenue, Madison, WI 53704. | Phone: (608)246-4550 | Fax: (608)246-4719