Olbrich Home Rooted and Growing

Olbrich's Blooming Butterflies

Butterfly Emerging

Thursday, July 19 - Sunday, August 12, 2018

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. daily

Open to Olbrich Members only July 18, 2018

Admission Prices

Admission paid at the door

$7 ages 13 & up

$3 ages 3 - 12

Free ages 2 & under

Free for Olbrich Members

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.

Butterfly in Olbrich's Bolz ConservatoryThe 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
Learn about the plight of the Monarch through 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, August 3
10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

No cost to attend or participate, but there is a separate cost to enter Blooming Butterflies.

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 one of the longest known insect migration on earth and everyone can make a difference in supporting their spectacular journey!

There are various displays with information and activities about the monarch life cycle and migration. There will be an opportunity to make pollinator seed informational packets and a pollinator fortune teller game for kids! You can also purchase equipment for raising caterpillars.

Collaborating Organizations:

Aldo Leopold Nature Center

Dane County UW Extension/Dane County Environmental Council

Friends of Lake Wingra

Friends of Wisdom Prairie Council

UW Arboretum


UW Department of Entomology

Visitors will get the chance to:
- Learn about the extraordinary monarch migration with Aldo Leopold Nature Center.
- Test your monarch knowledge through an interactive activity and learn how to engage in monarch citizen science projects with UW Arboretum.
- Gather information on monarch conservation from the Monarch Joint Venture.
- Make pollinator seed information packets and play a pollinator fortune teller game with Dane County UW Extension/Dane County Environmental Council.
- Observe the hand feeding of adult monarchs and purchase equipment for raising caterpillars with Friends of Lake Wingra.
- View a demonstration on making butterfly pollinator seed bombs with Plantables.
- Learn about other insects and pollinators with UW Department of Entomology.

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 18, 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 246-4724 or visit our Membership page for more information!



Butterfly Scavenger Hunt

Children can have fun while building their butterfly knowledge by traveling to four stations located throughout the outdoor gardens. While all of the stations will have fun facts about butterflies, only one of the stations will have a special password that the child can mark in the back of their activity booklet. Take the password back to the membership table outside the front entrance (or Greeter Desk after 4 p.m.) and receive a coupon for one free scoop of ice cream redeemable at any Chocolate Shoppe location!

Butterfly Scavenger Hunt activity is only for children, and is available only with the purchase of a child ticket to Blooming Butterflies.


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 608-245-3648 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.



Alliant Energy Foundation


John J. Frautschi Family Foundation


Media Partners

                                Magic 98                    NBC-15


Wisconsin State Journal




Summer Concert Series | Tuesdays, June 19 - August 14

Home Garden Tour | July 13 & 14

Member Preview: Blooming Butterflies | July 18

Blooming Butterflies | July 19 - August 12

Guided Garden Strolls | Sundays, May 6 - Oct. 14

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