Olbrich's Blooming Butterflies
Member 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, 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
$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
Wednesday, 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!
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
All 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
Butterfly Passport Sponsor
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