Butterflies Flutter Back to NHM Butterfly Pavilion

Museum experts focus on Monarchs inside the Pavilion, where visitors learn about the stages of their life cycle, through Septemb

By LatinoLA Contributor
Published on LatinoLA: April 21, 2015

Butterflies Flutter Back to NHM Butterfly Pavilion

The Butterfly Pavilion, where hundreds of butterflies flutter freely in a living habitat of nectaring plants, returned for its 17th year at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHM) on April 12, 2015. The Pavilion is again home to California natives and travelers from across North America, but it also include some showy, subtropical species from south Florida and the Rio Grande Valley along the Texas-Mexico border.

Visitors can watch daily First Flights, during which Museum staff release butterflies that have just emerged from their chrysalises into the Pavilion. NHM Gallery Interpreters, schooled in butterfly facts, will be in the Pavilion daily to answer visitors' questions about metamorphosis, butterfly anatomy, and breeding habits.


This year, Museum experts are focusing on Monarchs inside the Pavilion, where visitors will learn about the various stages of their life cycle--eggs, caterpillars, chrysalis, and adult butterflies. Outside, we're also attracting butterflies at a Monarch Waystation where the creature's whole lifecycle can be seen firsthand on milkweed plants. NHM citizen scientists and gardening experts have helped open the waystation, now in its second year, to bring attention to the dangerous decline in Monarch populations over the past several seasons. Much of the Monarchs' natural habitat no longer exists due to urban and agricultural development and the widespread use of herbicides. Here we'll demonstrate how easy it is to create a Monarch Waystation at home.

Come in for a Landing

Some visitors to the Pavilion may find that curious butterflies alight delicately on their arms or shoulders. There are many theories about why some people make more attractive perches than others, including clothing colors and smells. While there's no sure-fire way to get a butterfly to land on you, standing still, being tall, and wearing a hat seem to help. Additionally, the best flight time in the Pavilion is after it opens every day -- between 10 and 11 a.m. Butterflies like sun, but by afternoon, many of them are looking for shade.

Ticketing Information

Member Preview Days are April 10-11, 10 am to 5 pm. Museum Members and children age 2 and under are admitted to Butterfly Pavilion for free. Admission to the Butterfly Pavilion is timed and requires a special ticket. Prices for general admission plus the Pavilion are as follows: Adults, $17; College students and seniors, $14; Children ages (3-12), $8; Museum members and children under 2 are free. Tickets go on sale online April 1. We highly recommend purchasing tickets in advance at

Save the Date: Bug Fair

Continuing in the celebration of crawly creatures, the Museum will host the 29th annual Bug Fair on Saturday and Sunday, May 16 and 17 this year. The biggest bug festival in North America, this year is officially the year of the butterfly! The Bug Fair offers visitors an opportunity to buy bugs and bug merchandise (including local honey!) from more than 70 vendors, see outstanding collections, and learn about the world of arthropods and arachnids with help from the Museum's Entomology Curator Dr. Brian Brown and many other Museum scientists. Fun activities include live animal presentations, citizen science projects, crafts, live music, and tastings from some of the greatest bug chefs in the world. For more information, visit

About the Natural History Museum

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County serves nearly one million families and visitors annually, and is a national leader in research, exhibitions, and education. The Museum was the first dedicated museum building in Los Angeles, opening its doors in 1913. It has amassed one of the world's most extensive and valuable collections of natural and cultural history, with more than 35 million objects, some as old as 4.5 billion years.

The Natural History Family of Museums includes the NHM (Exposition Park), the Page Museum at the La Brea Tar Pits (Hancock Park/Mid-Wilshire), and the William S. Hart Park and Museum (Newhall, California). NHM is at 900 Exposition Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90007 and is open seven days a week 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Regular Museum admission is: Adults, $12; Students and Seniors, $9; Children (3-12), $5. Museum Members and children age 2 and under are admitted for free. For more information, visit the Museum's website at or call (213) 763-DINO.

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