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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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Live Butterflies

Ticket Information

Hawk Moth sipping nectar from an orchid
 

General Information
While the exhibit, Partners in Evolution is open to the public free of charge, there is an entry fee for admission to the Butterfly Pavilion at all times except Tuesday. Tuesday is free but timed-entry tickets are required and can be obtained at the Butterfly Pavilion Box Office beginning at 10:00 AM each Tuesday. All other tickets should be purchased prior to the time you hope to visit the Pavilion as space is limited and entry will be according to published times. Ticket revenue supports the facility and keeps the Butterfly Pavilion operating and stocked with plants and butterflies.

The Butterfly Pavilion is a brightly lit space filled with living plants and many different butterflies. The climate-controlled environment is kept at 80oF, and 80% humidity. It is handicap accessible. However, neither strollers nor tripods are permitted in the space.  Once in the Pavilion, there is nothing but air between the visitor and the butterflies.  They fly freely around the enclosure landing on plants and sometimes people, and they feed on fruit and nectar.  The butterflies come from a variety of butterfly farms located around the world.  Visitors can get very close to these beautiful creatures, watching them fly and feed.  A case of hanging chrysalids makes it possible to see crumple-winged butterflies emerge as adults, pump fluid into their wings, and eventually fly off.

Ticket availability. Tickets can be purchased online, by phone, and in person. Additional fees apply to Web and phone purchases (see details below). On the day scheduled for your visit, tickets may only be picked up at one of the box offices at the Natural History Museum; prior to that day, tickets may be picked up at any of the Smithsonian box offices.

Tuesdays – no charge. Free timed-entry tickets are required and are available at the Butterfly Pavilion Box Office beginning at 10:00 am each Tuesday. Pavilion capacity is limited; it is advisable to come early to secure tickets.

Timed entry. All tickets are for a specified timed-entry. Tickets are for timed-entry every 15 minutes beginning at 10:15 AM; 40 tickets are alloted for each time slot. The last entry into the Pavilion is at 5:00 PM (or 30 minutes before closing during Butterfly Pavilion extended hours - see the column to the right for extended hours and exceptions).

Students and Children: Each group of students or children must be accompanied by an adult, with at least one adult per 10 students or children.

Purchase tickets in person at the Natural History Museum Butterfly Pavilion Box Office (or at any of Smithsonian’s other box offices).

Special fees. Additional fees apply when ordering by phone and online. The fee is $2.00 per ticket (non-refundable) for tickets ordered by telephone; for tickets ordered on the internet, there is a $1.50 per ticket fee plus a $2.00 per order fee (non-refundable).

Purchase tickets by phone at 866.868.7774 (TTY: 202.633.8850). Agents are available 7 days a week from 10 am to 5 pm, ET, except December 25th.

Purchase tickets online up to two weeks in advance. For your convenience, we have created a document with detailed instructions regarding purchasing your Butterfly Pavilion tickets online. PDF icon View Instructions.

For group sales (ten or more) and special viewings call 866.868.7774.

Give the gift of butterflies! Take your friends and family on a new adventure. Gift certificates for any denomination are available at the Natural History Museum Butterfly Pavilion Box Office, and all IMAX and Planetarium Box Offices.

Disclaimers
Prices and Schedules are subject to change; in unforeseen circumstances, the Pavilion may be closed without notice.

Entry times are subject to change; call for current information.

No REFUNDS or EXCHANGES.

Butterfly Pavilion location
The Pavilion is on the second floor on the west side of the Rotunda at the Natural History Museum. The related exhibit, Partners in Evolution is adjacent to the Butterfly Paviliion and is free of charge. Museum maps and assistance are available at either of the two Information Desks, one in the Rotunda facing the National Mall (Madison Avenue), the other in the lobby facing Constitution Avenue.

Museum location
There are two Museum entrances. The north entrance is located at 10th street NW and Constitution Avenue. The south entrance is directly opposite on Madison Avenue between 9th and 12th streets NW. Print a map.

Credit: Illustration of Giant Hawk Moth (Xanthopan morganii praedicta) feeding on Madagascar Star Orchid (Angraecum sesquipedale) by Emily S. Damstra

Ticket Sales:

Buy Tickets
In Advance

Telephone
866.868.7774
202.633.8850 (TTY)

On the Internet

Natural History Box Offices

Smithsonian Box Offices

FAQs

Tickets are required for the Butterfly Pavilion.

Price per ticket:
Adults $6
Seniors $5.50 (60+)
Children $5 (2 to 12)
Members $5 (available by phone or at box office)
Groups $4.50 (10 or more, advance purchase by phone; 1 free ticket for every 20)
Groups $5 (10 or more, no advance reservations; no free tickets)
 
Tickets are timed-entry at 15-minute intervals, 40 tickets per interval. There must be one adult for every 10 children or students.
 
Tuesdays - no charge - but FREE TIMED-ENTRY TICKETS ARE REQUIRED and are available at the Butterfly Pavilion Box Office each Tuesday beginning at 10:00 am.
 
Pavilion capacity is limited; it is advisable to come early to secure tickets.

Butterfly exhibit illustration

Hours of Operation:

Butterfly Pavilion Hours

Regular Hours
  First Entry: 10:15am
  Final Entry: 5:00pm*

Extended Hours
Daily, March 20 to April 20
Fridays & Saturdays,
  April 25 to May 17
Daily, May 24 to Sept 1
  First Entry: 10:15am
  Final Entry: 6:00pm*
  Exhibit Close: 6:30pm*
  Museum Close: 7:30pm*

* Exceptions: Evenings when the Museum closes early for special events. The Museum is closed on December 25.
 
See Museum Closing Times for additional information, including early closing for special events.

* * * * * * *

Museum Regular Hours
  10:00 am-5:30 pm*

Museum Extended Hours
  10:00 am-7:30 pm*
On these dates:
Daily, March 20 to April 20
  & April 25-27
Fridays & Saturdays,
  May 2-17
Daily, May 24 to Sept 1

* Exceptions: Evenings when the Museum closes early for special events. The Museum is closed on December 25.
 
See Museum Closing Times for additional information, including early closing for special events.

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