Frederik Meijer Gardens Butterflies Take Flight
Frederik Meijer Gardens
1000 E Beltline Ave NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525
A sure sign of spring, the Frederik Meijer Gardens Butterflies are Blooming exhibit is coming into view for 2023! This popular event draws visitors from near and far every March to April each year.
If you’re looking for a hearty dose of sunshine, a visit to the Meijer Gardens butterflies might just be it. In addition to the thousands of fluttering beauties, fragrant hyacinths, tulips, and daffodils flank the caterpillar room.
The display also takes over the cavernous Meijer Gardens Tropical Conservatory, inviting you to walk amidst 7,000 tropical butterflies of 60 different species fluttering in the sunlight overhead.
It’s a unique – and warm – 85-degree experience in 70% humidity – that you won’t want to miss.
2023 Meijer Gardens Butterflies are Blooming
Dates: March 1, 2023 – April 30, 2023.
Hours: Extended hours on Tuesday evenings – the Gardens are open till 9 pm. Standard hours are observed all other days.
8 Tips for Visiting the Meijer Gardens Butterflies
Follow these insider tips to make the most of your experience!
1) Start in the Caterpillar Room
The butterflies you will see started out as caterpillars. In the caterpillar room, you have the chance to find them hiding on green leafy plants all over the room.
Since these caterpillars are native to Michigan, they do not have to be contained like the butterflies in the larger exhibit do.
Docents are usually on hand and love to answer questions about the life-cycle of a caterpillar – just ask!
2) Use the Brochure
Colorful butterfly identification guides are available as a QR code on your mobile phone. This free guide highlights all of the different butterflies.
If you’re visiting with kids, consider turning your visit into an I Spy game.
3) Visit the Butterfly Bungalow Observation Station
This large Observation Station positions butterfly chrysalis at eye level for kids and adults. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to see moths and butterflies at various stages of emergence.
This is a great place to pull out your brochure. Kids love identifying the different types of butterflies they find in the butterfly bungalow.
You may also see FMG staff collecting butterflies from the Observation Station and releasing them throughout the day. (More on that in the next tip.)
4) Watch a Butterfly Release
If you’re lucky, you’ll get to watch horticulturalists release butterflies into the conservatory.
There is no set time for this, but if you see a uniformed person enter the Butterfly Bungalow, stick around because you might be in for a treat. Chances of seeing a release are greater in the earliest days of the exhibit, as staff work to populate the butterfly room.
5) Seek Out Feeding Stations
Feeding stations are where the butterflies love to congregate.
What’s on the menu? Delicious, juicy overripe fruit as well as a honey-water beverage. Cheers!
6) Bring a Flashlight
On Tuesday evenings, Meijer Gardens stays open late, til 9 pm.
If you’re visiting after dark, bring your flashlight and search for butterflies tucked away under the cover of darkness.
7) Visit the Children’s Garden for Outdoor Butterfly Activities
Visiting the Meijer Gardens butterflies with kids?
The Children’s Garden is a fantastic place for kids to blow off steam any time of year – even in snow pants. (Bring outdoor gear for this activity.)
– Navigate the Butterfly Maze
– Discover butterfly and moth-themed books and a giant butterfly puzzle in the Log Cabin
– Pose for a photo in the people-sized butterfly chair
Pro tip: Pack a bag of winter coats and boots for the Children’s Garden. Leave it in the coatroom while you visit the butterflies and then head outside to play!
And, if outdoor play isn’t your thing, you can always visit the Curiosity Courtyard on the lower level.
The remainder of the children’s garden is open for exploration, too.
The treehouse is always a hit!
If you’re visiting and would like a lovely walk, stroll the campus and be sure to stop by the Japanese Garden for waterfalls and other delights.
Of course, there is artwork to appreciate anywhere you turn.
8) Attend a Meijer Gardens Butterflies Special Event
This year, several special butterfly-themed events are planned.
Who Am I? A Butterfly Ballet
February 25 & 26, 2023
Told through the eyes of a newly emerged butterfly, the story captivates young and old alike. With colorful costumes, spectacular music, and exquisite choreography, this enchanting performance provides a unique and memorable experience. 1 hour. $5 members, $10 non-members.
Spring Break: Butterfly Fun!
Monday, April 3 from 10am-12pm OR Wednesday, April 5 from 1-3pm
Ages: 4 and 5. Fee.
Night of the Butterflies | Member Family Parties
Monday, March 13: 6:00-8:00pm
Sunday, March 19: 6:00-8:00pm
Sunday, April 2: 6:00-8:00pm
Monday, April 10: 6:00-8:00pm
These member Night With the Butterflies Family Parties include entertainment, art activities, and a snack. Bring your flashlights to find the butterflies as they roost in the trees. Registration required. To register, visit: Butterfly2023FMG or Email at [email protected]
Adult Only Party (18+)
Monday, March 27: 7:00 to 9:00 pm
Make it a date night, check-in as early as 5:00pm, during which time you’ll have access to the DeVos Keeler Gift Shop and Balk Café for shopping, dining, and drinks.
There will be entertainment, photo booth, cash-only bar, and a light snack that begin at 7:00pm when access to the Exhibition and Gardens will also open. Register
Admission Rates & Hours
The Frederik Meijer Gardens Butterflies exhibit is open daily, from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM, except for Sundays (open at 11:00 AM) and Tuesdays (open until 9:00 PM).
ADMISSION & TICKETS
A daily admission ticket is required for all guests. Tickets may be purchased online in advance.
|Rates as of February 2023|
|Senior (65 and older)||$15|
|Student (with student ID)||$15|
|Child (age 3-13)||$10|
|Child (age 0-2)||Free|
WIN Tickets to Meijer Gardens Butterflies
We are giving away a family four-pack of tickets to Frederik Meijer Gardens to see the butterflies!
Enter here for a chance to win.
This giveaway will close on March 8, 2023, at 11 pm and the winners will be notified via email. The winner will have 24 hours to respond by email accepting the prize. No purchase necessary to enter the contest. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. You are providing your information to grkids.com and not to Facebook. Entrants will release Facebook from all liability. Entrants must be at least 21 years of age and reside in Michigan. Only one entry per household or IP address. Grand Rapids Kids’ liability is limited to the value of the prize.
Are there butterflies at the Frederik Meijer Gardens?
Yes, if you time it right. The Meijer Gardens butterflies display is open annually during the months of March and April.
How big is the butterfly exhibit?
The Meijer Gardens butterflies exhibit is the largest temporary tropical butterfly exhibit in the country and includes over 7000 butterflies.
How much is the butterfly exhibit at Meijer Gardens?
A visit to the Meijer Gardens butterflies exhibit is included with general admission. Daily entrance rates for nonmembers are $20 for adults (ages 14-64) and $10 for children (ages 3-13). FMG members get in free.
Can I Touch the Butterflies?
Do not reach for the butterflies or touch them. However, if you stand very still, a butterfly may choose to land on you. Wearing bright colors may encourage a butterfly to land and increase your odds!
How long does it take to visit the Meijer Gardens butterflies?
Plan to spend 2-3 hours visiting the Meijer Garden butterflies. This timeframe is dependent on the size of the crowd during your visit. Wait times swell during spring break and diminish on weekdays.
When is the best time to visit the Meijer Gardens butterflies?
Butterflies are most active on sunny days, so if your schedule is flexible, pay attention to the weather. The best bet for small crowds is on a weekday first thing in the morning or during the late afternoon, about an hour before closing. The busiest times are on weekends and over spring break.
Can I bring a stroller or wheelchair into the butterfly exhibit?
Yes, the Meijer Gardens butterflies exhibit is accessible for wheelchairs and strollers. However, due to the popularity of the event, if you are bringing a baby, it may be preferable to use a baby carrier.
What happens to the butterflies at Frederik Meijer Gardens?
Butterflies are shipped to Meijer Gardens from all around the world for this exhibit. They arrive in their pre-butterfly state as pupae, which are tiny caterpillars. Once at FMG, they eat and grow until they form cocoons. At this point, the cocoons are placed in the conservatory’s see-through Observation Station where you can watch the butterflies emerge. Staff periodically releases the butterflies into the conservatory, where they will live out their natural lifespan of several weeks.