Family-Friendly Butterfly Garden

Fun activities at the Butterfly House at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis help ward off the cold and put you and your children in the midst of the tropical paradise.

Join in the fun at the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis.

Join in the fun at the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis.

courtesy Missouri Botanical Garden

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Shed your winter coats and mittens and step into a tropical paradise at the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House’s annual wintertime event, Hot! Hot! Hot! This family-friendly event features tropical-themed activities, games and crafts that will make you forget the chilly weather outside. The event is held Saturday and Sunday, January 29 and 30 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and is included with Butterfly House admission.

The 8,000 square-foot tropical conservatory provides the setting at a constant balmy 85 degree temperature. Hundreds of beautiful butterflies, lush tropical plants, pools and waterfalls will make you feel like you are in the midst of a tropical paradise. 

Participate in fun activities designed for families with children aged 3 through 8. Help a damselfly escape from predators and challenge faux flies and spiders in a game of tic-tac-toe. Assist a spider’s safe return to her sticky web and attempt to catch a play butterfly in free flight. Take aim at some gigantic bugs, race remote control bugs around a tropical maze, lasso pink flamingos and bowl using coconut bowling balls and pineapple pins.

Take-home crafts include “Sneaky Spider,” an optical illusion made by mysteriously adding a spider to an empty web. “Incredible Insects” provides hundreds of bug stickers for kids to choose from to design unique wristbands.  Create a futuristic bug mask at the “Bug-a-Boo” station. Visit the “Butterfly Breakfast” post to attach a proboscis to a butterfly cut-out and watch it unfurl to sip nectar.

Dance to the groovy tropical sounds of live steel drums, hit the “beach” to build a sandcastle in the toddler sandbox and get your face painted in exotic colors to mark the day’s adventures.

“It’s a great family event that is educational at the same time,” said Mark Deering, director of the Butterfly House. “Where else in Saint Louis can you walk in from a cold January day and shed your coat in the tropics?”

The mission of the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House is “to foster a greater understanding of plant and animal relationships in the environment in order to promote the conservation and restoration of natural habitats.”

The Butterfly House is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) and a division of the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Hot! Hot! Hot! activities are included with Butterfly House admission of  $6 for adults, $4.50 for seniors (ages 65 and over) and $4 for children (ages 3 to 12). Children ages 2 and under and Missouri Botanical Garden members are free.

The Butterfly House is located at 15193 Olive Blvd. at Faust Park in Chesterfield, Mo., accessible from Interstate 64 at exit #19B. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays (closed Mondays); Memorial Day to Labor Day, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The last ticket is sold 30 minites prior to closing each day.

For more information, visit the website for the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House or call 636-530-0076. Follow the Butterfly House on Facebook.