Hunting for the perfect indoor activity for the whole family? Or are you looking for a unique kids birthday party idea? Then look no further than the Butterfly Biosphere at Thanksgiving Point’s Water Tower Plaza. With over a thousand butterflies from around the world, the 40,000 square foot facility is the largest butterfly conservatory in North America. It's a great place to escape the hustle and bustle.
Without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about the Butterfly Biosphere.
Where is the Butterfly Biosphere?
The Butterfly Biosphere is located at Thanksgiving Point—a farm, garden, and museum complex in Lehi, Utah. It sits in the southeast part of the campus, just north of the Museum of Ancient Life.
How do I get to the Butterfly Biosphere?
To access the Butterfly Biosphere, take Exit 284 toward UT-92 W. Turn onto N Thanksgiving Way, turn right, and then left. Google or Apple Maps should also get you there. Click here for a full map of the campus.
What kinds of butterflies will I see at the Butterfly Biosphere?
These aren’t your average Utah butterflies. The Butterfly Biosphere houses more than a thousand butterflies from dozens of species across the globe. In the climate-controlled environment, you'll see butterflies big and small. You'll also enjoy beautiful plants and flowers from their natural habitat. Experts from the biosphere say there are anywhere from 60 to 76 species of butterflies flying about, and between 800 and 1200 in the conservatory at any one time.
You’ll also see butterflies in the chrysalis or pupal stage, hanging behind glass in a controlled environment. Once matured, between one and two hundred are released into the conservatory daily.
What butterfly species might I see in the conservatory?
The conservatory houses upwards of 70 different species when it’s at full capacity. This includes butterflies from Central and South America, such as the Blue Morpho, Longwing, Malachite, Glass Wing, and Owl butterflies. Some of the other butterflies come from Asia and African countries. These butterflies include species like the Emerald Swallowtail, Paper Kite, and Clipper butterflies as well as moth species like the African Moon Moth, and the Atlas Moth.
What are the hours of operation for the Butterfly Biosphere?
The hours can vary, and you’ll often need an appointment to visit, so it’s best to consult their website here.
What other activities are available at the Butterfly Biosphere?
On top of the butterfly terrarium, there are many other activities available at the Butterfly Biosphere. Kids can explore in the Costa Rica Climber and Discovery Zone, or learn about insects and invertebrates at interactive exhibits. At many times of the year, there are even live shows where experts talk about butterflies and other invertebrates. Sometimes a worker may let you touch a large centipede or other creepy crawler.
What time of day is best to visit the Butterfly Biosphere?
The butterflies are usually most active around mid-day. In the late afternoon, they begin roosting for the night. That said, evenings are a great time for photographs, as the butterflies are more still. It’s also the time when the large owl butterflies take flight. The Costa Rica Climber and Discovery Zone is a great place for kids to play at all hours of the day. So no matter when you go, there’ll be something to do at the Butterfly Biosphere.
What are the best videos about the Butterfly Biosphere?
If you’d like an inside look at the Butterfly Biosphere, there are several great videos available on YouTube. Watch some from the publishers below.
- Thanksgiving Point
- Explore Utah Valley
- Art For Kids Hub Family
- Richard Glassford II who talks with a butterfly expert
- Happy Boy Productions
- The Fife Life
What do the Butterfly Biosphere reviews say?
The reviews on Butterfly Biosphere are quite positive. You’ll find a lot of great information and photos if you look around a bit. Yelp has a lot of in-depth reviews, as does Tripadvisor and Google Reviews.
How much does the Butterfly Biosphere cost?
Individual tickets are on sale for $20 for adults, $17 for youth (ages 13-24) and seniors (65+), and $15 for children (ages 3-12). Kids 2 and under are free. Keep in mind that if you’re not a Thanksgiving Point member, you’ll need to schedule a time online. For an extra fee of just $3 or $4, you can enjoy a Butterfly Release Experience.
Click here for specific Butterfly Biosphere pricing information.
Click here for Butterfly Release Experience pricing information.
Entrance to the Butterfly Biosphere is included with a Thanksgiving Point membership. That annual pass costs $100 per individual or $275 or more for a family. The membership gives you access to all five Thanksgiving Point attractions, so you can go at your leisure.
Does Butterfly Biosphere do field trips and birthday parties?
Yes. The Butterfly Biosphere hosts both field trips and birthday parties.
Click here for more information on field trips.
Click here for more information on birthday parties.
Can I take a butterfly home from the Butterfly Biosphere?
While you are not permitted to take a live butterfly home, guests are able to purchase deceased butterfly specimens. The adult butterfly lives only two to four weeks, so after living their full life, they pass away in the conservatory. The Butterfly Biosphere hopes to give them a second life of sorts by allowing them to be used for learning, pinning, or art. Info can be found at the Biosphere front desk.
Enjoy some time with butterflies
It’s hard to put into words the exciting experiences you’ll have at the Thanksgiving Point Butterfly Biosphere. Keep in mind that the number and variety of butterflies changes throughout the year depending on a number of circumstances. So check the site or give them a call for the latest information and take a visit when you have the chance. You won’t regret it.