The Butterfly Rainforest will be closed due to weather Jan 17-18. Behind-the-scenes tours available on Thursday. More Info
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A Celebration of Wings, Wildlife and Biodiversity!

ButterflyFest logo

ButterflyFest Oct. 8, 2017
Plant Sale Oct. 6-8, 2017

ButterflyFest, kids playing

ButterflyFest is an annual FREE festival to celebrate backyard wildlife with an emphasis on pollinators! From native butterfly releases, live animals, workshops and plant sales to vendors, entertainment and food, all activities are fun-for-all-ages!

ButterflyFest is dedicated to increasing awareness of Florida’s butterflies as fun, fascinating ambassadors to the natural world. Activities will promote inquiry and provide a call to action for the conservation and preservation of backyard wildlife and habitats.


ButterflyFest, girl holding snakeAdmission

While the Butterfly Rainforest exhibit requires an admission price, the festival and ButterflyFest activities are FREE!

Butterfly Rainforest exhibit admission is $13 for adults ($11 Fla. residents) and $6 for ages 3-17. Admission is free for Museum members and UF students with a valid Gator 1 card. Some vendors may charge for their services.

Note: The Museum does not have an ATM on-site.


Free parking is available in the large Cultural Plaza parking lot and garage adjacent to the Museum. Campus decal restrictions are not enforced on weekends.

Activities are ongoing on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.:

  • Refreshments, Vendors & Plant Sale (Outside)
  • Educational Groups (Various Locations Inside)
  • Children’s Area (Outside)
  • UF NATL Bug Catching and ID Tours (Outside)
  • LifeSouth Bloodmobile Blood Donation (Outside)

(Subject to change)

Saturday Oct. 7, 2017

Time Type Event Location
8-9:30 a.m. Workshop ($) Picture Perfect Photography Workshop Butterfly Rainforest

Sunday Oct. 8, 2017


Time Type Event Location
8-9:30 a.m. Workshop ($) Picture Perfect Photography Workshop Butterfly Rainforest
11:30 a.m. Workshop Butterfly Gardening Basics Front Classroom
12:30 p.m. Activity Pollinator Parade Outside
1 p.m. Activity Native Florida Butterfly Release Outside
2 p.m. Workshop Monarchs and Their Migration Front Classroom
4 p.m. Activity Native Florida Butterfly Release Outside

The Museum will be open on Sunday from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.

($) – Not free. Pre-registration required. See link for more details.

ButterflyFest features a large three-day plant sale with more than 150 species of difficult-to-find and butterfly-friendly plants. Learn how to attract butterflies to your home and which plants are proven winners.

Friday, Oct. 6, 2017 | 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017 | 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017 | 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

The Florida Museum is hosting the fifth annual ButterflyFest Facebook Photo Challenge! The challenge is designed to educate and promote awareness of biodiversity and wildlife through photography.

Capture your best picture and enter by 11:59 p.m. EDT on Monday, Sept. 18 for your chance to win prizes! Anyone, at any age, can enter this free challenge.

The Museum will post the top 10 images from entries received on its Facebook page Sept. 25, and the public will select the overall winner online via the most ‘likes.’ In addition, there will be a Judges’ Award given to the judging panel’s favorite image.

The winning photographers will be recognized during ButterflyFest.

Entry Guidelines

Pollination Station

Boy playing at ButterflyFestInteractive stations will give children the opportunity to simulate the pollination process of four key pollinators: bats, birds, bees and butterflies. Kids will gather in groups to learn about the actions of these pollinators while discovering how they impact and contribute to our daily lives.

Join us for a chance to win prizes and explore pollination through hands-on activities. This area is open throughout the festival on the lawn next to the parking garage.

Pollinator Parade

ButterflyFest paradeSunday, Oct. 8, 2017 | 12:30 p.m. (Children’s Area)

Wear your own pollinator costume for all Museum visitors to see as we celebrate these amazing animals during the annual Pollinator Parade! This is your chance to join bees, butterflies, bats and birds as we pledge to ensure the future of pollinators. The parade will begin in the Children’s Area.



  • At Fairy Lane: Handmade treasures for kids and adults, fairies, mermaids, fairy houses and other unique items
  • Bird Brain Inventions: Solar lit wind chimes, solar lit hummingbird feeders, sports logo magnets
  • Cross Creek Honey: Florida floral varieties of honey, beeswax candles, bath treats, other beeswax goods
  • The Dragon’s Hoard: Handmade silver and stone items, handcrafted signs, minerals and fossils and items made from them
  • Easy Journey Entertainment: Face painting, temp. tattoos
  • Gator Jewelry Design: Handmade jewelry
  • Grandma’s Gourds & Glass: Hand-painted gourd birdhouses, butterfly houses, gourd baskets and wine glasses
  • Green Grackle Studio: Jewelry and hair accessories handcrafted from resin and antique science illustrations that create a wearable natural history museum
  • Holbrook Travel / Expedition Travel: Travel specializing in educational travel programs for groups and individuals, with trips focused on Lepidoptera, birding, photography, natural history, culture, ecotourism, and other special interests
  • Lady Z’s Treasure Box: Quality handmade jewelry and accessories utilizing natural elements (animal bone, stone, wood, feathers, etc.)
  • Natelle Draws Stuff: Jewelry, accessories, bags, purses, art prints, cards and stickers
  • Natural Treasures Farm & Nursery: Fruit and nut trees, herbs, vegetables and Florida native plants
  • Nique’s Boutique: Yarn and material creations, including sewn/quilted purses and bags, towels, wash cloths, crocheted coasters, stuffed animals and toys
  • PlanetShelly: Fandom jewelry, self-published novels
  • Purple Star Clay: Clay jewelry
  • Samm Wehman Art: Animal and butterfly artwork, including custom pet portraits or canvas paintings, painted clam shells, wine glasses, mugs, prints and greeting cards
  • The Painting Sister: Painted wooden items, including framed mirrors, bowls and jewelry
  • UF Entomology & Nematology Student Organization (UF ENSO): T-shirts
  • Wide Eyed Designs: Stained glass art, needle felted art and enamel pins

Museum Gift Shops – Collectors and Butterfly

Butterflyfest overhead view

Make sure to stop by the Museum Collectors Shop and Butterfly Gift Shop for unique natural history, science and butterfly-themed items. The perfect spot to get your wings for the Pollinator Parade! Members receive a 10 percent discount on all purchases in the Museum Gift Shops.

Payment Options

The Museum does not have an ATM, so visitors are encouraged to bring cash if they would like to purchase items from festival vendors (as they may or may not offer other payment options).

Volunteer opportunities are offered annually for ButterflyFest, including assisting with the plant sale, nonprofit tables, activities and more! There are wide varieties of jobs available. Volunteers must be 18 and older with the exception of current Museum Junior Volunteers.

Sign Up Online to Volunteer

Questions? Contact the Volunteer Coordinator, Amy Hester at 352-273-2055 or email


For information on becoming a ButterflyFest sponsor, please contact Kara Schwartz at 352-273-2047 or email

UF Sustainable sealGainesvilleSun logo



Name: Catherine Carey, ButterflyFest

Phone: 352-273-2064



Florida Museum of Natural History

3215 Hull Road
Gainesville, FL 32611

Phone: 352-846-2000


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