The Butterfly Rainforest will be closed due to weather Jan 17-18. Behind-the-scenes tours available on Thursday. More Info

Photos available

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — “Do you have a thing for wings?” Join the Florida Museum of Natural History along with community partners for the inaugural Florida Butterfly Festival Oct. 14-15.

Experience butterflies like never before through expertly guided field trips to natural areas in and around Gainesville. Family activities will entice even the youngest participants to develop a lifelong appreciation and enjoyment of our natural surroundings.

Participants can experience the amazing world of butterflies and learn about the challenges faced throughout their life cycle, including insight into how other cultures perceive this magical creature through a series of lectures by world renowned naturalists.

“We anticipate this will become an annual festival that will draw visitors from throughout Florida and the United States,” Florida Museum Director Doug Jones said. “With the opening of the new McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity, the Florida Museum is now the world’s largest research facility for butterflies and moths, so it just seems natural that we would hold this kind of event.”

Participants also may enjoy butterfly gardening, photography and specimen preparation workshops. Specialists will provide tips to help visitors fine-tune backyard gardens and improve photography skills.

Already an avid photographer? Then enter the butterfly photography contest offering cash prizes to the top five entries with winners to be published in a calendar by the Arts Association of Alachua County.

Registration opens Aug. 21 for this premier destination festival. Field trips will fill quickly so make plans now to attend the Florida Butterfly Festival and experience the natural beauty of Alachua County, located in the heart of Northcentral Florida. For more information visit or call (352) 846-2000, ext. 200.

Community partners include the Arts Association of Alachua County, Alachua County Visitors and Convention Bureau, City of Gainesville Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts and the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art.

Media contact: Paul Ramey, (352) 846-2000,