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I’d like to thank The Butterfly Palace in Branson, Missouri, for sponsoring our visit. As usual, all opinions are honest and my own.
When you think of rainforests, Branson, Missouri, is probably not the first place that comes to mind. Still, you can get a little taste of the rainforest right here in the Ozarks. The Butterfly Palace in Branson is a lovely celebration of some of the most beautiful creatures on Earth.
Arriving at The Butterfly Palace
The Butterfly Palace is at the very end of the “strip” as you head west as if you were going to drive to Silver Dollar City. The building itself sits on top of a hill.
Right inside the entrance is a gift shop filled with many butterfly-inspired items. It’s fun to just look through this area. Right in the center of the room is the ticket booth.
There are two floors with various activities. You use a large ramp to get to the second floor, so there’s no need to worry about stairs!
The Butterfly Aviary
Of course, the main attraction is the butterfly aviary. We actually opted to do this first. You can come and go inside the aviary as much as you want, so we kept that in mind as we planned our visit. We arrived just after the morning release of new butterflies, so we wanted to get in there as quickly as possible!
To prevent the butterflies from escaping, you will enter through three sets of doors. The aviary is a peaceful place, and sometimes a man was playing live music to set the mood. As soon as you enter, you can pick up your butterfly-spotting tools.
The charts are helpful in identifying the butterflies.
You can also pick up a test tube of nectar with a flower on it to attract butterflies to you. Kristin enjoyed this part.
And boy, did we attract butterflies!
Sometimes more than one at a time.
They did like that nectar. As soon as one or two flew away, another would come.
They landed everywhere. On a shoulder…
On a shoe…
And even on a head!
We wandered around the paths in the aviary. Everywhere we turned we could see butterflies. The Butterfly Palace personnel also put out containers of fruit for the butterflies, which they seemed to enjoy. I just felt such a sense of peace watching them.
We continued exploring and snapping pictures; it was just so fun!
Each butterfly was more beautiful than the last!
We actually spent much more time here than we were expecting.
I could share pictures of these beautiful butterflies all day!
Inside the aviary, you can also see where they care for the butterflies before they have emerged from their chrysalises.
The Butterfly Palace purchases the butterflies from a butterfly farm in Costa Rica called El Bosque Nuevo. The farming of these butterflies provides an income for the owners and workers in Costa Rica. With the profits of the farm, El Bosque Nuevo is able to purchase back acres of rainforest, and once they have purchased the land, it becomes protected. When you visit The Butterfly Palace, you are aiding in the conservation of the rainforests! To learn more about El Bosque Nuevo, click here.
We decided to stay for the second release. As long as there are enough butterflies to go around, all children can release a butterfly. It was fun to watch butterflies take their first flights!
Additional Activities at the Butterfly Palace
In addition to the aviary, there are several other activities that you can experience. One helpful activity is the educational films they show in a viewing room. We went straight to the aviary, but then we did the activities and went back to the aviary afterward. I do recommend seeing the films and then going into the aviary. If you think you will do multiple trips into the aviary, it’s okay to go in the aviary first. But we had a lot of our questions answered by the films, and some of the experience was a little more meaningful after we picked up a little knowledge.
You can also see some other animals that make their home in the rainforest in the Living Rainforest Science Center. We had fun looking at the various animals. They do offer critter encounters twice daily, so check your schedule for the times. You can also lose yourself in the Emerald Forest Mirror Maze. It was the first time any of us had done a mirror maze, so you can imagine how clumsy we were and how many laughs we had. If you have younger children in your party, you can explore the Great Banyan Tree Adventure. This area has bungee cords and rainforest decor to bring out the explorer in your child.
We had a wonderful time at The Butterfly Palace. We spent longer than we initially thought we would; we were just so captivated by the butterflies! It was just one of those places that we have thought about going to, but we always put it off. I’m so glad we decided to go! It was just so much more than we were expecting. This is also a great place to keep in mind when weather may derail other plans. It was a cool respite from the hot temperatures of July when we were there. If you are planning a trip to Branson, be sure to put The Butterfly Palace on your list of family fun!
To learn more about what you can do to help butterflies thrive, please check out DIY Garden!