Museum open Wed–Mon, Sea Center open daily; both 10:00 AM–5:00 PM
May 20, 2024

Sprague Butterfly Pavilion Opens Memorial Day Weekend at SB Museum of Natural History

• Butterflies Alive! summer exhibit open May 25–Sept 2, 2024
• Museum open Wed–Mon (closed Tues), 10:00 AM–5:00 PM Last entry into pavilion at 4:30 PM.
• Reservations recommended at

The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History will open its extremely popular annual summer exhibit Butterflies Alive! on Saturday, May 25 through Monday, September 2 (Memorial Day through Labor Day weekends).

Featuring a stunning array of more than two dozen tropical butterfly species from Costa Rica, this immersive experience welcomes guests to walk through a lush pollinator garden while roughly 1,000 live butterflies flutter freely around them. Guests can wander through a mix of native and non-native plants and uncover butterflies hidden around every corner. Interpreters throughout add to the enchanting experience with insect facts. No visit is the same with the abundant varieties of species emerging each week.

Director of Guest Experience Kim Zsembik shares, “Guests can delight in two experiences by viewing our butterfly emergence chamber and live butterfly garden. We rear more than 5,000 butterfly chrysalids each summer and will host more than 24 species of butterfly. Nowhere in nature do you see these sparkling and dazzling chrysalids all together. We hope this inspires curiosity and interest in learning more about the life cycles of insects.”

The exhibit is included with admission and open Wednesday to Monday, 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Last entry into the pavilion is at 4:30 PM. Reservations are recommended at

If you would like to support the butterfly care and habitat maintenance of this exquisite exhibit, you can do so and receive recognition on the Museum’s Wall of Wings. To donate, please visit or contact Development Assistant Robert Shutt at 805-682-4711 ext.110 or

To plan your Butterflies Alive! experience, visit

Download Press Release (PDF)