Museum open Weds–Mon, Sea Center on Stearns Wharf open daily; both 10:00 AM–5:00 PM
May 23, 2022

Butterfly Pavilion at SB Museum of Natural History Welcomes Spectacular Tropical Species

The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History opens its popular summer exhibit Butterflies Alive! on Saturday, May 28. For the first time, the exhibit will feature more than a dozen colorful tropical species from Costa Rica in addition to favorites like the Malachite, Julia Longwing, Gulf Fritillary, Common Buckeye, and Eastern Giant Swallowtail. New species include the spectacular Blue Morpho, Giant Owl, Tiger Longwing, and Blue-frosted Banner, among others.

Guests are invited to walk through a serene garden while nearly 1,000 live butterflies flutter freely around them. Various butterfly species cycle through the Sprague Butterfly Pavilion during the summer, so no two visits are the same.

Director of Guest Experience Kim Zsembik shares, “We are excited to welcome these species from Costa Rica for the first time to Butterflies Alive! We know guests will be awed when witnessing the Blue Morpho take flight. It’s a must-see!”

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

The Museum is also offering volunteer opportunities to guide guests through the unique experience. Adults who are able to commit to one 2.5-hour shift per week are encouraged to apply at Bilingual English/Spanish speakers and those available to volunteer on weekends are especially helpful in sharing this community favorite with the public.

To plan your Butterflies Alive! experience, visit

Download Press Release (PDF)