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Butterfly Rainforest, Gainesville

(4.8/5 based on 800+ reviews on the web)
Perfectly mimicking a lush, tropical ecosystem, Butterfly Rainforest is one of the main attractions of the Florida Museum of Natural History. The large outdoor enclosure is adjacent to the main building and houses hundreds of butterflies from around the world, as well as tropical birds, fish, and turtles. Admire the free-flying butterflies as you wander the habitat, featuring trees, flowering plants, waterfalls, and a pond. You might have the pleasant surprise of a butterfly landing on you. The releases of newly-hatched butterflies occurs daily, weather permitting. While general admission to the museum is free, you have to purchase a ticket to enter the rainforest. Plan your Butterfly Rainforest visit and explore what else you can see and do in Gainesville using our Gainesville itinerary builder.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Traveling through the area, we visited this beautiful indoor Butterfly Rainforest! It is located inside the Florida Historical Museum of Natural History, Florida University. There is a fee, graduated ...  more »
  • A walk through the Butterfly Rainforest is an enchanting experience. You can see hundreds of butterflies in a natural environment - surrounded by beautiful flowers. I've always loved butterflies and b...  more »
  • We arrived at 4 PM...they let the last folks in at 4:30 PM and it closes at 5 PM. We just missed the 4pm butterfly release but there were so many flying about. I have never seen many of the types that...  more »
Google
  • You’ll see more butterflies during your visit here than most people will see in a lifetime. The Butterfly Rainforest at the Florida Museum of Natural History is a great family outing. Not only will you see thousands of live butterflies, but there’s also thousands more on display before you enter the exhibit. You’ll be greeted by many unique patterns and colors as the butterflies glide past you, looking to feast on some banana or other nectar. The paths are small, but luckily it wasn’t too crowded when we visited. It’s not a huge area, but you could spend about an hour in here if you’re looking to see many different types of butterflies. Keep in mind there is an extra cost, that we felt was worth it. This is a cool adventure if you’re up in the Gainesville, FL area or willing to travel a bit and make a day of this and the art museum next door.
  • Amazing. Staff were all engaging and friendly. Well worth the small admission price. Museum was also very interesting.
  • Wonderful stop on our travels through the area. Great visit with the butterflies and talking with the lepidopterist staff. It was also interesting to see some of the University of Florida. Only wish they had more convenient parking for those with campers or anything larger than a passenger vehicle.
  • This place is awesome! Beautifully maintained gardens and an astounding number of butterflies to watch and photograph. The staff is very friendly and helpful. Everyday they release the newly hatched butterflies and the staff member gives information about each type as they are released! Don't forget your camera with a macro lens because there are beautiful tropical flowers too!!
  • Though the area isn't large, it is completely filled with butterflies, as well as other small creatures (birds, fish, turtles). It is a great experience for all ages!