Butterfly Pavilion to Open at the Natural History Museum

The outdoor experience will feature "new safety measures" when it flutters into the Exposition Park destination.


What to Know

  • Opens Sept. 18 (postponed from Sept. 11 due to air quality); member previews begin Aug. 28
  • Non-members may visit Fridays through Sundays; advance reservations are required
  • The indoor spaces of NHMLAC remain temporarily closed

While the day-to-day movements of humans have changed over the last six or so months, butterflies have kept to a long-established schedule.

They've flitted, floated, and flown with frequency, and they've continued to alight upon leaves, and felt the eternal pull of pretty flowers, with regularity.

You may have even seen a few spectacular flutter by moments, if you've been walking your neighborhood more often these days.

But where to go to spy a host of wing-rocking, oh-so-small superstars, and a huge variety of them, too?

The Butterfly Pavilion and Nature Gardens at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County has long been the answer to that question for butterfly buffs 'round these parts.

The outdoor pavilion remained shuttered in the spring of 2020, but it is set to return, with new safety protocols in place, on Sept. 18.

Member previews begin even earlier, on Aug. 28.

Capacity in the airy space will be limited to ten people at one time, face coverings are a must (for staff as well as guests), and you'll need to make advance reservations.

And if you're a non-member? Plan on planning your visit for a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.

As for the indoor areas of the museum? Those are still closed, temporarily.

"This outdoor museum experience features up to thirty species of butterflies and caterpillars in a netted enclosure filled with native plants and natural light, and provides spacious pathways to safely connect with nature in the heart of L.A.," shared the museum.

That means you may moon over a Monarch or two, yes, but you could also come across a butterfly you've never seen before. Past Pavilions have featured the marvelous mourning cloaks as well as buckeyes and grey crackers.

The museum revealed on its web site that the debut of the Butterfly Pavilion and Nature Gardens is "the first phase of our reopening after months of COVID-19 closure."

For more on safety policies, making advance reservations, and what you'll see once you're among the kaleidoscope of butterflies within, flutter-flutter over here.

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