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Blooming ButterfliesOlbrich's Blooming Butterflies


*Canceled for 2020*

Anticipated 2021 Dates:

Thursday, July 15 - Sunday, August 8, 2021

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. daily


Butterfly Action Day - GOES ONLINE!

Friday, July 31, 2020
10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

No cost to attend or participate, but there is a separate cost to enter Blooming Butterflies.

Butterfly Action DayJoin us virtually for a special day with representatives from local monarch conservation organizations as they highlight what you can do to help the population. Monarchs make one of the longest known insect migration on earth and everyone can make a difference in supporting their spectacular journey!


About Olbrich's Blooming Butterflies

Experience the magnificence of free-flying butterflies while strolling through the tropical Bolz Conservatory. Live butterflies emerge from chrysalises daily in the Conservatory, including low-flyers like the playful yellow and black striped zebras and bright orange julias.

More than a dozen species of butterflies, native to both Wisconsin and the more tropical areas of the southern United States can be seen at various times during the exhibit.

The life span of different butterflies varies from a few weeks to a few months. All flying butterflies are allowed to live out their natural lives in the Conservatory, with food sources remaining for them after the exhibit dates.

To see how Olbrich staff and volunteers prepare for Olbrich's Blooming Butterflies, visit

Behind the Scenes of Blooming Butterflies

Butterfly Identification Guide (PDF)

Monarch Meet-Up
Learn about the plight of the Monarch through Monarch Meet-Up, a new program designed to educate visitors about the declining population of monarch butterflies and challenge visitors to take ACTION in monarch conservation.


Member Preview Day - canceled for 2020

Anticipated 2021 Date:

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Butterfly in Olbrich's Bolz Conservatory10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Be the first to see the live butterflies in the Bolz Conservatory during the second annual Member Preview Day at Olbrich's Blooming Butterflies! Olbrich members get an exclusive sneak peak of the exhibit one day before we open to the public.

This preview event is open to Olbrich members only. To become a member, call 246-4724 or visit our Membership page for more information!


Butterfly Scavenger Hunt - To Be Determined

Children can have fun while building their butterfly knowledge by traveling to four stations located throughout the outdoor gardens. While all of the stations will have fun facts about butterflies, only one of the stations will have a special password that the child can mark in the back of their activity booklet. Take the password back to the membership table outside the front entrance (or Greeter Desk after 4 p.m.) and receive a coupon for one free scoop of ice cream redeemable at any Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream location!

Butterfly Scavenger Hunt activity is only for children, and is available only with the purchase of a child ticket to Blooming Butterflies.


Insect collection display - Canceled for 2020

Butterfly CasesAll visitors to Olbrich Botanical Gardens and Olbrich's Blooming Butterflies can be amazed by hundreds of exotic butterflies and insects from one of the most impressive displays of exotic insects in North America. Dan Capps' collection ranges from butterflies to beetles to bees, and includes specimens from every continent.

Meet collector's son, Jeff Capps, in person and talk to him about the amazing insect collection on Fridays from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.


Group Visits to Olbrich's Blooming Butterflies

School groups, daycares, camps, bus tours, and other groups are welcome to visit Olbrich's Blooming Butterflies. We hope you will join us for this truly amazing event and register your group for a visit.

Groups larger than 10 people must register in advance. Please contact someone on our Education team at 608-245-3648 or olbricheducation@cityofmadison.com to schedule a time for your group to visit so we can provide the best experience possible for your group as well as other visitors.

Limited dates and times may be available for group visits.

For adult groups visiting, one group leader will receive free admission into the exhibit. For youth groups visiting, one adult per every eight children will receive free admission into the exhibit, and any additional adults will be charged the regular admission pricing.

Payment can be made on arrival with the Event Manager. Cash, check, debit or credit card (Visa, MasterCard or Discover) are accepted. Please do not bring carry-in food or drink into the building. Outdoor picnic areas are available nearby.


Accessibility at Olbrich's Blooming Butterflies

Wheelchairs and motorized scooters are allowed in the Bolz Conservatory during Olbrich's Blooming Butterflies. For more information about Olbrich's wheelchairs and scooters available for use, please visit the Accessibility Page.



For the enjoyment of all visitors, the use of strollers is discouraged inside the Conservatory. Stroller parking is available in the lobby.


2019 Sponsors

Alliant Energy


John J. Frautschi Family Foundation

Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream


Media Partners

                                Magic 98                    NBC-15


Wisconsin State Journal




Canopy Sessions | Friday, March 6

Spring Flower Show | March 7-22

Spring Flower Show Plant Sale | Monday, March 23

Cocktails in the Conservatory | Friday, March 27

Canopy Sessions | Friday, April 3

Olbrich Botanical Gardens is operated as a public-private partnership between the City of Madison Parks Division and the Olbrich Botanical Society.
Olbrich Botanical Gardens | 3330 Atwood Avenue, Madison, WI 53704. | Phone: (608)246-4550 | Fax: (608)246-4719