Olbrich Home GLEAM

Butterfly in Olbrich's Bolz ConservatoryOlbrich's Blooming Butterflies

July 13 - August 7, 2016

10 am - 4 pm daily

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.Butterfly Emerging

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)

Ticket Prices

$7 ages 13 & up

$3 ages 3 - 12

Free ages 2 & under

Free for Olbrich Members

Member Preview Day

July 12, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Be the first to see the live butterflies in Olbrich's Bolz Conservatory during the very first Member Preview Day at Olbrich's Blooming Butterflies! Olbrich is opening the Bolz Conservatory one day early to give Olbrich members an exclusive sneak peak of the exhibit. Witness live butterflies fluttering overhead, see crysalises in development at the hatchery stations and explore the outdoor garden with a Butterfly Passport and receive a free ice cream coupon for Michael's Frozen Custard! Stick around after the exhibit closes for a Tuesday evening Summer Concert in the garden starting at 7 p.m.!

This preview event is open to Olbrich members only. To become a member, call 243-0153 or visit our Membership page for more information!


Adopt a Butterfly

Adopt a ButterflyAdopt a butterfly and receive a “Butterfly Friend Pack.” Your $20 adoption donation helps support Olbrich’s Blooming Butterflies and helps keep the Gardens accessible for everyone in the community.

The “Butterfly Friend Pack” is filled with fun items for the entire family:

  • Seeds to grow zinnias that attract butterflies to your own yard
  • Sticky slappy butterfly toys
  • Bumper/window sticker
  • Adoption certificate
  • Letter from Marty the Monarch


Butterfly Passports

After spotting bright butterflies inside the Bolz Conservatory, children can follow the paths through the outdoor gardens on a quest to complete their Butterfly Passports. Find the five stations, read a few fun facts, then answer a few simple questions. Fill up the passport and earn one free junior cone from Michael's Frozen Custard, valid at the Atwood Avenue location.


Insect collection display

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 call 608-246-4550 to schedule a time for your group to visit so we can provide the best experience possible for your group and other vistiors as well.

Limited dates and times may be available for group visits.

Olbrich's Blooming Butterflies is $7 for ages 13 & up, $3 for ages 3-12, and free for ages 2 & under. One group leader and the bus driver will receive free admission into the exhibit. 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.



American Family Insurance

John J. Frautschi Foundation


Media Partners

                                Magic 98                    NBC-15


Wisconsin State Journal


Butterfly Passport Sponsor

Michael's Frozen Custard

Butterfly Enthusiast

Group Health Cooperative


With additional support from

Bagels Forever



GLEAM Opening Reception - August 28

Member Movie Night feat. Jurassic Park - September 11

Bulk Mulch Sales - Saturdays, September 19-October 10

CRACKLE, Fire & Froth - September 25




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