Butterfly Experience 2021

Saturdays in May & June 2021 (10am-12pm)
PLUS Ms. Smarty-Plants™ Butterfly Encounters
& Exclusive Member Butterfly Releases

Butterfly Experience

Saturdays in May & June 2021 (10am-12pm)

PLUS Ms. Smarty-Plants™ Butterfly Encounters

& Exclusive Member Butterfly Releases

Join us in our beautiful outdoor Dorcas E. Utter Butterfly Pavilion and native Habitat Garden to release your very own butterfly to nectar on nearby flowers. You can expect safe, physical-distancing and magical butterfly releases to create memories and instill a growing love for these incredible insects and their habitat.

The whole family can release butterflies with a Family Butterfly Bundle which continues the nature experience for a full year of free garden entry, and a native milkweed plant so you can feed monarch caterpillars from your home! (Bundle pricing in the FAQ’s below)

Members $10 | Non-Members $20 (includes Entry) | Family Butterfly Bundle* $100
*Best deal for Non-members! Purchase at Butterfly Experience Registration. 

Ms. Smarty-Plants™ Butterfly Encounters May 1st & June 5th at 11am
Extra special fun and fantastic butterfly lessons are happening at the Butterfly Experiences with Ms. Smarty-Plants™ available on May 1st & June 5th at 11am. Register for a Butterfly Experience on May 1st or June 5th to attend.

EXCLUSIVE Member Butterfly Releases Sunday, May 2nd 10am-12pm
Invites Garden Members at the Wild Grape ($100) or higher giving level, to enjoy the Dorcas E. Utter Butterfly Pavilion for special butterfly releases on Sunday, May 2nd 10am-12pm. Registration is required

Questions?  Please read the FAQ’s below. If you have additional questions please contact the main office at (619) 660-0614 x10 or e-mail us here

Thank you to our generous sponsor:


Is there safe physical distancing?

Yes, the entire experience is designed for outdoor physical distancing, and face masks are required (except for children under 2 years old).

Family Butterfly Bundle pricing

Support The Garden and have great butterfly memories with your family! Choose a bundle for your family size and Save $75. Our best deal for Non-members.

$100 Family Butterfly Bundle ($175 value)…

  • Butterfly Releases and entry your family (up to 4 people) Additional people just $15 each.
  • Family Membership to The Garden. Free admission for a full year, free weekly yoga and wellness classes, discounts at gift shop, local nurseries, and more.
  • Native Milkweed Plant – pesticide free. Help save the monarch butterflies and plant milkweed in a pot or in the ground.
  • Pollinator Seed pack from Ms. Smarty-Plants™
Do I need to pre-register online?

We request that you pre-register online so that we can monitor the number of households. There may be walk up tickets available, but this is not ideal for the organizers.

Will there be walk-up tickets?

Pre-registration online is highly recommended to avoid wait times, and ensure entry.

What is the Butterfly Experience?

You’re gonna love it! It’s an intimate moment with a butterfly in the palm of your hand. Watch the butterfly flutter away or place it near a flower and encourage it to nectar. Magical for all ages; kids – adult. The Butterfly Pavilion is an open-air structure, and we are limiting capacity to 2 households, or 6 people maximum at a time, with registration required.

What time should I arrive?

Please arrive during the time slot on your registration. We will help instruct your group in a fun and friendly way! Our educators and volunteers are onsite to make this a safe learning experience for you and your family.

What can I expect?

A beautiful garden, friendly educators and volunteers, memorable butterfly releases.

What will happen when we arrive?

Check-in at the butterfly pavilion so we know your family is onsite. There could be a brief 5-15 minute wait to get into the Butterfly Pavilion, depending if households are ahead of you. Volunteers will give you an estimated time for your butterfly release. During that wait time, rather than have you stand in line you can: sit at one of the shaded picnic tables, grab a free ice cream, visit the Gift Shop, take a fun stroll down the Children’s Trail, and visit our Desert Tortoise exhibit.

What is Butterflies with Ms. Smarty-Plants™?

Butterflies with Ms. Smarty-Plants is a live butterfly talk in the outdoor Butterfly Amphitheater with award-winning educator and friend to all, Ms. Smarty-Plants. Approximately 15 minutes in length. Seating is marked and spaced with physical-distancing between households.

What time is Butterflies with Ms. Smarty-Plants™?

Butterflies with Ms. Smarty-Plants is at 11am on May 1st and June 5th.

Can I remain in The Garden all day?

Your ticket includes Garden Admission for the full day. We close at 2pm.

Parking, Restrooms, and Strollers

The Garden has free parking and accessible restrooms. Garden trails are stroller friendly. When visiting the Butterfly Pavilion leave strollers parked just outside the pavilion door. Please no food or drink in the pavilion.

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