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Embark on a butterfly adventure: Festival of Butterflies opens July 20

Explore butterflies around the world at the annual Festival of Butterflies at Powell Gardens, Kansas City’s botanical garden, from July 20 to August 6.

Nature enthusiasts of all ages are invited to celebrate the Midwest’s most whimsical pollinator at Powell Gardens. Spend a day outdoors exploring tropical and native butterflies alongside stunning botanic displays.

In 2023, Festival of Butterflies will explore butterflies through cultures around the world. Visit weekly to learn about butterflies in Mexico and Central America (July 21-22), the South Pacific Islands (July 28-29), and Japan (August 4-5).

Festival of Butterflies Experience

Start your journey in the Martha Jane Phillips Starr Conservatory with an up-close encounter with Queen and Monarch butterflies and moths. Before you leave the visitor center, venture into the new moth cave.

Next, travel to the garden galleries to learn about host plants and the butterflies they support. Follow the butterfly meadow through some of Missouri’s native pollinating plants. Near the path’s entrance, you’ll find the native butterfly tent full of butterflies native to the Midwest.

Continue exploring off the beaten path. The lotus pond (located on the 1-mile Family Discovery Loop) features a mass planting of morning-blooming American Lotus and three decks to enjoy pond-side.

New Festival Highlights

This year’s event features the following new activities:

  • Butterfly Lab provides new ways for families to learn about Missouri’s butterflies, insects, and moths. Microscopes, lab coats, beetles, and slides are ready for young lepidopterologists
  • Science Exploratorium is a hub for pollinator education with a butterfly play area and story times
  • Moth Cave features a simulated night forest with native moths including the Luna moth to explore the unique pollinator and how it differs from butterflies
  • Flutter Fair featuring rotating activities for children with crafts and vendors
  • Native Butterfly Habitat located in the Heartland Harvest Garden features a new structure filled with Missouri’s favorite native butterflies
  • Ice Cream Parlor located in the visitors center will include family-friendly treats and a botanical edible flower sundae
  • Festival Nights will showcase special butterfly themes with live music, food, and beverages. The events will be held on July 22 (Mexico), July 29 (Pacific Islands), and August 5 (Japan) from 6 – 9 p.m.
  • Book Club will feature the book, Butterfly People by William Leach on July 29

Powell Gardens is open Tuesday – Sunday from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.

To learn more and get tickets, visit

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