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Adult Nature Journaling

Embark on a captivating exploration of the miniature wonders in our ecosystem through a series of Nature Journaling Workshops at the Butterfly Pavilion. Led by an expert artist and environmental educator, each workshop unveils a new topic within the enchanting realm of invertebrates – from butterflies to spiders and beetles. Participants will learn to intricately capture these delicate creatures in their nature journals, combining art and scientific observation. Whether you're an experienced artist or a curious nature enthusiast, join us to delve into the fascinating world of invertebrates, gaining a deeper appreciation for their significance in maintaining the ecological balance. Don't miss the chance to ignite your creativity and understanding of nature in these hands-on, educational workshops.

About the Instructor - Catie Michel: Catie Michel is a seasoned scientific illustrator with a deep-rooted passion for capturing the intricate details of the natural world. With a portfolio that spans numerous publications, exhibitions, and collaborations with leading researchers, Catie brings both artistic finesse and scientific rigor to her instruction. Her ability to intertwine art and science creates an enriching learning experience that encourages participants to view the environment through a new lens.



June 22  - Pollinators  

July 27  - Beetles 

August 31 -  Color in the Natural World 

October 26 -  Spiders  


Arachnology Course with Paula Cushing

Little Miss Muffet may have been afraid, but you won’t be as you learn about spiders and other arachnids such as scorpions, camel spiders, daddy longlegs, and ticks. Review the evolutionary history of arachnids, the natural history and biology of the different groups, and the medical and economic importance of these animals. Live guests may drop by for an eight-legged howdy do!

Biography: Paula Cushing received her Ph.D. in 1995 from the University of Florida. In 1998, she began her position as Curator at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. Her research focuses on the biodiversity, taxonomy, systematics, and evolutionary ecology of arachnids, particularly spiders and wind scorpions, or solifuges. She has published numerous scientific articles as well as popular articles about spiders and insects. She is also very active with the American Arachnological Society and the International Society of Arachnology and has served as President of both these scientific societies.


Tuesday, October 1st

Introduction to Subphylum Chelicerata, Class Arachnida

· Pycnogonida and Xiphosura

· Palpigradi – micro-whip scorpions

· Opiliones – daddy longlegs or harvestmen

· Acarina – mites and ticks (begin, live guests)

Thursday, October 3rd

· Acarina – continued; microscope exercise

· Ricinulei – hooded tick-spiders

· Pseudoscorpiones -- pseudoscorpions

· Solifugae – camel spiders or wind scorpions

Tuesday, October 8th

· Solifugae – continued (sex video!)

· Scorpiones– scorpions (live guests)

· Schizomida – short-tailed whip-scorpions

Thursday, October 10th

· Amblypygi – tailless whip scorpions (live guest)

· Thelyphonida – vinegaroon or whip scorpion (live guest)

· Araneae – spiders (just a taste and live guests (but not a taste of live guests!)

August 5-9, 2024 - 5-6 years old: Sensory Safari

How do bugs experience the world? How do we perceive the bugs around us? Explore the five senses from the perspective of some of the most unique animals in the world!

August 5-9, 2024 - 7-9 years old: Sensory Safari

How do bugs experience the world? How do we perceive the bugs around us? Explore the five senses from the perspective of some of the most unique animals in the world!

August 5-9, 2024 - Offsite Camp 8-12 years old: River Quest

River Quest - Junior scientists will unravel the mysteries of freshwater ecosystems while fostering a deep appreciation for all the life in the water around us.

Beetle Pinning Workshop

*This class is intended for adults but is suitable for 16+ with an adult in attendance*

Taught by The Terrorium Shop, Denver’s natural history store. In this class, you will learn everything you need to know to mount your very own Jewel Beetle Specimen.

This class will start off with a short lecture discussing the anatomy and lifestyle habits of the selected specimens. You will learn about relaxing chambers, the different types and how to make a quick, easy, relaxing chamber from household items. The last portion of the class will be hands-on pinning of your specimen.

Each person will receive one relaxed beetle, a mini relaxing chamber, their own pinning board, and their own set of entomology pins.

Beginner Macro Photography

*This class is geared towards adults but is suitable for 16+ with a parent in attendance*

Whether you’re a paparazzi or can’t figure out your camera or phone, join expert photographer Bob Krugmire for hands-on instruction that will teach you to maximize the potential of your camera! Leave with better skills, knowledge, and tons of fantastic close-up shots. Space is limited! Pre-registration and pre-payment are required.

Butterfly Pavilion Rainforest Yoga

Experience a rejuvenating yoga class in our tropical rainforest. Led by one of our rotating instructors, classes provide an amazing opportunity to transcend the hustle and bustle of daily life as you practice amongst the butterflies in our conservatory.


Due to this program being in high demand no refunds or date change requests can be made for this program. All tickets are final purchase.

Butterfly Watercolors Workshop

Step into the enchanting world of watercolors at our Butterfly Pavilion Watercolor Class, where you'll paint the breathtaking Swallowtail Butterfly under the guidance of an experienced artist.

Frequently referred to as ""swallowtails,"" the Papilionidae butterfly family encompasses the largest and most magnificent species, some of which are sadly endangered. Swallowtail butterflies are distinguished by a distinctive forked tail on their hind wings, resembling that of a swallow, hence their name. Scientists often gauge ecosystem health based on the presence or absence of these butterflies.

Perfect for beginners, this class provides all materials and guarantees a fun-filled experience. Immerse yourself in the soothing flow of watercolors as you learn techniques to bring the Swallowtail Butterfly to life on your canvas. Throughout the session, you'll receive step-by-step instruction and personalized guidance to help you unleash your creativity and express yourself artistically.

Join us for an inspiring afternoon of artistic exploration as we capture the delicate beauty of nature in vibrant watercolors.

Buzz and Brews

Experience an enchanting evening at Buzz and Brews: A Bee Bonanza at Butterfly Pavilion! Immerse yourself in a bee-themed adventure, celebrating not just our beloved honey bees, but also Colorado's 1,006 native bee species that are vital pollinators to our ecosystem. Savor two complimentary honey-themed beers or wines as you explore Butterfly Pavilion's captivating exhibits. Engage with local beekeepers and bee experts at informative booths and discover the sweet wonders of honey and its many uses. Join us for an adult-only night of wonder and enthralling discoveries amidst the magical ambiance of Butterfly Pavilion.

Expert Lecture: Revenge of the Plants

We rely on plants for oxygen, food and medicines, but plants have a dark side, too. Butterfly Pavilion Horticulture Director will share the dangerous and often disturbing interactions that plants have with insects, and sometimes people! Learn about carnivorous plants, tricky orchids, and the wild world of plant toxins.

Amy’s bio: Amy Yarger has worked in the public horticulture field since 1996. She received a bachelor's degree in ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Irvine and then studied plant-animal interactions at the University of Michigan.   Amy currently leads Butterfly Pavilion’s local pollinator habitat initiatives, such as the Baseline Pollinator District, Manitou Springs Pollinator District and the Urban Prairies Project, which restores habitat in urban and suburban natural areas.

Expert Lecture: The Spindly and Wonderful World of Stick Insects

It is well known that stick insects are the masters of camouflage, but did you know that some of them can also spray acid or simulate a leaf swaying with the wind? If you are interested in learning more about these fascinating insects, please come and join this talk by Target Species Manager, Fransico Garcia Bulle Bueno on November 3rd.

Bio: Francisco completed a B.S. in Biology from the National Autonomous University of Mexico in 2017. He then completed a PhD on Entomology at the University of Sydney, Australia in 2021. Francisco’s main areas of research have been breeding, husbandry, reproductive behavior, and management of bees. He has successfully published six scientific papers on bee’s biology on peer reviewed journals. During his PhD, Francisco also worked with schools, universities, refugees, beekeepers and senior adults delivering science communication workshops with the aim of promoting environmental and sustainability in urban environments by teaching the importance of insects and their habitats in Australia. He was also the manager of a stingless bee program run by tone of the councils in Sydney where he managed and propagated over 100 colonies of stingless bees every year. After finishing his PhD and before the Butterfly Pavilion, Francisco worked on developing conservation projects in the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico working with local people and raising awareness about the importance of bees and general biodiversity.

Exploring the World of Forensic Entomology - A Webinar on Insect Evidence in Investigations

Webinar overview: This one-hour webinar will introduce attendees to the fascinating world of forensic entomology: the use of insects in investigations. Attendees will learn about the diversity of forensically relevant insects, how insects are collected from crime scenes, and analyzed for cases. Case examples will be discussed to explain how forensic entomology is used in criminal investigations, from the crime scene to the courtroom. Join us to learn more about Forensic Flies and the use of maggots to solve murders.

*Zoom link will be sent to you 24 hours prior to the class*

Speaker bio: Dr. Krystal Hans is a board-certified forensic entomologist and serves as the Director of Forensic Science and an Assistant Professor of Forensic Entomology at Purdue University. She received her master’s degree from Cleveland State University and her Ph.D. from the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada. Before arriving at Purdue in 2019, she held the Director of Forensic Biology position at Delaware State University and served on the Delaware Commission on Forensic Science from 2016-2018. At Purdue, she has instructed more than 2000 undergraduate students in courses on forensic entomology and forensic science and has a research lab that mentors graduate and undergraduate students' experiments on the behavior and development of forensically relevant insects. Dr. Hans is currently the president-elect for the North American Forensic Entomology Association and is a forensic consultant for investigations in states across the Midwest. She is an instructor at the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy and provides training in forensic entomology for law enforcement, pathologists, and coroners in Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio.

* This webinar may contain content that is sensitive to some viewers, viewer discretion is advised*

Family Science Night

5:30 - 7:30pm

Experience Family Science Nights at Butterfly Pavilion for the unbeatable price of $5 per person! At these events, you can explore our exhibits after hours and enjoy self guided activities at themed stations scattered through the exhibits! As a bonus, upon completing all activities, each family member earns a special sticker and enjoys a 10% discount in our gift shop! Make your family nights memorable with our affordable and educational after-hours experience! Registration required!

January: Metamorphosis

February: What do invertebrate families look like?

March: Women in STEM!

April: Biomimicry

May: Spring

June: Pollinators

Fluttering Hearts Escape: A Couples Massage Adventure

Experience the Fluttering Hearts Escape at Butterfly Pavilion! Join certified massage therapist Siara Sweet from Sweet Wellness for a unique couples massage workshop amidst the enchanting tropical rainforest at Butterfly Pavilion. Immerse yourself in the delicate beauty of thousands of butterflies as Siara guides you and yourpartner through the art of massage. This special workshop goes beyond relaxation – you'll not only learn expert massage techniques but also engage in effective couples communication. Siara Sweet's expertise will ensure you leave with newfound skills to create moments of connection and relaxation at home. Amidst the fluttering wonders, she'll share fascinating information about the butterflies, adding a touch of magic to your unforgettable experience. Elevate your bond and revel in the joy of togetherness with the Fluttering Hearts Escape – a truly special couples massage adventure.

Your Therapist: Siara Sweet

Pricing (Per Couple):

$200 Non-Member

$180 Member

General Admission Timed Entry Tickets

Get your tickets online & save! Admission at the door is $1 more than online.

Tickets only valid for the date selected.

Front Doors lock at 4:15 p.m.

Tickets must be reserved for children under 2.

Please see Visitor Information or FAQ page for more information.

Looking for the best time to visit Butterfly Pavilion? View our live occupancy tracker!

Homeschool Day

Homeschoolers and your families, these days are reserved especially for you! Take advantage of these exciting opportunities to explore our engaging exhibits and interact with thousands of invertebrates! Each Homeschool Day incorporates themed activities great for all ages. These include various invertebrate investigations, talks with real scientists, fun crafts, and more.

August: Ocean Odyssey

Dive deep under the waves and discover the incredible invertebrates that call our oceans home. Interactive classes, activities, and crafts will explore our important marine wildlife.

September: Buzzing About Bees

Discover the fascinating world of bees and their crucial role in our ecosystems during this special homeschool day. Participate in interactive classes and activities led by Butterfly Pavilion educators and learn all about these vital pollinators.

November: Career Crossroads: Critters, Conservation, and Causes

Explore various careers related to invertebrates, animal care, education, and nonprofits in our Career Exploration Day. Meet professionals, learn about their journeys, and discover exciting opportunities for your future path!

December: Magnificent Birdwings: A Lens into Butterfly Conservation

Learn about the magnificent Birdwing Butterflies while addressing issues around the illegal animal trade, poaching, and how supporting sustainable butterfly farms helps conservation efforts.

Invertebrates and Music Walk – Halloween Edition

Join us for a special Halloween edition of "Invertebrates and Music Walks" as we explore the rainforest after dark. Guided by naturalist Dave Southerland and accompanied by eerie music, we'll use flashlights to discover orb weavers and other night time creatures. The adventure concludes in the Butterfly Pavilion's Discovery Gardens, where we'll search for nighttime invertebrates amidst the Halloween atmosphere. Don't miss this unique journey into the mysterious world of the night!


-Dave Southerland

-Boulder Philharmonic


- Enjoy easy walks along trails suitable for all levels.

- Walks take place in low-light conditions.

- Dress appropriately for the outdoors with breathable clothing and walking shoes.

Invertebrates and Music Walks 2024 

Why have composers been fascinated by invertebrates, and how have they tried to capture them in their music? You are invited to ""Invertebrates and Music Walks,"" a collaboration between naturalist Dave Sutherland, Boulder Philharmonic, and Butterfly Pavilion. Join us for a stroll through our tropical rainforest, while listening to classical music selections inspired by the world of invertebrates. Led by Dave, immerse yourself in curated compositions as butterflies flutter around us. Conclude your journey outside in Butterfly Pavilion's Discovery Gardens, where specially crafted music invites exploration of invertebrates' lives. Let curiosity guide you through this fusion of sound and nature, where every step reveals a new melody and every encounter unveils unseen beauty.




Dave Southerland


Boulder Philharmonic




• These walks are of low difficulty but involve trail walking.

• Please dress appropriately for the outdoor environment, including breathable clothes, sturdy walking shoes, and sunscreen

July 22-26, 2024 - 5-6 years old: Junior Zookeeper

Immerse yourself in the world of a zookeeper and experience what they do every day at Butterfly Pavilion!

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