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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  


Adult Pride Night (Adult Program, must be 18+ to attend)

Experience Butterfly Pavilion like never before for the first-ever Adult Pride Night!

Dive into the colorful world of invertebrates with our first-ever Adult Pride Night at Butterfly Pavilion. Engage with local drag performers dressed in their best invertebrate-inspired costumes at each of our exhibits, while learning from our animal experts. Witness captivating performances, indulge in delectable bites from Berries and Biscuits, meet our community partners, and discover ways to support our conservation efforts. Join us for an unforgettable experience! 

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.

Dads in the Wild: A Father's Day Lecture

Join us for a heartwarming journey into the world of wild dads as we celebrate Father's Day with a special exploration of nature’s dads. Fathers across the animal kingdom exhibit remarkable behaviors to nurture and protect their young. Together, we'll:

Uncover the extraordinary stories of invertebrate dads and the incredible lengths they go to to ensure survival of their offspring.

Unravel the mysteries of paternal care and learn about the diverse ways in which male invertebrates support their families. From building nests and providing food to teaching valuable life skills, animal fathers play a crucial role in shaping the future generations of their species.

Explore the science behind paternal care, delving into the evolutionary origins of these behaviors and the ecological factors that drive them.

Learn about the importance of invertebrates, 97% of all animal species on earth, for healthy ecosystems and our survival.

Join Butterfly Pavilion for an unforgettable Father's Day celebration as we honor the fathers of the animal kingdom.

Expert Lecture: Pop Culture Plants

Dream-inducing flower fields, crime-fighting vegetables, houseplants with beautiful baritone voices - plants make countless appearances throughout film, poetry, music and art. How much of this storytelling is based in science? Join for an exploration of plants in pop culture, and answer some of your most burning botanical questions: Can a willow actually whomp, or a tree really be giving? Do piranha plants exist, and should Mario really be interested in all those mushrooms? Butterfly Pavilion’s Horticulturist and Manager of Community Habitats, Ashley White provides some scientific context to our favorite flora fables.

Ashley’s bio: Ashley White is Butterfly Pavilion’s Community Habitats Manager, and a member of the BP team since 2017. Her education and background primarily focus on Horticulture and according to Ashley, “nature nerdom”, mingled with art and creative pursuits. She’s passionate about connecting people to healthy outdoor spaces and transformative experiences with wildlife. Ashley leads and supports many of Butterfly Pavilion’s habitat-building and community science projects: Urban Prairies Project, Healthy Habitats Gardening Program, and more.

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 Spectrum: Diversity in Reproductive Biology and Sex across the Animal Kingdom

In the animal kingdom, reproductive strategies and sexual characteristics show incredible diversity. From mating rituals to reproductive systems, understanding this variation is key to unraveling evolution's mysteries. In this lecture, we explore this diversity, starting with sexual differences like size and coloration driven by mate selection and competition. Moving beyond traditional ideas of sex, we look at unconventional strategies and their advantages. We delve into various mating systems, driven by ecological and social factors, showcasing the diverse adaptations and their implications for evolutionary biology.

Your instructor: Arachnologist Jackie Billotte M.S

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

Father's Day Pollinator Project!

Join Butterfly Pavilion in creating safe places for pollinators when you build your pollinator hotel on Father's Day! First, check out the native pollinators currently residing in Butterfly Pavilion's own pollinator hotels. Then, participants will be supplied with all the tools and instructions to build and decorate their very own pollinator hotel while learning more about native pollinators, who you can expect to use your hotel, and what more you can do to help protect and conserve all pollinators.


- 1 Pollinator Hotel Per family (you may request a max of one per kid)

- Exhibit admission for each person attending (waived entrance fee for members)

- Learn from one of Butterfly Pavilion's invertebrate experts

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

Butterfly Pavilion's annual Pollinator Palooza Festival is just around the corner on June 29 from 12:00 - 8:00 p.m. Get your tickets today!

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!

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