Adult Programs

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!)

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.

Bugs and Brews - Music of the Tropics


Music of the Tropics themed Bugs and Brews, a whimsical adult-only, after hours adventure at Butterfly Pavilion! 

Join us for a captivating evening of Bugs and Brews   Music of the Tropics night at Butterfly Pavilion. Enjoy two hours of adult-only exploration at our zoo with the added enchantment of a Boulder Philharmonic harpist and flautist, James Marienthal, playing amongst our butterflies in Wings of the Tropics. It's a night you won't want to miss! 

Not only is this a fun and engaging event, but an excellent way to learn more about invertebrates, from tarantulas and butterflies to coral and bees, which make up more than 97% of all animal species on earth and our critical for survival of all life on the planet


What's included:

  • Two hours of adult only exhibit exploration.
  • Two glasses of beer or wine of your choice.
  • Non-alcoholic beverages available. 

Extra experiences:  

  • A harpist from the Boulder Philharmonic will play from 5:30  6:30 p.m. in The Wings of the Tropics 
  • Flautist, James Marienthal, will play from 6:30   7:30 p.m. in The Wings of the Tropics 


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.

City Nature Challenge Bioblitz

Join Butterfly Pavilion to help scientists all over the world with the City Nature Challenge. The City Nature Challenge is a worldwide community science event where community members are encouraged to participate in a bioblitz by using the community science app iNaturalist. In doing so, you will help gather data on biodiversity, changes in the environment, and how different species have evolved and become more resilient to change. Cities compete among three different categories: most observations, most species identifications, and most people participating. On April 27th and 28th at 10:30 a.m. or 2:30 p.m., join Butterfly Pavilion staff in our gardens to participate in the bioblitz to identify as many species as you can and make Denver the champions of the City Nature Challenge.

Tools Needed:  

Please download iNaturalist to your smart phone to participate  

Location:This program will take place outdoors in Butterfly Pavilion s gardens. 

Colorado Butterfly Monitoring Network (CBMN)

Colorado Butterfly Monitoring Network is a community science project that is run by Butterfly Pavilion, that harnesses the power of volunteers to conserve Colorado butterflies.

This training session will prepare you to observe and record native butterflies, gathering essential data that has a positive impact on Colorado's invertebrates.

The butterfly monitor training is intended for volunteers looking to learn about butterfly identification and monitoring protocols for individual monitoring in a self-selected route.


Saturday, April 20th

Location: John Martin State Park

Time: 1:00pm-4:00pm


Saturday, May 4th

Location: Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster, CO

Time: 10:00am-12:00pm


Sunday, May 5th

Location: East Boulder Community Center, Boulder.

Time: 10:00am-12:00pm


Friday, May 10th 

Location: Gardens on Spring Creek in Fort Collins, CO

Time: 10:00am-12:00pm


Saturday, May 25th

Location: Fountain Creek Nature Center

Time: 10:00am-12:00pm

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: Get Ready, Get Set, Garden!

Spring’s here - are you ready to have your best gardening year yet? Learn about pollinator-friendly garden preparation and how to transform boring turf into a garden oasis that helps the planet. Butterfly Pavilion Horticulture Director Amy Yarger offers actionable advice, helps you to avoid common gardening pitfalls, and busts persistent myths about what, when and how to plant your pollinator habitat oasis.


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: 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 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*

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

Mini Matriarchs: Exploring the Marvels of Invertebrate Motherhood

Celebrate Mother's Day at Butterfly Pavilion by learning about the matriarchs of the invertebrate world! Moms are important, even for invertebrates. Invertebrates are not usually known as good moms, but some of the animal kingdom’s most devoted mothers are invertebrates. Invertebrate mothers display a wide range of fascinating behaviors that allow them to reproduce and raise their young. Join us as we celebrate nature’s mini mothers. Learn the evolutionary significance of parental investment and how it has allowed invertebrates to become so successful.

Your instructor: Arachnologist Jackie Billotte M.S

*This lecture is intended for audiences 18+ but can be suitable for ages 16+ with an adult in attendance*"

Natures Best Hope: A Webinar with Doug Tallamy

Join acclaimed ecologist Doug Tallamy in a transformative webinar on his book ""Nature's Best Hope."" Recent headlines highlight alarming declines in global insect populations and three billion fewer birds in North America, signaling a need for a shift in our landscape designs. Tallamy offers hope by emphasizing that these losses are not inevitable. Discover the power of selecting the right plants to address the biodiversity and climate crises. Tallamy will outline simple steps we can take to reverse decline and shift our relationship with nature. Register now for a sustainable and biodiverse future.


Doug Tallamy is the T. A. Baker Professor of Agriculture in the Department of Entomology and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Delaware, where he has authored 112 research publications and has taught insect related courses for 43 years. Chief among his research goals is to better understand the many ways insects interact with plants and how such interactions determine the diversity of animal communities. His books include Bringing Nature Home, The Living Landscape, co-authored with Rick Darke, Nature's Best Hope, a New York Times Best Seller, The Nature of Oaks, winner of the American Horticultural Society’s 2022 book award. In 2021 he cofounded Homegrown National Park with Michelle Alfandari ( His awards include recognition from The Garden Writer’s Association, Audubon, The National Wildlife Federation, Allegheny College, Ecoforesters, The Garden Club of America and The American Horticultural Association.

Photo Hour

Relish a quiet hour of morning light photography in the tropical rainforest before open our doors to the public. Snap photos of beautiful butterflies and exotic tropical flowers in the morning light. Sessions are offered monthly and begin at 8:00am.

Cost:  $10 for non-members, $8.00 for members. Note: This session is self-guided. Participants supply own equipment.

Pollinators Miniworld - Clouded Sulphur Butterfly

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

Learn how to build your own Preserved Miniworld in this exciting class.

Taught by The Terrorium Shop, Denver’s natural history store, you will learn how to assemble a beautifully preserved display showcasing elements of nature. Completely put your own spin on this itty bitty world and have it for years to treasure.

This class will start with a short lecture on native pollinators by the Butterfly Pavilion and then go into the art portion. The specimen we will work with is a Colorado native butterfly, Colias philodice.

Included is one 2.25""x 3.75"" glass dome with a cork base (pictured), 1 mounted sulphur butterfly specimen (Colias philodice), crystals, dried botanicals, and moss.

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