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The Butterfly Pavilion: Colorado’s Insect Zoo

Years ago, Josh and I went on a date to the Butterfly Pavilion. We took what seemed like a million photographs, but that was before digital cameras. We were shooting blind back then – not knowing whether the butterflies’ delicate wings flapped and made our photos blurry.

What a difference fifteen years makes. This visit, with ZB in tow, we spend a lot more time inside examining the other insects and invertebrates. Now our camera (read: iPhone) is focused on ZB, trying to capture magical moments when she comes eye-to-eye with red, brown, and orange butterflies.   The blue ones are the best because, with their wings up, you would never know how beautiful they are. But let’s be real.  At nearly 2 years old, ZB was most interested in the indoor playground’s slide and spiderweb rope wall.

Butterfly Pavilion

Why You Should Visit the Butterfly Pavilion

The Butterfly Pavilion hosts far more than *just* 1,600 butterflies. All sorts of insects, honey bees, sea creatures, and the infamous Rosie the Tarantula call the Butterfly Pavilion home. The Butterfly Pavilion offers a great winter adventure for kids.  In the summer, head outside and search for bugs and other critters in their natural habitat. Thanks to the City of Westminster, the Butterfly Pavilion sits on an 11-acre property with a meandering nature trail.

Native Pollinator Hive
Native Pollinator Hive

The Butterfly Pavilion is one of the first nonprofit insect zoos in the country.

The passage of fifteen years yielded me not just a tiny human, but also different perspectives. Imagining everything through ZB’s young, innocent eyes.  And my fascination with butterflies has transformed into a mild obsession with bees.

So it probably comes as no surprise that, this visit, my favorite part was the honeybee hive.  Getting to watch the honeybees through the glass as they worked independently but as an organized unit.  (There is a life lesson to be learned there!)  I particularly loved seeing the bees navigate through a tube that connected their home to Colorado’s great outdoors.  And I couldn’t help but snap a photo of the native pollinator hive in the outside garden.  Oh Josh…I’ve got a new project for you…. 🙂

Butterfly Pavilion Visitor Information:

Open daily and year round from 9am to 5pm except for a few holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving.

The Butterfly Pavilion | 6252 W. 104th Avenue Westminster, CO 80020 | 303.469.5441 |


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Liz PM

Liz was fortunate enough to grow up in Steamboat Springs and is proud to have thru-hiked the Colorado Trail. These days, in addition to mountain biking, hot springing, and photographing her way through the Centennial State, Liz teaches yoga and constantly inspires others to enjoy the finer points in life!

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