It’s not officially Spring in the Stateline until the butterflies come back! One of our favorite things to do every Spring is visit the Butterfly Exhibit at Nicholas Conservatory and Gardens in Rockford. This exhibit has been a Springtime staple for more than nine years. This year’s theme is the Secret Life of Butterflies. 

If you haven’t been before, the Butterfly Exhibit is inside Nicholas Conservatory and Gardens in the tropical conservatory. The butterfly exhibit is located within an enclosed area. When it’s your turn, you are able to interact with the butterflies and feed them sugar water from small sponges on sticks. Butterflies will land on you while you are there! A staff member will ensure you have no butterflies on your body before you leave the exhibit. 

In addition, there’s a Butterfly Lab where butterflies are stored until they emerge from their pupa. If you go a few times throughout the Spring, you will see different types of butterflies. 

In previous years, there has been a Breakfast with the Butterflies event, but this year that event is not happening this year.

If you want to go to the Butterfly Exhibit this year, here’s what you need to know.

Where: Nicholas Conservatory and Gardens
1354 N 2nd St., Rockford, IL

Hours: The exhibit runs from March 17 – June 4, 2023. Nicholas Conservatory is open Tuesdays through Fridays from 10 am – 4 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 10 am – 3 pm.

Cost: $8 per resident / $10 non-resident (adults)

$6 per resident / $8 per non-resident (ages 5-17)

$4 per resident / $5 per non-resident (ages 3-4)

Kids 2 and under are free

Specials and Discounts: Tropical Tuesdays offer discounted rates of $4 per resident / $5 per nonresident every Tuesday.

Reservation: This year, reservation is required for timeslots. They may not be able to accommodate you if you show up without a reservation. You can reserve your time slot here.

We had a great time visiting the Butterfly exhibit in 2021. New additions included a short video about the exhibit, a stop in the butterfly lab, and a visit with the butterflies. You can watch a video about our experience here!

Do you plan to visit the butterflies this Spring?

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