M&T Bank Pollinator Power
April 16 – October 10, 2022, included with Garden admission
Butterflies LIVE! allows you to get up-close and personal with hundreds of fluttering beauties. This is an indoor exhibit filled with fun family activities for all ages. Hundreds of tropical butterflies feed, flutter and take flight all around you. Explore their origins, preferred habitats and lifecycles. Photos are permitted, but we ask those taking photos to be respectful of other guests. The exhibit is ever-changing, so every time you visit, you’re likely to see something new.
Please note: The last group of visitors will be admitted into Butterflies LIVE! at 4:15 p.m.
Daily Butterfly Release!
Each day we release new butterflies into the exhibit. You may even see newly emerged butterflies take their first flight! Please note the number of butterflies being released may range from several to a dozen.
May 27 – August 28, 2022, included with Garden admission
Did you know that 75% of the earth’s flowering plants and over 70% of its food crops depend on pollinators to thrive? Think about a world without coffee and chocolate?! That’s pretty powerful! This summer, we are putting the spotlight on bugs and birds in a BIG way. Artist David Rogers’ Big Bugs: The Pollinators showcases larger-than-life sculptures highlighting the importance of pollinators and preserving their habitats.
Visitors of all ages and abilities will explore the wonder and craftsmanship of these nine oversized pollinator sculptures created from combinations of found or fallen whole trees, willow limbs, twigs, branches and other forest material. Discover giant ladybugs on a branch, a 17-foot tall daddy longlegs, a giant dragonfly, a beautiful hummingbird and more!
About Big Bugs
Since its debut in 1994, the Big Bugs exhibit has traveled all across the USA. It consistently brings in swarms of new audiences providing a visually stunning platform for educational programs and interactions.
Meet the Butterflies
We add new butterflies to our exhibit every day, so the butterflies flying in our exhibit on any given day change. But here are a few of our favorite fluttering beauties that you are likely to meet.
More Outdoor Fun in RVA
You can easily spend a day exploring the Garden; why not extend your visit to discover all the Richmond region has to offer? There’s tons of outdoor family fun, including biking on the Capital Trail, taking a Canal cruise, and floating on the James River. (The Downtown Marriott provides a great central location.)
Celebrate National Pollinators Week - June 20 – 26, 2022
A major initiative of the National Pollinator Partnership, National Pollinators Week recognizes the importance of pollinators to ecosystem health and agriculture in the United States. See what we have planned for National Pollinators Week at the Garden including a Pollinator Symposium and a performance by the Latin Ballet!
Pollinator Fun for Youth and Families
Butterflies LIVE! in the Conservatory is only part of the fun. Enjoy self-guided family activities in the Children’s Garden, where you can choose your own adventure and learn even more about pollinators. Follow the Pollinator Pathway, learn how to do the bee dance, and complete a KidQuest (PDF). Keep your eyes open for our native pollinators, too. We’ve planted nectar and host plants for native butterflies all over the Garden!
You can easily spend an entire day at the Garden: visiting Big Bugs, interacting with tropical butterflies in the M&T Bank Butterflies LIVE! exhibit, playing in the Children’s Garden and Klaus Family Tree House and enjoying 50 acres of blooms like you’ve never seen. Plus, Thursday evenings June-mid-September, we’re open late (’til 9 p.m.) for Flowers After 5 with live music and activities and for Wednesdays Alfresco in summer. Enjoy great dining and shopping, too!
Love butterflies? Learn more about which butterflies to look for and how to attract them to your own yard.