Powell Gardens' 2015 Festival of Butterflies is July 31-Aug.2 and Aug. 7-9.



August 5-7 and 12-14, 2016

Sponsored by the Martha Jane Phillips Starr Foundation

It's the 20th anniversary of Powell Gardens' Festival of Butterflies! See hundredsof colorful, free-flying butterflies in the indoor conservatory. Learn more about Monarch butterflies and other native species in our two outdoor butterfly breezeways. Experts from Monarch Watch will be here with a fantastic educational display and to offer advice on ways to protect these beautiful butterflies.

Don't miss the daily costume parade, led by Ms. Frizzle! See the Gardens' new caterpillar float, created by Linda Williams

Festival Schedule


9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Children's Activities: Free activities include a caterpillar hunt, catch-and-release, costume parade at 11 a.m. and make-and-take antennae headbands. Fee-based activities include butterfly wings ($3), paint-a-pot ($4), face painting ($3) and temporary tattoos ($1).

Photography Exhibit: Featuring Jim Rathert, owner of Jim Rathert Photography, and Charles and Jeanine Wilson, owners of Wilsons' Natural Photography. 

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Trolley Service (included with festival admission) 

10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Storytelling with Ms. Frizzle (presented by Dawnna Morris, The Fancy Storyteller)

11 a.m. Caterpillar Float and Costume Parade 

Saturdays Only

  • 2 p.m. August 6 Fresh Bites with Barb the Gardener: Homemade Ice Cream with Tad Davis, owner of Tadley's Homemade Ice Cream (Missouri Barn) 
  • 9 a.m.-2 p.m. August 13 Solar Cooking Demonstration by Paula Winchester. Stop by the Missouri Barn throughout the day for samples and catch her special presentation on solar cooking in Ghana at 10:30 a.m., 12:00 p.m. or 1:30 p.m.

Sundays Only 

  • 2 p.m. August 7 Garden Chef Series Cooking Demonstration by Jasper Mirabile Jr., Chef/Owner of Jasper's Restaurant in Kansas City, Mo. 

2016 Evening Events 

Spend an evening with the butterflies and experience the "night life" at Powell Gardens: 

  • 7-10 p.m. Saturday, August 6: Night Flights: An Evening Escape (21 and older)--Enjoy a guided experience in the butterfly conservatory; a wine tasting from 8-8:30 p.m. with Doug Frost, Kansas City based wine consultant and one of only four people in the world to hold both the Master of Wine and Master Sommelier titles; light bites; music and more. Prepaid reservations are required and can be made here or by calling 816-697-2600 x209. Space is limited. 
  • 7-9 p.m. Saturday, August 13: Family Night--An Evening with the Butterflies (all ages)--Each ticket includes a guided experience in the butterfly conservatory, one serving of Tadley's homemade ice cream, storytelling with Ms. Frizzle (presented by Dawnna Morris) and a make-and-take craft. Prepaid reservations required. Tickets are available here or by calling 816-697-2600 x209. Space is limited. 

Join the #polliNATION!

Help us build up the monarch butterfly and support all types of pollinators by joining the Million Pollinator Garden Challenge—a nationwide call to action. 



What to Know Before You Go 

Conservatory exhibit schedule on non-festival days:

The indoor butterfly conservatory is open to the general public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. August 8 to 11 and 15 to 21. No other festival activities take place on these days, and regular Garden admission ($10/adult, $9/senior 60+, $4/children 5-12 and free/members) applies.

Tripod Photography Day: On Thursday, August 11, photographers can pay a fee to use monopods and tripods in the conservatory. They will have exclusive access to the space from 8-10 a.m. and from 4-6 p.m. Photographers who pay the fee can also use monopods and tripods from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. when the conservatory is open to the public. Garden admission plus $5/photographer applies. (Tripods and monopods are not permitted in the conservatory any other days.)

Food and Drinks 

  • Café Thyme's indoor cafe and outdoor grill are open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. 
  • reFresh offers drinks and light bites from the Garden 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (located at the Missouri Barn). 
  • Tadley's Homemade Ice Cream is open behind the Visitor Education Center 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily. 
  • Booz'n, Cruz'n, Barbequ'n will sell hot dogs, burgers, and more during the first weekend of the festival.
  • Ron's Kettle Korn will be cooking up fresh kettle corn during the second weekend of the festival.

Festival Admission

  • $12/adults
  • $10/seniors 60+
  • $5/children 5-12
  • FREE/children 4 and younger 

Festival admission includes parking, trolley service and access to all of Powell Gardens, including the Jurassic Garden exhibit. 

Tips for Visiting with Kids

Check out this page for more details on enjoying a festival visit with children.

Thank You to the Most Incredible Volunteers! 

We owe a huge thank you to the hundreds of volunteers who help make the Festival of Butterflies possible each year! They include Powell Gardens' volunteers, individuals and families, as well as volunteers affiliated with these groups: Johnson County K-State Research and Extension Master Gardeners; Osage Trails Chapter of Missouri Master Naturalist; Idalia Society of Mid-American LepidopteristsUMBCommunity of Christ TempleBlack & Veatch; Singles Available for Community ServiceServe KCDeloitteGarminSprintWhiteman Air Force BaseJohnson County Board of Services; and Community America Credit Union. Thank you all for generously sharing your time and talents! 


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