Butterfly Pavilion, Denver, Colorado

Butterfly Pavilion Entrance
The Butterfly Pavilion in Denver is one of most surprising places that we visited on this trip – and it was surprising because we had no idea how much fun it would be to hang out in a room filled with butterflies!

The Butterfly Pavilion is a short drive from downtown Denver and is primarily marketed as a place to bring kids to learn about various creepy-crawlies and experience the wonder of butterflies. And it is a fantastic place to take kids, but if you show up early in the morning when there aren’t any school groups there, it is also a fun place for adults to hang out. We got there just after it opened and had the place almost to ourselves for a while.

Nic holding a tarantula

One of the first exhibits is of spiders, beetles and other less-than-attractive insects. They had a great volunteer who would let you hold a tarantula, if you were brave enough. I never thought that I would want to, but decided to go for it because I didn’t want to be upstaged by 6 year olds (although Rob chickened out and just took pictures). It felt like a tiny little kitten with furry paws was running across my hand – and was surprisingly pleasant (and not at all scary)!

They also had some neat sea creatures, including a tidepool exhibit where you could reach in and touch things like starfish. I am always a fan of jellyfish and spent a few moments watching some unusual upside down jellies.

Gorgeous Butterfly

The main attraction, of course, is the butterflies. Walking into their habitat was like being transported to a tropical rainforest. It was warm and humid – a pleasant change from outdoors if you’re in Denver in the winter or spring – and teeming with butterflies. I’ve never seen so many colors, shapes and sizes of butterflies all in one place, and to say they were everywhere was an understatement. Armed with our camera, we spent a long time tracking down the prettier ones and trying to get photos, which was fun, too.

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

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