Live butterflies have taken over Brookside Gardens, again! The Wings of Fancy exhibit is housed in the South Conservancy where hundreds of live butterflies from North America, Costa Rica, Africa and Asia flutter about. The exhibit includes plants with eggs, growing larvae (also called caterpillars), a display case filled with pupa (also called chrysalis) and hundreds of adult butterflies. We were excited to see an adult butterfly that had just emerged from its chrysalis! There are flowering plants butterflies visit for nectar and rotting fruit that is also butterfly food. Watching butterflies eat is a great way to see their proboscis in action. Are my kids the only ones who think “butterfly tongues” are funny?! Butterflies show off their vibrant colors and their camouflage at Wings of Fancy.
Visitors learn about metamorphosis, the important role butterflies play in healthy ecosystems, and how to ensure these beautiful insects thrive in our own gardens! Brookside Gardens takes great care to ensure that none of these exotic butterflies escape because they could interfere with the local ecosystem. The entrances and exits have double doors to ensure there are no escapees. The plants inside the exhibit are not host plants for exotic butterflies which means they shouldn’t lay eggs. All of these precautions, as well as body checks before exiting ensure that we can enjoy butterflies of the world safely in our neighborhood.
Know Before You Go:
- No strollers allowed in the exhibit.
- The exhibit is warm so dress accordingly.
- Schools visit regularly on weekdays between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. so plan around those times if possible.
- Tickets may be purchased at the Visitors Center or at the Conservatory gift shops & are good for re-entry throughout the day of purchase.
- Free parking is available at Conservatory and Visitors Center parking. The Visitors Center is about a 10 minute leisurely walk along a paved trail.
- Check website or Facebook for updates on Extreme Heat Closures.
- Don’t forget to leave time to explore the gardens after the Wings of Fancy exhibit. For those feeling adventurous there is a trail that leads from Brookside Gardens to Wheaton Regional Park (view map here).
$8 ages 13+
$5 ages 3-12
Free ages 0-2
April 18 – June 30
9 a.m.- 5 p.m. Daily
July 1 – August 31
9 a.m.- 1 p.m. weekdays
9 a.m.- 5 p.m. weekends
September 1 – 16
9 a.m.- 5 p.m. daily
Brookside Gardens South Conservatory 1500 Glenallan Ave Wheaton, MD 20902
General Information 301-962-1400
Group Information 301-962-1467