Visit the Butterfly House at Cox Arboretum
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Dayton Ohio - Visit the Butterfly House at Cox Arboretum

Visit the Butterfly House at Cox Arboretum
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8:00 AM - 10:00 PM
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Cox Arboretum
6733 Springboro Pike, Dayton, OH 45449 [map it]

Visit a living showcase of native southwest Ohio butterflies and moths at The Butterfly House at Cox Arboretum.

Visit the Butterfly House at Cox Arboretum

The Butterfly House at Cox Arboretum MetroPark

The Butterfly House is open May 1 to October 31, 8 AM to 10 PM

Peak Season is July-August

Knowledgeable volunteers on hand July 5 through August 31:
Mon.-Sat., 10 AM-12 PM
Sun., 12-2 PM

Guided or self-guided tours are available for children and adults. Please call 937-275-PARK (7275) to schedule.

View native-Ohio butterflies and moths in all stages of metamorphosis. Exploration will bring discoveries about the various species of butterflies and plants making each experience a personal connection with nature. The mission of the house is to exhibit native butterflies in a natural environment, captivate visitors, inspire protection of threatened habitats, and educate the public on butterfly/moth life cycles and their plant partnerships.

Species such as painted lady, red admiral, monarch, giant swallowtail, black swallowtail, spicebush swallowtail, tiger swallowtail, luna moth, Cecropia moth, Polyphemus moth and pipevine swallowtail are featured.

Things to Do

  1.     Listen for the Pipevine swallowtail caterpillars chewing pipevine leaves.
  2.     Look for swallowtail butterflies puddling in the back of the Butterfly House.
  3.     Discover more about what host plants you can grow at home to attract butterflies.
  4.     Search for caterpillar eggs. Female Monarchs can lay up to 400 eggs-how many can you find?
  5.     Discover the difference between a cocoon and a chrysalis by stopping in the Gazebo.
  6.     Look for plants that humans AND caterpillars eat—like fennel, parsley and tomatoes.
  7.     Stop at the butterfly chair for a picture with the family.
  8.     Return in the evening to look for moths in the Pollinator Garden surrounding Butterfly House.
  9.     Search for butterflies in the gardens surrounding the house and Conservation Corner.
  10.     Be sure to return all throughout butterfly season to see new species of butterflies and moths!

About the Facility
Our Butterfly House is a living showcase of native southwest Ohio butterflies and moths. During the Butterfly Housesummer, visitors can get an up-close encounter with butterfly eggs, caterpillars, butterflies emerging from their chrysalises, adult butterflies and native moths.

The gardens inside the house include nectar plants for the adult butterflies and also host plants for the caterpillars. By including both types of plants, the moths and butterflies can complete their entire life cycle. Butterflies and moths are not purchased from outside sources. Rather they are captured on the grounds and released into the house. As the butterfly season comes to a close, the insects are released outside. Cox Arboretum MetroPark takes part each year in the tagging program that Monarch Watch conducts. All the monarchs raised in the house are then tagged and released to make the migration to Mexico.

The Butterfly House opened to the public in the summer of 1998. At that time, it was one of only four such facilities in the United States. Now there are many butterfly houses and exhibits throughout the U.S. and the world, but Cox Arboretum MetroPark’s Butterfly House remains one of the few that exhibits all native butterflies.

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More Information
  • Event Venue:

    Cox Arboretum
    6733 Springboro Pike
    Dayton, OH 45449
    [Get Map]
    Call: 937-275-5053
    This beautiful 189-acre facility is a special place for visitors to escape among trees, shrubs, specialty gardens, mature forests, and prairies.

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