Classes for Adults, Youth & Families
Classes for Adults

Butterfly on plant
Whether you want to learn to identify different butterflies, attract pollinators to your yard or create bee-utiful crafts, learn with us!

Schedule a speaker to visit your club or group, or check out upcoming classes at the Butterfly House!

Classes for adults are also offered at our other sites:

Shaw Nature Reserve
Missouri Botanical Garden

Classes for Youth & Families

Mother and daughter looking at butterfly
We offer a variety of fun classes designed for a child and adult to take together, as well as special family-friendly drop-in programs.

Browse the Butterfly House's upcoming youth and family programs.

Or learn about youth and family programs at one of our other sites:

Shaw Nature Reserve
Missouri Botanical Garden

Featured Programs

Little Bugs logoFor ages 2–4 (part of the Little Years early childhood series). Bring your child to learn about butterflies and create a unique work of art together. The class meets weekly for six weeks and each week we will learn about a different insect. Each session includes hands-on crafts, a snack, a story and a walk through the butterflies.

Fall 2017 Little Bugs dates TBD.
Check back soon for Fall registration.

Join us on a journey of the story of the Butterfly House. Learn how this unique facility came to St. Louis and grew from a simple idea to one of the nation's largest butterfly houses. We will take a visual walk through the timeline of the Butterfly House then a walking tour through our Tropical Conservatory, ending with small groups in our entomology lab to see how our animals are cared for behind the scenes.

Fall date and time TBD.
Check back soon for Fall registration.

Perennials provide a wonderful foundation for any garden. Learn about planting techniques, plant culture, pest control, fertilization, division, and pruning from a seasoned gardener. Be prepared for a short walk.

Thursday, June 22
6:00 - 8:00 pm
Register here

Photograph insects and arachnids not on display to the public! Use artificial lighting selected by professional photographer Scott Avetta to highlight these unique subjects indoors. Discuss camera settings for working with subjects in a controlled environment and apply this knowledge for truly unforgettable photos. Subjects may include praying mantises, jewel beetles, walking sticks, tarantulas, and others. A tripod and remote cable are recommended for this class.

Thursday, July 20
5:30 - 8:00 pm
Register here

Do you ever wonder about the trees in your neighborhood? Can you tell the difference between a native tree and an invasive thug? Maybe it's time to take a beginner's tree I.D. class and learn about the trees that make up your world! Join certified arborist Mike Walsh, a forester and nurseryman with Forest ReLeaf of Missouri, as he eases students into this multi-day learning experience through presentations and lots of time looking at trees.

Fall date and time TBD.
Check back soon for Fall registration.

The Butterfly House's Native Habitat is an oasis for dragonflies and other beautiful insects. Join professional photographer Scott Avetta to learn tips for photographing dragonflies in the wild. We also expect to see native butterflies and beautiful native plants in flower-all wonderful photography subjects. Entomologist Chris Hartley will also be on hand to answer questions about these insects. Participants should have a basic understanding of their camera's features.

Thursday, August 10
5:30 - 8:00 pm
Register here

Interested in composting, but don't know where to start? Want to know how to keep your compost pile going through the winter? This class is for you! We'll discuss composting basics, bin design, frequently asked questions, cold-weather composting, and more. Participants will walk away with their own kitchen compost waste collector to store scraps until they are ready to transfer to their compost system, along with knowledge they need to construct their own home-composting system.

Saturday, August 26
10:00 - 11:30 am
Register here

Backyard Science Summer Programs for Groups

Available for groups of 10 or more students:
These fun, affordable classes encourage kids of all ages to connect with nature and make fascinating discoveries about the insect world: 

  • Growing Up: Butterfly (ages 3–6)
    Learn how a caterpillar changes into a butterfly through our interactive puppet show, then create your own butterfly and help it hide from hungry birds in our meadow.
  • The Magic of Metamorphosis (ages 6–8)
    Discover metamorphosis and insect body parts using living animals. We’ll also learn about pollination by making our own pollinators to take home.
  • Insect Investigators (ages 8–12)
    Explore metamorphosis, body parts, and butterfly behaviors using samples of real insects, then take a turn identifying real butterfly species using the same tool scientists use.

Classes run approximately three hours.

$6 per child
Required chaperones are free (one chaperone for every five children is required). Additional chaperones will be required to pay regular Butterfly House admission.

Register today!
Contact Chris Hartley at (636) 530-0076 x 13 or to register or learn more.

Outreach programs are also available.

Or visit one of our other locations for a fun camp program:

Shaw Nature Reserve
Missouri Botanical Garden

Scout Programs

Scout groups are invited to participate in one of the many programs we offer at the Butterfly House, the Missouri Botanical Garden and the Shaw Nature Reserve.

Or lead your troop at the Butterfly House yourself while earning a special Butterfly House Patch.


Tales and Trails logo
This summer, join a family reading program that connects nature-inspired books with the great outdoors!
Learn more


Teen Programs

Teen Network
Choose from five service and field-based education programs at the Missouri Botanical Garden, the Shaw Nature Reserve and the Butterfly House!
Learn more