Facilitated Programs at the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House include hands-on, student driven investigations that connect them with the world of butterflies and other insects. We use living animals and real specimens, not easily obtained for classroom use, and each class includes an unforgettable trip through our Tropical Conservatory of living butterflies. The programs are designed to foster a greater understanding of butterflies and their importance to the balance of life on Earth. 

Programs compliment classroom curricula and cover concepts outlined in both the Missouri and Illinois Science Standards.

Learn about scheduling, chaperone requirements and program fees.



Story of a Butterfly

Grade PreK–K
Offered Year-round
45 minutes


CaterpillarStudents will witness the life cycle of a butterfly using our innovative caterpillar puppet, and assemble a butterfly to learn about its important body parts. They will compare and contrast the survival needs of plants and animals as they enjoy a tour of the Conservatory, where they will search for the resources butterflies and plants need to live and grow.

Adventures in a Butterfly Garden

Grades K–3
Offered Year-round
45 minutes


Butterfly feedingDiscover pollination as we explore and compare the life cycles of butterflies, honeybees, and plants. Students will learn that fruits and seeds can only come from plants that have been pollinated, and we will discuss different ways that insects, birds, and other animals spread pollen and disperse seeds. In the Conservatory, students will be able to look for seeds and pollen as well as butterfly chrysalides, and they can apply what they have learned to discuss how butterflies pollinate our plants.

Wings of Wonder

Grades K–5
Offered Year-round
45 minutes


Butterfly eggsStudents experience hands-on observations with real samples of butterfly eggs, caterpillars, pupae, and wings. Grades K–2 will learn how butterflies meet their survival needs and how these needs are the same or different from other animals or plants. Grades 3–5 will focus on the adaptations upon which butterflies rely to survive in their environment, and will discuss how variations between individuals of the same species can provide advantages. In the Conservatory, we will look for butterfly adaptations to the tropical environment and we will talk about how this differs from our environment here in Missouri.

Bug Lab

Grades K–5
Offered Year-round
45 minutes


TarantulaLearn the exciting and valuable jobs insects have while interacting with living animals. This program uses both mounted and living insects to give your students insights into the roles insects play in our world. This program features our largest variety of living animals, and each animal reveals the stories of how insects find food, escape danger, benefit other living things, and more!

Bugs Alive: Ecosystem Challenge

Grades 3–5
Offered Year-round
45 minutes


Close up of wing scalesThrough a series of live animal encounters, students will explore an animal’s place in an ecosystem by examining the adaptations, senses, and genetic variation of each. Students will be exposed to a variety of ecosystems and the challenges organisms face for survival in each. At the end of the lesson, students will be challenged to design an insect that has adaptations necessary for survival in an assigned ecosystem.


Scheduling, Chaperones & Fees


All school groups intending to visit the Butterfly House must register their visit in advance.

  • Classes are available all year except for the month of January. 
  • Facilitated Programs are offered Tuesdays–Fridays at 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., or 12:30 p.m.
  • Registration is available year-round. We encourage teachers to book as early as possible, given limited capacity on high-demand days.
  • All programs and tours must be registered at least two weeks in advance of your planned visit.

Schedule a facilitated program.


Program fees include admission for up to 5 adults. Additional chaperones are admitted at standard admission rates and will not be able to join the classroom portions of the program. All chaperones can accompany the class during the self-guided portion of your visit.


Programs serve up to 25 students. Classes of more than 25 should book multiple programs. Call (314) 577-0888 x 2 for more information, or email butterflyhouseeducation@mobot.org.

Field Trip Class Fees

Paraprofessionals are admitted at no cost.


Learn at Our Other Sites

Check out school programs at the Missouri Botanical Garden and the Shaw Nature Reserve!

Or if you're looking for an opportunity for in-depth field study with your students, consider Litzsinger Road Ecology Center, managed by the Missouri Botanical Garden.

Butterfly School

ButterflyBe sure to check out the learning resources available on our Butterfly School website including additional instructional ideas, suggested reading and activities for all ages. Explore butterfly life cycle and behaviors while you learn more about butterflies, moths and other invertebrates.