Arts & Entertainment and Travel & Tourism

Meijer Gardens opens 'Butterflies are Blooming' exhibit

March 1, 2017
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Meijer Gardens Butterflies are Blooming exhibit
A blue morpho butterfly stands on a rock in the Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory. Photo via

An exhibit at a local conservatory is highlighting the “awe-inspiring” patterns found on thousands of butterflies.

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park’s annual Fred & Dorothy Fichter “Butterflies are Blooming” exhibit will bring more than 7,000 tropical butterflies to Grand Rapids, starting today through April 30.

Steve LaWarre, director of horticulture at Meijer Gardens, said the theme of this year’s exhibit is “shape and pattern.”

“The butterflies and the natural environment of the conservatory are wonderful examples of how these patterns reveal themselves all around us,” LaWarre said.

The five-story, 15,000-square-foot Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory will host 60 colorful species of chrysalides, caterpillars and butterflies, as well as new flowers and foliage.

At 85 degrees and 70-percent humidity, the conservatory’s environment mimics the tropical regions in Africa, Asia, Central America and South America that the butterflies call home.

Events during the “Butterflies Are Blooming” exhibit include the Butterfly Ballet, a performance in partnership with the Grand Rapids Ballet Junior Company, various children’s activities in the Lena Meijer Children’s Garden and Tuesday Night Lights, a family friendly flashlight tour of the butterfly exhibit on Tuesday nights.

Meijer Gardens

Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, a 158-acre botanical garden and sculpture park with several indoor galleries, serves 700,000 visitors annually and features several elements: Michigan’s largest tropical conservatory; one of the largest children’s gardens in the country; arid and Victorian gardens with bronze sculptures by Degas and Rodin; indoor galleries with changing sculpture exhibitions, including recent exhibitions by Picasso, Degas and Calder; the eight-acre Richard & Helen DeVos Japanese Garden; a carnivorous plant house; outdoor gardens; and a 1,900-seat outdoor amphitheater, featuring an eclectic mix of international touring musicians every summer.

Meijer Gardens was recently ranked among the top 100 most-visited art museums worldwide by Art Newspaper, a leading publication on global art news.

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