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A Trip to The Butterfly Gardens of Wisconsin

A few weeks ago, the kiddos and I, along with my sis and nephews, visited the Butterfly Gardens of Wisconsin in Appleton, WI. We only found out about the place last year when we visited and we’re huge fans now!

During Monarch migration, they always hold a butterfly release event, which is the best time to go! For your admittance, you get one butterfly for the family to tag and release out in their back butterfly garden. It’s magical.

It was raining the day we went, so it was a little bit more difficult to get the whole experience. The boys ended up having to coerce their butterflies off their fingers onto a plant to let them go. I think it made the boys feel more connected to their monarchs though, because the butterflies didn’t want to leave them.

Out behind the building is this giant butterfly garden with trails through it in the shape of a butterfly. It’s really something. And it was just full of all kinds of buzzing critters last year.

Butterfly Gardens of Wisconsin


Inside the butterfly house, which is like a screened-in greenhouse, the butterflies were a bit chilled by the rain, so they were a little more difficult to find. But with patience, we found plenty of them. The docents give you a q-tip with sugar water on it to help attract the butterflies.

Butterfly House

Monarch butterfly house

Appleton Butterfly Garden

hold Monarch butterflies

wearing monarch butterflies

Stop and smell the……………butterflies?

barefoot and butterflies

Please take note of the bare feet. This girl is a nature¬†girl at heart, through and through. You cannot keep a pair of shoes on her, even where there’s gravel. Bless her heart.

monarch butterfly migration participant

monarch on butterfly flower

Rayna and auntie monarchs

The butterfly gardens also have some other cool displays and exhibits too. They have this cool display of various butterflies from all over.


butterfly display

And turtles….



And frogs….
Butterfly Gardens of WIAnd bees…….. *shudder*

live indoor beehive
And we were lucky enough to be able to take two monarch caterpillars home to try to raise. We have milkweed everywhere by our house and a butterfly net, so we were equipped for the job.

If I would’ve¬†written this blog post right after our trip though, I wouldn’t have to tell you that unfortunately, both of them are now resting in the ground. One died from the black virus and the other…we’re not sure.

But we are grateful for the time we had with them, because they were fascinating to watch. The tiny one grew literally before our eyes. Like, we’d go to work and come home, and he’d be bigger and there’d be huge holes in the milkweed we left for him.

We named him Eric Carle.

monarch caterpillars monarch butterfly caterpillar milkweed

RIP Eric Carle.

If you’re ever able to make the monarch butterfly release during the monarch migration, I highly recommend it. The Butterfly Gardens of Wisconsin is definitely something to see!

So tell me…do you find butterflies as incredibly enchanting as I do? Have you ever paid attention to the monarch migration?