Best Butterfly Garden in DC: Wings of Fancy at Brookside Gardens

butterfly garden dc

Wings of Fancy is back at Brookside Gardens!

The family favorite Wings of Fancy Live Butterfly and Caterpillar Exhibit has returned to Brookside Gardens at Wheaton Regional Park in Wheaton, Maryland.  I took our first child Charlie to see the seasonal display of hundreds of live butterflies when he was an infant in the Baby Bjorn, and we have visited nearly every year since. (Check out my old post from 2009 to see pictures of Eve and Charlie as littles!)

Here you and your children will be able to walk amongst live butterflies from all over the world. Although you cannot touch the gorgeous creatures, you will be up close to them as they fly, feed and flutter amongst the flowers. Kids can pick up study guides to help them identify the different species from North America, Costa Rica, Africa and Asia.

brookside gardens butterflies

There is also a caterpillar nursery where visitors can watch and learn about their amazing metamorphosis.


Volunteers are on-hand to help kids learn about the important role butterflies play in having healthy ecosystems, and how to lure them to our own home gardens.

Wings of Fancy is open now through September 25, 2016 from 10-4 daily. Tickets can be purchased at the Visitors Center or Conservatory gift shop and are good for re-entry on the day of purchase. Cost: $8 ages 13+, $5 ages 3-12, free ages 0-2. If you know you will be back multiple times, consider a Frequent Visitor Pass and enjoy unlimited return visits to the exhibit this season. Cost: $50 for individual pass, $65 for couple pass, and $125 for a family pass.

butterflies in dc

Strollers are not allowed inside the exhibit, so bring your child carrier for littles not yet walking. Wheelchairs are permitted.

Please note that Wings of Fancy may close if there is a National Weather Service heat advisory, excessive heat warning, Code Red or Code Purple Air Quality Alert. In the event of extreme weather, Brookside Gardens will close the exhibit for safety. Please check the announcements on the park homepage for any updates.

Disclosure: We received press passes this spring, but are frequent paying patrons. 


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