The newly opened Butterfly Wonderland along the Loop 101 in Scottsdale is truly a destination no family should miss. On our first, of what will soon be many, trips to this unique exhibit, my family was truly transported into a lush, rainforest environment filled with wonder and excitement.

Upon entering the facility, visitors are given stylish 3-D glasses and are directed to a small theater. A 14-minute film explains the often-tumultuous journey Monarch butterflies face in their short lives. It also emphasizes the importance this creature has on the health of our planet. Visually stunning, this film provides the perfect opportunity to deepen the audiences’ understanding of the majesty they will witness in the butterfly atrium.butterfly 1.1.jpg

When the film ended, the audience walks into a room where various chrysalis, cocoons and newly emerged butterflies and moths are on display. Having seen this incredible process just moments before in the auditorium, visitors are able to understand how miraculous the sights that are awaiting them. My 2-year-old daughter was even able to understand what she was witnessing!

After her interest waned, we stepped into the piéce de résistance, the butterfly atrium. This glass enclosure is truly a tropical oasis in the heart of the desert. Butterflies are everywhere! Flying about, sitting on the branches of trees and even taking a rest atop our heads and arms. It was an amazing experience. 

The atrium is 10,000 square feet, allowing for plenty of exploration and meandering. Seeing the delight on my child’s face as she got to experience this magical place made it worth the trip. We’ll definitely be back again soon, especially with the newly added Mirror Maze that opened next door.

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Butterfly Wonderland is located at 9500 E. Via de Ventura in Scottsdale and is open seven days a week (including holidays) from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

Kim Higdon is a Phoenix native and a new mom who is always looking for new things to do with her growing family here in the Valley. Appreciating the active side of Phoenix, Kim likes to get out and explore all that this burgeoning city has to offer.