Talk about the beauty of nature. The Niagara Butterfly Conservatory is located on the grounds of the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens, about five miles from the Rainbow Bridge in Niagara Falls, Ont.
The gorgeous atrium hosts thousands of tropical butterflies that roam freely around the tropical rainforest setting. They make themselves at home. In the trees. On the flowers. On your back. Your shoulder. Your arm. It’s obvious that you are in their home.
There is something very serene about the gardens. They are stunning. They smell divine. And the vibrant colors, soothing sounds and gorgeous greenery all make for a peaceful time. You are, after all, in the midst of a (climate-controlled) tropical garden.
The self-guided walking tour takes as long as you want it to take. On average, it’s about 45 minutes, but you can stay as long as you’d like. There are butterflies everywhere in the warm and lush environment. You can also get a complete look into the life-cycle of a butterfly.
Leah and Dan Johnson of Hamburg made their second trip to the conservatory with their two kids, Caden, 7, and Marlana, 3. They all loved the fact that there were butterflies everywhere. Her son was particularly amazed. Leah said it is a beautiful place to visit, but admits this trip did get her little girl a bit nervous when the butterflies landed on her. “She loved seeing them, as long as they were at a distance,” she said.
All in all, they enjoyed their time and would absolutely go back again. If you love to take pictures, like Leah does, you couldn't ask for more opportunities or have more models on hand. Talk about picture-perfect.
I was really impressed with the staff. They each seemed very knowledgeable and helpful. They can offer plenty of fun facts, explain the various species and answer just about any questions you might have. They clearly know what they are talking about and love what they do. It really added to the experience.
A few tips:
- If you would like butterflies to land on you, wear bright-colored clothing and stand in sunny areas.
- Once you exit the facility there is no re-entry.
- Consider exchanging your American money at a bank – you’ll get a better rate.
- Don’t forget your passport or enhanced license.
This is a neat experience for anyone and kids of any age. The Butterfly Café is a nearby option to grab a bite to eat. It offers pizza slices ($4.69), hot dogs ($4.79) and other snack-type foods. The café is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: 2565 Niagara River Parkway, Niagara Falls, Ont.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
Cost: Ages 13 and older, $14.95; 6-12, $9.26; 5 and younger admitted free (Canadian dollars)