Content about the annual Friends of the Garden Butterfly Festival - usually held in July.

2015 Butterfly Festival - July 11

2015 Butterfly Festival being held July 11 from 9 am to 3 pm

July 11, 2015 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park
2400 S. Scenic Ave | Springfield, MO

 pdf Download the Brochure and Schedule (896 KB)

Join all your Friends of the Garden as we celebrate the 7th season of the Dr. Bill Roston Native Butterfly House – the only all-native butterfly house in Missouri!

Catch The Fishin’ Magicians newest show created just for the Butterfly Festival. It’s not just any garden variety magic act.


Butterfly Festival admission and all activities are free of charge. The Butterfly House and Butterfly Festival are sponsored by Friends of the Garden, a not-for-profit volunteer organization. Donations are appreciated.


Please join us for the seventh annual Friends of the Garden Butterfly Festival Saturday, July 11, 2015 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. The park will open early so you can visit the beautiful gardens surrounding the festival site in the cool of the morning. Educational and interactive exhibits will be part of the festival again this year! Of course the ever popular Native Butterfly House plus the Caterpillar Petting Zoo will open with supporting exhibits. New this year will be shows by Amy Short and Steve Craig, the Fishin’ Magicians. Join in the Caterpillar Costume Contest! We expect 2500-3000 visitors during the day! Bring the whole family, invite your friends, come out and enjoy this wonderful free (donations welcome) community event. In the case of severe weather, the rain date will be Sunday, July 12, 2015.  – George Deatz

Schedule of Festival Events

Saturday, July 11     Festival Booths and Activities open 9:00 am-3:00 pm
9:00 am Festival Booths Open Enjoy children’s crafts and activities, the Caterpillar Petting Zoo, local vendors, face painting, balloons, activities and education for the whole family.

South of the

Botanical Center

9:00 am Quilt Show Enjoy beautiful and butterfly-inspired quilt blocks from 9a-3p! Sponsored by the Ozark Peacemakers Quilt Guild West Room
9:30 am Fishin’ Magicians Butterfly Magic abounds! Can you spot it in the crowds? Strolling in the Festival Crowd
9:30 am Butterfly Gardening Workshop Katie Steinhoff will offer ideas on how to style your landscape to be the perfect host for native butterflies and moths! Workshop Studio
10:00 am Story time

Springfield-Greene County Library

Emily Alexander (Brentwood Branch) will share enchanting stories for children of all ages

East Room
10:30 am Children’s Costume Contests For butterflies, caterpillars, & pollinators up to age 10! Pollinator Parade to follow. Outdoor Stage
11:00 am Fishin’ Magicians You won’t want to miss this 30 minute program filled with Butterfly Magic! East Room
11:30 am Story time

Springfield-Greene County Library

Liz Ann Morehart (Midtown Carnegie Branch) will share enchanting stories with children of all ages

East Room
11:45 am Fishin’ Magicians Butterfly Magic abounds! Can you spot it in the crowds? Strolling in the Festival Crowd
12:00 pm Story time Springfield-Greene County Library Naara Keen (Republic Branch) will share enchanting stories with children of all ages East Room
1:00 pm Butterfly Gardening Workshop Katie Steinhoff will offer ideas on how to style your landscape to be the perfect host for native butterflies and moths! Workshop Studio
1:00 pm Story time Springfield-Greene County Library Jeannine Birkenfield (Brentwood Branch) will share enchanting stories with children of all ages East Room
2:00 pm Story time

Springfield-Greene County Library

Cathy Farr (Library Station) will share enchanting stories with children of all ages

East Room

The Dr. Bill Roston Native Butterfly House

Get an up-close look at native butterflies and moths as eggs, caterpillars, pupae, and adults with expert guides.

In the Gardens

Explore and find inspiration in the Butterfly Garden and the Native Caterpillar Cafe designed just for caterpillars, and enjoy summer’s blooms in the botanical gardens.

In the Botanical Center

Studio 55 will host a display of art featuring butterflies and blooms in the gardens. Also inside will be five different opportunities for Story time with volunteers from the Springfield-Greene County Library.

Quilt Show 9:00 am - 2:00 pm

You won’t want to miss viewing the beautiful handiwork from our local quilt artisans. This show is sponsored by the Ozarks Peacemakers Quilt Guild. A special thanks to all the participants as the blocks on display will be donated to the Friends of the Garden silent auction this fall.

The Fishin’ Magicians!

For the first time in festival history, we welcome the Fishin’ Magicians who will magically share the wonderful world of Lepidoptera with children of all ages! Make sure to attend their 11:00 am show and watch for magic while strolling the grounds.

Butterfly, Caterpillar, & Pollinator Costume Contests 10:30 am

Become your favorite caterpillar, butterfly or other pollinator! Check in at the Friends of the Garden Welcome Table no later than 10:00 am. Contest will be at the Outdoor Stage, followed by the Pollinator Parade. Ages 10 and under. Thanks to prize contributors Andy’s Frozen Custard, Betsy’s Hallmark, Dan & Susan Cardwell, and the Springfield Conservation Nature Center.

Our Participating Vendors

Come ready to design a butterfly paradise, accent your garden, find a special gift, or just shop for fun! These merchants and more are joining us for the Butterfly Festival:

Flutter & Ozark Reflections
Homestead Iron
Hooks & Stitches
Peggy’s Flowers
Smiling Sun Gardens
Wickmans Garden Village

Special Thanks To:

Our Sponsors:
Dan & Susan Cardwell
TLC Properties
Ozarks Screen Printing
Our Contributors:
Andy’s Frozen Custard
Betsy’s Hallmark
City of Springfield Dept. of Environmental Services
Cox EMS, Cox Trauma Services
Federated Garden Clubs
Master Gardeners of Greene County
Missouri Department of Conservation
& Springfield Conservation Nature Center
Missouri Master Naturalists Springfield Chapter
Missouri Prairie Foundation
Ozarks Living Magazine
Ozarks Peacemakers Quilt Guild
The Peace Garden Group
Pink Dogwood Garden Club
Show Me Gourd Society
Studio 55 Fine Arts Guild
Springfield-Greene County Park Board & Staff
Springfield-Greene County Library
U.S. Peace Corps
Springfield Watergarden Society
Our Dedicated Volunteers
and all of the Friends of the Garden

The Butterfly Gardens

Yes, the Butterfly Festival, one of our biggest events of every year, is now just around the corner. In the warm weather the past week, many have appreciated the fact that our Butterfly House, the only native butterfly house in Missouri, is now open every day and not just in the evenings. Of course, the house has always been open every weekend. There are also three gardens in the area of the Butterfly House that are directly related to our butterfly program.

The first garden you reach going down the path from the Botanical Center to the Butterfly House is our Wildflower Garden that is just coming into bloom. It will be at its height in July in time for the Butterfly Festival on Saturday, July 11. Wildflowers obviously attract regional butterflies, but it is also true that they attract pollinators, which in these precarious times for our bee population is only to the good.

Opposite the Butterfly House is the extensive Butterfly Garden. Many will remember the wonderful display of spring bulbs in this garden that are featured on the facebook page for the Butterfly House, but the garden was not designed to be a bulb garden. We just realized that it was a good area to grow bulb displays from fall to spring while the butterflies are absent, before developing the nectar garden that the area becomes every summer. We try to plant perennials, shrubs, and a host of annuals in this garden that provide nectar for butterflies after we take up the bulbs. In the center of the Butterfly Garden is one of local artist James Hall III’s beautiful bronze statues. It is simply called “The Butterfly Girl,” and small replicas of this bronze statue can be purchased at the Botanical Boutique Gift Shop. Butterflies are shown landing on this pretty child as she holds out her hands for them. Why do butterflies like to land on us? It is not because we are cute, however attractive James Hall’s delightful girl may seem, but it is because in the long hot summer and depending on the levels of humidity, we sweat. Butterflies like the salt in our sweat, which is the rather unglamorous reason that they like to alight on our bodies. The Butterfly Garden is now coming into its own and should be looking great for the Butterfly Festival.

The third garden, immediately south of the Butterfly House, is our Caterpillar Café. The plants in this garden that always seems somewhat sparse, are planted purely to be eaten, hence the sparsity in the garden. Caterpillars feed on their host plants voraciously, so this café is devoted entirely to their needs. Caterpillars don’t order single cheeseburgers, they go for the triple-decker! – Peter Longley

The annual Butterfly Festival draws big crowds of all ages.

See all kinds of butterflies at the Butterfly Festival.

Photos/collages by George Deatz

Sixth Annual Friends of the Garden Butterfly Festival Event Report Monday, July 12, 2014

It was a hot weekend, but not too hot on Saturday, July 12, 2014, for thousands to enjoy the sixth Annual Friends of the Garden Butterfly Festival in the Springfield Botanical Gardens at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park along with hundreds of icy snow cones! Vendors had a good day, and kids of all ages had a wonderful time. The layout for the event was more compact this year with the music stage as a definite part of the tented village. The idea to combine our festival with Springfield’s Mexican sister city, Tlaqueplaque, was a triumph. Not only were the Mariachi Viva Xalisco and the gentlemanly Paco Padilla a terrific musical addition, but the Mexican costumes of the musicians and dancers added to the fiesta. This kept the spirit of the butterfly festival alive during the heat of the day from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. even after all the hotdogs at the concession stand had been sold!

Please watch for the dates and more information on the seventh annual Butterfly Festival coming during July 2015 --Peter Longley

The Dr. Bill Roston Butterfly House Information


New Longer Summer HOurs:

Saturday & Sunday: 10 am- 6 pm
Weekdays: 10 am - Dusk
Free Tram Saturday & Sunday: 1 pm - 4:30 pm
Open May - September


Want to spend some time enjoying the butterflies in our Butterfly House, while teaching others about these important animals? It’s easy to become a Butterfly House Volunteer Docent, Butterfly Collector or to get involved with Friends of the Garden. For group tours call 417.891-1515. To become a Butterfly House docent contact Lisa Bakerink at

The Dr. Bill Roston Butterfly House is maintained completely by volunteers. We’re funded only by your private donations. Your investment will help us expand our service to the community.

Mail donations payable to:
Friends of the Garden
PO Box 8566 | Springfield, MO 65801

We’re individuals & families who support the Botanical Center & Gardens in its mission to provide outstanding botanical, horticultural and environmental education opportunities for people of all ages. Anyone with an interest or appreciation in nature who wish to support the progress of the gardens is encouraged to join this non-profit organization Friends of the Garden. As a member, you’re a partner in the future of the these gardens.

Become a Friend of the Garden

icon How to Make a Butterfly Garden (1.3 MB)