Thousands of guests have already experienced the beauty of butterflies in the Indianapolis Zoo’s all-new exhibit, Butterfly Kaleidoscope presented by Citizens Energy Group.
This exhibit really is like nothing you’ve ever seen before at the Zoo. We created this space so that guests would be surrounded by color and wonder in a tropical paradise that they’d never want to leave. And to get people’s attention, we created an amazing 3-D art installation in front of White River Gardens that gives guests a sneak preview of what’s inside.
If you haven’t yet visited Butterfly Kaleidoscope, you’re missing nearly 40 different species of native and exotic butterflies free-floating around you inside the Hilbert Conservatory. Plus there’s so much more to see and do! So here are five tips to help you get the most out of your Butterfly Kaleidoscope experience!
Don’t Forget Your Camera
From the scenic entry, to the beautiful mosaics to the butterflies themselves, Butterfly Kaleidoscope is filled with amazing imagery. And unlike most other animals at the Zoo, you’re encouraged to get up close with these wonderful winged insects. So you’ll definitely want your camera — or your phone — to capture all the moments you won’t want to forget.
The Emerging Opportunity
The metamorphosis of a caterpillar into butterfly is an amazing and mysterious process. And if you’ve ever wanted to witness it up close and personal, here’s your chance. The Butterfly Emergence Chamber is located near the center of the Hilbert Conservatory. Here you’ll see rows and rows of chrysalis, which is the pupae stage of the butterfly. Look a little closer and you’re sure to see butterflies emerging from their chrysalis and preparing for their flight into the Conservatory to join their butterfly buddies. The daily release times are posted on a sign just outside the chamber, so plan to stick around and watch the butterflies emerge.
Pretend to Be a Flower
If you’re hoping for a butterfly close encounter, the best approach is to just pretend you’re a flower; your body is the stem and your arms are the leaves. Extend your arm parallel to the ground and try not to move around a lot. Then don’t be surprised if one or two land on you. The butterflies are also looking for colorful flowers to feed from, so wearing and accessorizing with bold, bright colors helps.
Let the Party Come to You
As you walk around the Conservatory, be on the lookout for the beautiful hand-blown glass feeders that hold chunks of juicy fruits along with a specially brewed nectar concoction made from sports drink, sugar and beer (yes, beer). These are the foods and beverages butterflies love, and as you can imagine, the feeders become party central (so to speak). So if you’re circling the indoor gardens searching for butterflies, spend some time at one of these feeders and you’ll soon see lots of colorful creatures.
Bring the Butterflies Home
When you’ve had your fill of beautiful butterflies and you think you’ve seen it all, now you’re ready to take it all home to your backyard. Located just outside of the Conservatory, our Horticulture staff has created a butterfly-friendly garden landscaped with flowers and other plants to attract native species of butterflies. Taking tips and cues from our garden, you can begin to attract butterfly beauties like the zebra swallowtail, common buckeye, red-spotted purple and monarch. We hope this space inspires you to create a beautiful outdoor garden that you and your butterfly friends can enjoy.