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Butterflies Are Blooming: Tropical-themed therapy for winter-weary Grand Rapidians


Are you sick of the winter chills? Can’t bear the thought of leaving your blue Snuggie? Do you yearn for that inner, satisfying feeling you had many months ago in Michigan when your bones were actually warm? 

Well, lucky for you, a much-needed and healing tropical 85 degrees and 70 percent humidity warmth has always been just a few miles away from your home in Grand Rapids at the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park.

And in case you needed more than the promise of warmth and the chance to see Ai Weiwei’s historic “Natural State” exhibition, then the lively and light annual Fred & Dorothy Fichter “Butterflies Are Blooming” exhibition might be just the lure you need to get you there.

This popular annual event invites you to the Lena Meijer Tropical Conservatory, where more than 7,000 tropical butterflies from Africa, Asia, South America, and Central America will take flight after being birthed in the nation’s largest temporary tropical butterfly exhibition. 

Scheduled to appear this year is the blue Common Morpho, Clearwings, Lacewings, and Zebra Mosaics. Fans of the Longwings will enjoy their patterns-rich details found in the Small Blue Grecian, Doris, Postman and Tiger butterflies. Gliders will also be appearing like the Emperor, Ruby-spotted, and Tropical Swallowtails.

So, get off your couch, leave the drafty pub, grab the kids (not in this order), and head to the Gardens, where nearly 60 distinct and colorful species fly freely in this five-story, 15,000 square-foot conservatory.

Over the next two months, these winged performers are with us; more than 170,000 human visitors from all over the world will migrate to the Gardens to partake in this colorful exhibition of natural beauty. 

For more information, including admission and special programming created for this annual event, please visit its website.
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