Butterfly in the Osher Rainforest

Exciting things are hatching this spring–literally! From newly emerged tropical butterflies in our updated rainforest exhibit to an artful array of hands-on, family friendly activities, spring is in full bloom throughout the Academy, from March 17 through April 23.

There's no better place to celebrate the season than inside our four-story rainforest dome, where you'll get an unprecedented peek at the chrysalises and cocoons of over a dozen butterfly and moth species in our all-new butterfly emergence chamber. Check out the dynamic schedule of programs in store featuring community partners from around the Bay Area.

Norris Center for Natural History scavenger hunt

Norris Center for Natural History
Saturday, March 18 and 25, 10 am–2 pm
Project Lab

Pollinating species have noses for nectar, searching plants high and low for nutrients. Channel your inner insect and embark on a scavenger hunt hosted by UCSC's Norris Center for Natural History.

Planet Bee Foundation

Planet Bee Foundation
Sundays, March 19 – April 23, 10 am–2 pm
Project Lab

Bees are worth their buzz, pollinating nearly 100 important food crops worldwide. Let the Planet Bee Foundation introduce you to a hive-full of their fuzzy, flying friends as part of their Humble Bee Project. Please note that the Academy is open to members only from 10-11 am on Sundays.

Monarch butterfly photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

San Francisco Department of the Environment
Friday, April 7, 10 am–2 pm
Project Lab

Get tips on how to attract more butterflies to your urban garden–and how to identify them once they flutter by for a visit.

Photo courtesy of Jenny Kendler and Instagram user @brianqnguyen90

Bewilder with artist Jenny Kendler
Saturday, April 8, and Sunday, April 9, 10 am–2 pm
Project Lab

Seeing spots can be a good thing. As part of her interactive photography project Bewilder, NRDC artist-in-residence and environmentalist Jenny Kendler will temporarily-tattoo you with butterfly eyespots as you strike a pose against a dazzling butterfly backdrop. Please note that the Academy is open to members only from 10-11 am on Sundays.

Butterfly Papercrafts with Sal Levinson

Butterfly Papercrafts with Sal Levinson
Friday, April 21, and Saturday, April 22, 10 am–2 pm
Project Lab

Butterflies are works of art in their own right. Make your own multicolored masterpiece with artist Sal Levinson, and then compare it to the real thing as you marvel at live specimens.

Photograph by John Flannery, distributed under a CC-BY 2.0 license

San Francisco Botanical Garden
Sunday, April 23, 10 am – 2 pm
Project Lab

Learn about the curious connection between Pipevine Swallowtails and their host plants while young ones craft their own butterfly rings. Please note that the Academy is open to members only from 10-11 am on Sundays.

Photo courtesy of Julia Jane Moore

Arts and Crafts with Julia Jane Moore
Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through April 23, 10 am–2 pm
Project Lab

Local artist Julia Jane Moore is back at the Academy by popular demand, and her high-energy, hands-on artmaking activities are sure to be a hit with visitors of all ages. Please note that the Academy is open to members only from 10-11 am on Sundays.

GeoTots logo

GeoTots
Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through April 23, 10 am–2 pm
Project Lab

Who’s who in the beehive? Play fun mazes and activities designed to teach kids about some of the important roles bees play in the hive. Please note that the Academy is open to members only from 10-11 am on Sundays. 

Family Nature Crafts

Family Nature Crafts
Saturday, March 18 and 25, and Sunday, March 19 and 26, 10 am–noon
Swamp

Spark creativity by making your own nature-inspired crafts, including butterfly watercolor paintings and suncatchers. Fun for kids of all ages. Year-round. Supplies limited; adult supervision required. Please note that the Academy is open to members only from 10-11 am on Sundays.

Early Explorers Cove

Early Explorers Cove
Monday through Saturday, 10 am–5 pm, and Sunday, 11 am–5 pm

Young learners and their families can explore the world of butterflies through storybooks, puzzles, puppets, arts and crafts, family programs, and more. Designed for kids 5 and under.

Butterfly Am I

Butterfly Am I
Daily, 11 am
Piazza

Do you have what it takes to be a butterfly? This theatrical program features pro-tips for success–from a butterfly's point of view.

Naturalist Center

Naturalist Center
Daily, 11 am–5 pm

Examine a butterfly specimen under a microscope, design a butterfly garden, and construct your own origami butterfly. Featuring butterfly games, puzzles, and more.

Pollinator Power

Pollinator Power
Monday–Friday, 11:15 am, and Saturday and Sunday, 2:15 pm
Living Roof

Butterflies, bats, and bees—oh my! Join us atop the Academy’s Living Roof for a peek into the lives of local pollinators and discover how these creatures keep humans and habitats healthy. Weather permitting.

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