Win tickets to the Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster, Colorado

Butterfly with pink flower

Butterfly on pink flower at the Butterfly Pavilion. Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved.

Nature has always has played a big part in my life. When I was just a little girl, growing up in the Pacific Northwest at the edge of the Puget Sound, my favorite outing was to our local interpretive center.

Visiting this place and getting to know the biologists who worked there played a big part in the woman I am today. The center filled me with wonder and I couldn’t wait to grow up and become a marine biologist – we can all see how that turned out!

Today, nature still fills me with a sense of awe and a kind of serenity I can obtain no where else.

I’ve lived in Colorado for a long time now, longer than I’ve ever lived anywhere else, and several years ago I finally visited the Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster. Prior to my visit I’d been under the impression that this was a place just for kids. I was wrong. Of course, there is lots of programming for kids, and it is a wonderful experience for children, but I believe most adults will enjoy visiting this attraction.

butterfly on leaf

Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster, Colorado. Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved

A visit to the Butterfly Pavilion is a fascinating look at the natural world in a climate that’s really good for your skin. They keep the butterflies in a climate controlled environment that feels like a temporary trip to Mexico.

Located just 15 minutes northwest of Denver, the Butterfly Pavilion is more than just butterflies. In addition to the tropical conservatory that houses 12,000 butterflies from around the world, the Pavilion also has an insect exhibit (creepy crawly things that may give some of you nightmares), a Water’s Edge exhibit that takes me back to my childhood along the Puget Sound, a half-mile nature trail, outdoor gardens and Tropical Odyssey, an interactive exhibit for the family that includes active play, interactive learning and more.

Don’t miss this weekend at the Pavilion because on Saturday, May 19, it’s Bloomapalooza, a celebration of Plant Conservation Day. There will be giveaways, workshops, planting projects, a kids play area and the Garden Center of Colorado will be taking all your old gardening trays, cell packs and pots to be recycled. For additional information on this event and on the Butterfly Pavilion in general go to

big pink flower at butterfly pavilion

Giant pink flower at the Butterfly Pavilion. Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved.

Now, here’s your chance to WIN 4 TICKETS to the Butterfly Pavilion.

Just leave a comment here letting me know your favorite bug. I like ladybugs and have had several land on me this spring, which I consider lucky. I’m also very fond of bumble bees.

This contest runs today through Monday, May 21st at 3 p.m. I will pick a winner at random, and he or she will receive four tickets to the Butterfly Pavilion.

Good luck!




Website Comments

  1. Beth

    It’s a toss up. The honey bee is awesome and does so much for our food supply. But as a Southern gal, I’m also pretty fond of the cicada, or at least the sound it makes during the summer πŸ™‚

  2. Marcella

    Oh I love bugs! I love spiders and beetles and ladybugs and… but my favorite bug of all is the dragonfly. Not sure why, though it helps that they eat mosquitos, I don’t like mosquitos.

  3. Erica

    Grasshoppers. I used to be terrified of them when I was little, but my sister caught one for me to look at up close and hold and I’ve loved them ever since.

  4. Zea

    My favorite is the walking stick. The way they move is so interesting to watch.

  5. Charlene Olms

    The butterfly of course! They are so magical and beautiful. Plus my 17 month old cracks up whenever she sees one. It would be so fun to see her reactions at the Butterfly Pavilion.

  6. Jen

    I love coming across praying mantises! I am also very intrigued by cicadas…I read that they come out of hibernation every 7 years, so now that I think about it, this year should be a good cicada year! The year I graduated from high school (’05), our trees were FILLED with humming cicadas.

  7. michelle

    ladybugs!! I write haiku and my very first one was about ladybugs…something along the lines of “little cherry cupcakes in the sky” I was in grade school!!

    I am in a huge transition phase in my life and feel that butterflies represent me right now!!!

    thank you for the opportunity!

  8. alex

    I’ve never really been a big bug person (terrifying story of being covered in daddy long legs at a girl scout camping trip when I was a kid kind-of scarred me!), but I’m definitely having a “Butterfly Year.” Last fall I divorced my husband, moved across the country, turned 30, and started graduate school – during all that I read that the caterpillar actually fights off the butterfly DNA until their “true form” wins over and their new life begins. I’m experiencing my own “rebirth” at this time in my life and am loving it! Butterflies are most definitely “my bug!” Finally figured out what my first tattoo will be and I can’t wait to see them all at the Pavilion! Thanks for the posts and contests Heidi – you make being new to the area most fun! πŸ™‚

  9. Laura

    I love Roll-e-Pole-ees!! I spent soo much time on our sidewalk checking them out as a kiddo growing up in TX. Now my family lives at 10500ft and we are void of these fun bugs! My 3year old has no idea what’s out there!!!!

  10. Brenda Fenske

    it is a toss up between lightening bugs and dragonflys…..lightening bugs take me back to my childhood so if I had to choose just one… that is what it would be.

  11. Kelly Garbarino

    Lightning bugs… it reminds me of visiting my grandparent’s place back east πŸ™‚

  12. Steve

    I vote for the ladybug. So unobtrusive and they have such great fashion sense.

  13. Julia McReynolds

    I would have to say lightning bugs also. I used to live in Oklahoma, where we would see them a lot. I did see some in Ft Collins about 5 years ago.

  14. Heather

    Honeybees. I love to watch them buzzing over a patch of clover. It reminds of how interconnected we all are…all creatures great and small.

  15. Christi

    hmmmm… I used to eat roly polys when I was about 3 years old, so I guess those were my favorites at one point in my life. Now however, I have to go with ladybugs too. When you have kids, it’s so much fun to buy the box full of ladybugs at the garden center and release them in the yard. We’ll be doing that here soon and my oldest wants to create some little houses and habitats in our yard first. πŸ™‚

  16. Bethany Lane

    We love the painted lady butterflys. My daughter just learned about them in school and are fun to find around the neighborhood on walks!

  17. Dawn C

    My favorite bug would be lightning bugs. I grew up in the midwest and those cool little bugs were so much fun to see them every night in the summer. Now that I have kids it is sad that they do not get to experience them here in Colorado.


    My personal favorite bug would have to be roly polys. So loved playing with them as a kid.

  19. Gena Feldman

    I love bugs! Hard to say which is my favorite?! Lady bugs are awesome! My husband is a beekeeper and I love honeybees as well. Maybe my favorite is the Praying Mantis! Such an interesting bug!
    We call my g’daughter “Bug”! She is definitely my favorite!! She loves the Roly Polys, which aren’t really bugs!! I sure enjoyed reading all the comments here!

  20. crystal

    My favorite bug is the butterfly..I just think they are so beautiful and colorful.

  21. charichamberlain

    O daughter is afraid of many bugs so lately we have been educating her on lots of different bugs which makes her less sacred. My favorite bug has always been rolly Polly. And that rolly Polly definitely didn’t fail me when i introduced him as the first non scary bug to my daughter. I showed her how he rolled into a ball when he is sacred. She was so surprised that he was actually sacred of her! After that she was open to meet more bugs! I love rolly Pollys!

  22. Katherine

    I love lady bugs! In fact, that will be my daughter’s Halloween costume this year!

  23. Aaryn Novy

    I love and miss lightning bugs…especially since they are not around the denver area!

  24. Suz

    I remember when I was a kid, there was a freak migration of the yellow and black butterflies through the area and they were everywhere. Those are my favorites and I saw several in Manitou Springs this weekend that brought the memory back.

    Also – pick me! pick me! πŸ˜€

  25. Kris Michaelson

    Love the ladybugs! I always buy a bag of them for my garden to eat the pesky bugs. πŸ™‚
    And I have been dying to take my daughter to the butterfly pavilion! She would LOVE it!

  26. Ann

    I think my favorite would have to be ladybugs but I like butterflies and lightning bugs too. My son is fascinated by ants and pill bugs right now. He loves watching them.

  27. Glenys Frazer

    Praying Mantis are very interesting with their long legs and butterflies are very beautiful and graceful, with so many different colors and markings

  28. Arielle

    I love the sound of crickets. I listened to a chorus of crickets all through the tough period of my labor with my son, and it helped sooth and relax me. Thank you, crickets!

  29. Cheryl Wheeler

    I’ve always liked dragon flies. I think they are some of the more whimsical of the insect life we have here.

  30. Jim O'Donnell

    Well….I certainly do love lady bug….and dragon flies….and…..well, there are many to choose from but butterflies HAVE to be my favorite.

  31. Kate Hart

    I’m going to have to go with ladybug. They’re the least scary lol!

  32. Kristi Ritter

    My favorite bug is a honeybee, because of their rare status. A few years ago I wrote a story about beekeepers and had so much fun at the bee farm. My photographer and I got to put in the white bee suits and everything. However, turns out bees like black cameras and got inside the face mask of my photographer. He started yelling, and I started hitting him with my glove! I’m sure we looked hilarious with him running around crazy and me slapping him! It was totally worth it though because we got some splendid honeycomb!

  33. The Mayor

    The winner is HEATHER… her response:
    “Honeybees. I love to watch them buzzing over a patch of clover. It reminds of how interconnected we all areÒ€¦all creatures great and small.”

    Thanks to everyone who entered this popular contest. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a lightening bug. Do they even exist in Colorado? I don’t think they live in in the Pacific Northwest where I grew up.

    Thank you for all the interesting responses – I enjoyed reading them!!! I hope all of you will consider visiting the Butterfly Pavilion this summer.

    Note: Contest winners on are chosen using

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