Information on:

The Butterfly House

15193 Olive Boulevard

About Us:

Sophia M. Sachs was the widow of Sam Sachs, who founded Sachs Electric Co. and was influential in the development of Chesterfield, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. Mrs. Sachs retained her wonder of discovery until her death in May 1999. She shared that beauty with children of all ages through life. This facility is named in honor of her generous spirit.


The Butterfly House is a not-for-profit organization which was established in 1995 to increase awareness of the natural habitat in which butterflies thrive. Officers of the corporation were: Evelyn E. Newman, Lucy Lopata, Linda Penniman, Caroline Loughlin and Charles A. Lowenhaupt. The new facility was built entirely with private funds provided through donations of foundations, corporations, individuals, as well as membership support.

Ground was broken in June of 1997 and construction began on the Butterfly House. The 8,000 square foot Conservatory Garden is sheathed in 646 pieces of glass, each measuring 4' X 6' and weighing approximately 200 pounds. The center vault, soaring 36' high at its apex, is one of five vaults designed to minimize visual (and flight) obstruction. Great care was taken in the design and engineering of the building to assure a natural and safe habitat for the butterflies. An additional 8,000 square feet adjacent to the Conservatory houses a classroom, theater, visitor amenities and gift shop. Christner, Inc., Bannes Consulting and BSI Constructors executed the design, project management and construction.

The Butterfly House opened its doors to the public on September 18, 1998 and provides educational opportunities to a diverse visitorship. In 2000 the outdoor area known as the Butterfly Garden was dedicated. The Butterfly House offers education programs, special events, lectures and, of course, the chance to witness butterflies in two habitats, one native and one tropical.

In July, 2001, the Butterfly House became a division of the Missouri Botanical Garden, a leader in horticultural displays, research and education. The following year, 2002, the second expansion of the facility opened and was designated the "Emerson Lakeside Terrace". This plaza area is the site for many special events, both public and private. The same year, the Butterfly House began participating with Butterfly Conservation Initiative, BFCI, of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and the next year it was accredited by the AZA becoming the only dedicated insect facility in this organization.

The historic Faust Family greenhouse structure was renovated in 2007 and began supplying a significant portion of animal food needs, especially nectar for the butterflies. In 2007, the Butterfly House was also recognized by El Bosque Nuevo as providing funding, through purchases of pupae from this sustainable butterfly farming operation in Costa Rica, to purchase more than 16 acres of land for the protected reserve.


Lucy G

Friday, Aug. 10, 2018
Honestly one of the most magical places I've ever been to! I loved everything about my experience today. I actually spent most of my trip to the museum at the Butterfly House. I just couldn't leave. As I finally decided to make my exit, a beautiful big blue butterfly landed on my finger and stayed there for about 20 minutes. I couldn't believe it! I can't wait to come back! I got home and immediately signed up to be a volunteer. I would spend all day EVERY DAY here if I could. It really is that beautiful of an experience!! QUICK TIP: Parents! If you are bringing your children here for the first time, PLEASE teach them how to properly handle butterflies. They're incredibly fragile insects and their little wings break so easily. I was there for hours and watched as children were left unattended as they SWATTED at the poor butterflies in their attempt to "catch" them. BUTTERFLIES SHOULD NOT BE CAUGHT! That's how people injure them. The proper way to get one to come to you is to wait for it to land and gently get it to crawl onto your finger. Please parents, teach this to your little ones so that they don't hurt these beautiful insects. I saw way to many butterflies with broken wings due to improper handling. Sorry for the rant. I just had to get that off of my chest. The butterflies were SO BEAUTIFUL and it hurt me to see them hurt! Oh and the rest of the museum is great too. Lots to learn and much to see!

Jacquelynn Adams

Wednesday, July 18, 2018
Only had time to drive thru, but looking forward to returning when I have more time. The geese were everywhere and so calm. There is also a lovely park, a historical site and an indoor carousel ride on the the same property. I'd definitely recommend Faust Park in Chesterfield for a great family day adventure. Oh, and it also looks like they have concerts in the park too!

Maria Davila

Monday, April 23, 2018
When I walk into The Butterfly House, I feel like I just stepped into Central America. The planet life is awesome here. In the winter months, this place is an excellent escape from the bitter cold. My favorite part of The Butterfly House is that they've got a viewing window where you can watch cocoons hatch. It lets you experience the miracle of nature first hand. For kids, they have a story hour which includes a touch and feel interaction with the House's insects. Too cool! And just steps away is the carousel which can be ridden for a small fee. A perfect afternoon of fun!

Marcia Thompson

Monday, July 9, 2018
Wonderful place to go and take children if you want. Just wander around with the butterflies. Beautiful Other living critters in small cases. Interesting. Cute gift shop.

Eric Wyant

Wednesday, June 6, 2018
The building has a small gift shop, about 12 to 15 insect and arachnid tanks, an educational room, a decent botanical garden and walking path, an event tent, restrooms and of course, the butterfly greenhouse. The greenhouse was gorgeous with tropical plants, vines and flowers, not to mention the hundreds or more butterflies fluttering around. We each ended up having one land on us since we were sweaty from the playground. There was also a chrysalis hatching observatory. Some employees brought out a millipede and stag beetle for kids to pet. The place is not big, but they pack bunches of greatness into it. This is NOT the Botanical Garden, as that is in actual St Louis area.

The Butterfly House is not affiliated with AmericanTowns Media