Flutter Fest 2020

Join us online for our annual butterfly festival! Tune in from 3:00pm-4:00pm EST on Saturday, Sept. 19th and watch as we release more than 1,000 tagged monarch butterflies to coincide with the annual monarch migration.

Want to be even more involved in the fun? Donate as little as $5 to be a Butterfly Hero and receive a tag number to follow your butterfly along their journey. Additional support levels are available. A portion of Flutter Fest donations will be shared with our conservation ally, Monarch Watch.

Due to COVID-19, attendance to the butterfly release field will be limited to guests who purchase Monarch Migration tickets.



Get butterfly swag, adopt a butterfly and even secure your spot to join us for Flutter Fest.

Click below to view ways you can participate in Flutter Fest while supporting your Louisville Zoo!

Support Levels…


See if your butterfly has been spotted.

Monarchs released at the Zoo will travel over 1,600 miles to reach their overwintering grounds in Mexico.

The monarch tags are part of a large-scale citizen scientist project that began in 1992. As volunteers locate a monarch with a tag, they report the number and location on a shared tracking system. The volunteers report if the butterfly is injured, eating, etc. and where it was last seen. The 2020 spreadsheet has not been added yet on the Monarch Watch site. Keep checking back – the spreadsheet will be updated over the next several months as tags are found and reported by volunteers.

More info…


Learn more about plants that will attract pollinators like monarchs to your backyard!

As adults, monarchs feed on more than just milkweed. They enjoy feeding on nectar from a variety of fruits and flowers using their long tongue called a proboscis.

Did you know: Monarchs smell with their antennae. Nectar and water are tasted using the sensory hairs on their legs and feet.

Planting Guide…


Discover pollinator themed crafts and games you can do at home!

Each September, during Flutter Fest, the Zoo releases more than 1,000 vibrant orange monarch butterflies into the wild.

Did you know: Monarch butterflies have a built in defense system. Their bright colors serve as a warning to predators that they are poisonous, and they should attack at their own risk!

Crafts and Activities…


Enjoy some of our favorite Flutter Fest themed snack ideas and recipes.

Caterpillars spend almost all of their time eating. Monarch caterpillars ONLY eat milkweed making them some of the pickiest eaters out there.

Did you know: Monarch caterpillars are eating machines. They eat 200 times their weight in milkweed to provide them with enough nourishment later in life.

Silly Snacks…


Idlewild Butterfly Farm

Raises regional native butterflies on a dedicated butterfly farm. Visit Idlewild to see how butterflies are raised, learn the importance of wild pollinators, learn about pollinator and butterfly gardening, buy butterfly garden plants, or purchase butterflies for release or butterfly life cycle kits!

Learn More…

Monarch Watch

Monarch Watch is a nonprofit educational outreach program based at the University of Kansas that focuses on the monarch butterfly, its habitat, and its spectacular fall migration.

Learn More…

2020 season presented by