Guatemalan CrackerThe NBC is a 100-acre nature preserve with cultivated gardens and wildscape, navigable through woodland and savannah trails. This ever-changing landscape is a work in progress. Once an onion field in commercial production, this area is being restored to native habitat to support wildlife.

What can I expect at the National Butterfly Center?

Expect seasonal temperatures and variations related to natural processes. For example, butterflies will not be out and about in temperatures below 65*F or during heavy showers.

Are the butterflies caged or kept inside?

No, our butterflies are all wild and free-flying. They are not farmed or held captive. We typically have an abundance of them because we plant the host and nectar plants they need to live and reproduce. To experience the beauty of the butterflies, birds and other wildlife, you must explore the outdoors where they may be found.

When is the best time to visit?

Any sunny day with temperatures above 70*F should offer opportunities for observing butterflies. Weather patterns, including rainfall, regulate and affect wildlife, so we cannot predict exactly when butterflies will be most plentiful; however, if it is warm, we will have butterflies. 

While the peak of butterfly season occurs each fall, during migration (when the annual Texas Butterfly Festival is scheduled), the volume and variety of butterfly species will change throughout the year. This means spring, summer, fall and winter can all be good times to visit.

What should I bring?

We generally recommend you bring a hat and sunscreen, as well as insect repellant. Closed-toe shoes with an outdoor sole are strongly suggested. Binoculars and cameras are highly encouraged.  You may also bring food and non-alcoholic beverages onto the grounds; but pets, fireworks, drugs and alcohol, dirt bikes, ATVs and firearms are prohibited.

Is admission free with my state/national park pass?

No, the National Butterfly Center is not affiliated with the state or national park systems. We are a project of the nonprofit North American Butterfly Association, Inc. Operational support comes from members and donors, as well as admission and program fees, native plant and gift shop sales, and grants.

Where do I find out about programs, activities and guided tours?

Our Facebook page is the best way to obtain up-to-the-minute information about activities at the NBC, including any weather-related closures.  We have an online event calendar, however, it may not always be accurate. If you have questions about a specific event, it is always best to call: 956-583-5400. If you leave a message (and you may have to) please make sure to leave a call back number!

How do I become a member/donor/volunteer?

The JOIN US and SUPPORT tabs both have information and links to online applications, as well as PayPal, for your convenience. We welcome your participation and hope you will make a point to visit often, for the love of butterflies!

We are grateful for the support of:

City-of-Mission-Color-Logo bentsen-palm

Hours of Operation

September - March
8:00 - 5:00

April - August
8:00 - 5:00

Come See Us

National Butterfly Center
3333 Butterfly Park Drive
Mission, TX 78572
GPS Coordinates:
26.180243 -98.364973

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