With spring finally here, your kids are probably eager to spread their wings. And a great way to (literally) do it? Check out one of the butterfly gardens in NJ, where littles can marvel at all the different colors and species of plants and butterflies, and you’ll be able to sneak in a few Insta-worthy photos. Plus, they’ll learn how a caterpillar becomes a beautiful butterfly and what plants to grow to attract butterflies to your 2022 garden. (featured photo credit: istock/Tim Speer)
Here are 8 Butterfly Gardens in NJ to visit this spring
The Kate Gorrie Butterfly House in NJ — and The Watershed Reserve in general — is host to a wide range of native butterflies and native plants that provide their nectar and shelter. Help your kiddos look for the well-known golden monarch butterflies (hint: they’re known to shelter on milkweed species plants). Inside the butterfly house, you can find a recreation of all the habitats in Central NJ, from the fields to the wet meadows to the forests.
31 Titus Mill Road, Pennington, NJ 08534
The Essex County Environmental Center is an education center that emphasizes creating awareness, understanding, and appreciation of the environment. The butterfly garden is located inside West Essex Park among trails and a bunch of child-friendly gardens, including a Learning Garden. After exploring the Butterfly Garden, stop by the pollinator garden, which focuses on native plants that attract pollinators (like butterflies).
621 Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland, NJ 07068
Wheelabrator is a waste management company with a commitment to a clean environment. As such, Wheelabrator Gloucester has a wildlife refuge and nature trail on 150 acres of wetlands around the facility — and towards the front of the sanctuary is a butterfly garden in NJ. After you finish up there, take a break at the picnic pavilion. If you want to make a whole afternoon of this with your fam, follow their guide to exploring the rest of the refuge.
600 US-130 (before you get to the gate, turn into the parking lot), West Deptford, NJ 08093
Tenafly Nature Center’s Butterfly House in NJ has various butterflies to admire. In the Pollinator Garden, the plants, birds, and insects that inhabit the garden vary by season (early summer for butterflies).
Cost: Tenafly Nature Center members — free. Non-members — $2 per person or $10 per family.
313 Hudson Avenue, Tenafly, NJ 07670
The variety of plants at The Mark Landrum Children’s Butterfly Garden in NJ not only serves as a beautiful backdrop for your photos of the kids — but they also provide food and shelter for the local butterflies (and birds). In particular, there are two milkweed species that attract monarch butterflies, and herbs like dill, parsley, and fennel are popular among swallowtail butterflies. You can also swing by the turtlehead, bee balm, and honeysuckle plants to try and get a glimpse of some hummingbirds.
21 Van Vleck Street, Montclair, NJ 07042
The Philadelphia Eagles Four Seasons Butterfly House in NJ at Camden Children’s Garden offers a wide array of butterfly species for you and your littles to marvel at. The spacious 1,200-square-foot butterfly house in NJ gives your fam plenty of space to walk around and enjoy the tropical feel. Make sure to stop by the peaceful pond and bubbling fountain for some photos for the ‘gram.
Cost: $6 for general admission; children one and under are free
3 Riverside Drive, Camden, NJ 08103
If you’re looking for a spot filled with butterflies, check out Turtle Back Zoo’s Butterfly Tent — this 100-foot-long space has over 700 butterflies from six different North American species. Your littles can see butterflies in their various stages in this one space, from eggs to caterpillars to chrysalises to butterflies. And after you finish marveling at the butterflies, make an afternoon of it — you’ve got the whole rest of the zoo to explore.
Cost: $2 per person for the Butterfly Tent in addition to Zoo entry fees
560 Northfield Avenue, West Orange, NJ 07052
Woodbridge Township’s Butterfly Garden in NJ, which the Woodbridge River Watch maintains, is simple but peaceful. Let your kiddos run around on the walkways to explore the garden, sit on the nearby benches to enjoy the spring weather, and check out the charming gazebo.
Omar Avenue, Avenel, NJ 07001
Have you been to a butterfly garden in NJ? Let us know which one is your favorite!
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