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“A slice of the rainforest” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Cockrell Butterfly Center

Cockrell Butterfly Center
1 Hermann Circle Drive, Houston, TX (The Museum District)
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Ranked #11 of 449 things to do in Houston
Certificate of Excellence 2014
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Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Next to the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the glass-enclosed butterfly habitat includes a simulated rainforest and thousands of colorful butterflies. A dramatic 50-foot waterfall and exotic plants transport visitors.
Houston, Texas, United States
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“A slice of the rainforest”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 27, 2013

FernGully was released when I was six years old, and I loved that magical animated movie about fairies who lived in the rainforest. Memories of that movie were brought to mind yesterday as I strolled through Houston’s Cockrell Butterfly Center.

Sure, butterflies are not fairies. But visiting the 3-story glass structure and 50-foot waterfall with fluttering butterflies all around is a magical experience. It’s a little slice of the rain forest in the middle of Houston.

Encased at the Houston Museum of Natural Science, the Butterfly Center is just one of many halls and exhibits in this top-rated museum. My family needed to find an activity to do together that was appropriate for a 14-month old child. The butterfly center fit the bill.

You can spend an hour just sitting on a bench in the butterfly structure, gazing at the zoo all around you. Or you can spend several hours by also reading all about insects in the exhibit before and after the butterfly section. There are interactive games and videos and quizzes. This attraction will not keep you occupied all day, but it is a great visit to make either before or after a stroll in Hermann Park. My family walked across the street to this park and found a sunny spot for a picnic.

Rules for the butterfly center include no food, no strollers, and no touching. There was no rule, however, about what to do if a butterfly landed on you!

Ticket prices are $8 for adults, $7 for children (3-11 years old) and seniors and college students, and other discounts for large groups.

Grab a treat from the McDonald’s inside the museum before you leave, or check out one of the educational IMAX movies. A few weeks ago I saw Jerusalem in 3D and it was excellent. The Cockrell Butterfly Center is a beautiful and fun sight in Houston.

PS - We visited on a nice day. I'm told it's hot in the butterfly center if it's hot outside.

Visited October 2013
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196 reviews from our community

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Canton, Michigan
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Small, bu beautiful”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 10, 2013

Very interesting place to enjoy "natural" beauty.

The Cockrell Butterfly Center is located in the same building as the Natural Science Museum, although when you purchase a ticket, you are only purchasing a ticket to the butterfly center, not the museum, and vice versa.

There is a plethora of information available on bugs, butterflies, moths, ants, and every in between! They have a nice childrens area.

It's kind of an odd feeling to have all these butterflies flying around you, but you get used to it.

I wouldn't say you would spend a lot of time here, but it is worth a stop if you are going to the museums in the area!

Visited October 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Fun & Learn exhibit”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2013

I liked the entrance of the butterfly exhibit where you can learn a lot of facts about bugs. It was definitely interactive enough for kids and adults too. Then you enter the butterfly exhibit itself: it is hot and humid but very nicely done. Butterflies everywhere.

Visited September 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Houston, Texas
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
25 attraction reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“While you're at the museum it's a must-see - kids like it!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 7, 2013

It's not extremely large, but it's adjacent (and attached) to the main museum. For a small fee (yes even for museum members), you can see an insect exhibit (some interactive games, some "caged" in plexiglass) before heading down the spiral walkway that leads through the butterfly atrium.

Once inside, the weather is humid and a bit warmer than comfortable, so dress appropriately! You'll immediately see large plants and various butterfly species flying about. As you go deeper, you'll see even more different ones including some pretty clear-winged ones and some large varieties as well. The thing that isn't that pretty is that to feed them, they leave out some fruit on a plate, and as it spoils it attracts fruit flies.

At the bottom, there's a nice waterfall with some vines that hang down. Sometimes butterflies perch on those as well.

Bring a camera and wear red if you'd like to increase the odds of a butterfly landing on you!

Visited August 2013
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Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 30, 2013 via mobile

Butterflies everywhere in this beautiful 3 story garden, flying, resting, feeding, landing on us and we even watched one laying eggs. What a beautiful, magical place.
Must see and bring your camera!

Visited April 2013
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