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“Sioux Falls best attraction”

Butterfly House & Aquarium
Ranked #4 of 71 things to do in Sioux Falls
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Enjoy over 800 free-flying butterflies from around the world in the tropical conservatory. View vibrant marine fishes, jellyfish, and corals in ten aquariums, including the Pop-Up Dome Aquarium, Shark & Stingray Touch Pool, and Pacific Tide Pool. Experience interactive learning and relaxation with tropical butterflies and marine life. A year round tropical destination! The Butterfly House & Aquarium is a nonprofit organization, funded entirely by admissions, memberships, gift shop sales, and donations. Thank you for visiting and supporting our mission of learning, healing, and celebrating nature's beauty with tropical butterflies and marine life!
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Wheelchair access, Stroller parking, Activities for older children
Reviewed March 27, 2012

Starting 20 April 20-12, the Sertoma Butterfly House and Marine Cove will have a touchpool with horn sharks, horseshoe crabs and stingrays. With 16 aquariums with everything from pirhannas, seahorses, sea anemones, lion fish, cichlids, discus fish, whitemouth mouth morey eel, picasso triggerfish, burr fish, panther grouper, albino catfish, clownfish, tangs, wrasses, stonefish blemmis, pajama cardinals, rainbows, harlequin rasparas, and a variety of coal -- it's the place you want to go to first... and back again before you continue your vacation. In the flight room you'll see over 800 butterflies flying freely about the room -- probably 30-40 different species on any given day. there's also a theater room which shows a film either about fish or butterflies each day; as well as a children's library with hundreds of books, toys, some fish, and a skink. For those who like creepy-crawly things, there's even an assortment of taurantulas. Be sure to bring your camera!

1  Thank ScubaDiverRick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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361 - 365 of 378 reviews

Reviewed March 26, 2012

This is a well done butterfly exhibit with many different species. Spend a relaxing hour when visiting Sioux Falls. Friendly staff give valuable information. Worth a stop.

1  Thank Raesa1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 24, 2012

I am from Omaha where we have a beautiful butterfly house in our zoo so I was a bit nervous about paying for two adults to get into this house. I'm happy to say it was worth every penny!

We came on a warm, but rainy spring day and I think this was perfect for a rainy day (or cold winter day) escape. It took us less than an hour to see everything, but even so we enjoyed our time.

The cashier was very friendly and gave us a brief overview of the facility as well as a butterfly identification chart that we could carry through with us. She also explained that a Sioux Falls man had donated all of his home aquariums to them and pointed us to the area where we could see them. They are also building a touching pool that will have rays in it (and maybe something else?) for people to be able to touch.

While this facility certainly can't compete with bigger aquariums in other midwestern towns (like Omaha's zoo, or the one in Chicago), the aquariums were pretty incredible when you realize that they were all in one person's home...the amount of space & time & care he had put into his collection was obvious. They were each in the ballpark of 500 gallons, and there were probably around 10 of them. They were all seawater aquariums and had beatiful assortments of fish, seashorse, anemones, urchins, etc.

They had a small exhibit of exotic cockroaches and tarantulas - totally not my thing but I think some people would really think it was fun to see them.

Then the butterfly house was great. The room the butterflies in is smaller than you'd think but there was still room to walk through. There are a few benches in there along the path so you can rest or take it all in. We met some really nice volunteers there who explained to us that the average lifespan of a butterfly is 3 months and they try to have 750 butterflies in there fluttering around at any one time. There were plenty of butterflies...they were all just moving around and beautiful. Loved the assortment they had. They had some beautiful flowers and shrubs in there & then supplemented those natural sources of butterfly food with cut up fruit so that you could see them up close. Some of the butterflied even landed on us! It was a really fun experiece. I was just amazed at how many there were fluttering around.

The butterfly house is located in a big park area, which we enjoyed exploring after we left the butterfly house. There was a bicycle path, a free outdoor activity center, and some hiking trails on the banks of the creek. I use the term hiking loosely - the paths were not strenuous at all but they were a bit muddy (the day was rainy), uneven, and narrow so might now be ideal for folks with disabilities or older folks who need even terrain. There was a wider, paved path a bit further from the stream that might be easier for people to explore.

For those of you who geocache there are some geocaches in this recreation area and we enjoyed spending some time searching them out. This area would be a great place to bring kids or have a picnic and extend your stay because the butterfly house won't take up too much time.

I would say expect to spend about an hour with the butterfly house, and then you could spend a lot more time exploring the surrounding area, if you wish.

2  Thank divinghkns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2012

If visiting Sioux Falls you must visit this attraction. You are walking in with the butterflies. The butterflies are from all over the world. Amazing! Educational for children, there are butterflies hatching etc. Worth every dime.

1  Thank Chirodea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 22, 2012

This is a great little spot in the SD winter months. The butterflies are in a warm humid atmosphere, so it is nice to take off your coat and snowboots, and visit "spring" for awhile. The butterflies are beautiful. :) They also have an aquarium now.

1  Thank momtomonkeys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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