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Butterfly House & Aquarium

Strengthening the connection between people and our natural world


Through immersive educational experiences with butterflies and marine life for our land-locked community, the Butterfly House & Aquarium inspires appreciation and conservation of the vital building blocks of sea, sky, and land.

In our land-locked prairie, opportunities to experience tropical ecosystems are few and far between.  Nevertheless, we have the rainforest and ocean right here in Sioux Falls.  Warmth, beauty, and serenity welcome guests to the Butterfly House & Aquarium.  A reprieve from the cold, encounters with colorful butterflies and fishes, and the tranquility of the exhibits create a year round haven for the community. 

Children and adults alike enjoy over 800 tropical butterflies from around the world in a warm greenhouse environment.  Through interaction with the butterflies, guests learn about nature’s most delicate creatures and heal in the serene space.  Visitors encounter marine animals such as corals, clownfish, stingrays, jellyfish, and more in the aquarium gallery.  The Stingray Touch Pool, Pop-Up Dome Aquarium, and Tidal Touch Pool provide interactive opportunities to learn about the ocean, fulfilling a need for ocean education programs in the state of South Dakota.

Interactive learning, like what children experience at the Butterfly House & Aquarium, leaves a lasting impact.  As the only year round, independent nonprofit butterfly house within 620 miles (Denver), the community of Sioux Falls enjoys a tropical oasis even in the dead of winter.  To experience similar marine exhibits, one must travel 180 miles to Omaha or 240 miles to Minneapolis.  Exploring nature’s beauty gives children the chance to observe, ask questions, think critically, and build confidence.  By creating a greater connection with nature and animals, children are more likely to carry their memorable experiences with them throughout their lives.