There is a lot to explore Fort Myers, Florida. The kids love walking around downtown along the riverfront then grabbing lunch or ice cream. This week we decided to visit the Butterfly Estates. My son love botanical gardens, zoos and butterfly gardens, so he was especially excited about this place.
The Butterfly Estates are located near the Fort Myers library. It is home of The Florida Native Butterfly Society Conservatory- A nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting, preserving and populating Florida’s Native Butterflies! At the Butterfly Estates you will also find two restaurants, a bookstore, and a gift shop. They have a small parking lot that is shared with the other businesses, so parking on the street may be your only option in peak season. The cost for admission was $7 for adults and $3 for kids. Though not expensive, it was much smaller than I expected so I would recommend it for older children who can appreciate the educational aspect of the space. It is maintained well and the staff members are informative. There are hundreds of beautiful butterflies, the ambiance is peaceful and it is located near other downtown Fort Myers attractions.
A visit is worth the ticket price mainly because there’s more to The Butterfly Estates than the peaceful scenery. The Florida Native Butterfly Society’s mission is to preserve butterflies. We learned on our recent visit that The Estates has a butterfly breeding program. One of the staff members showed us how she was collecting eggs (they were tiny) from the conservatory and care for them in the onsite breeding room. They hand-feed the caterpillars that emerge from the eggs and then, when the caterpillars cocoon themselves inside a chrysalis shell, they pin those shells on foam board until the caterpillars emerge transformed into butterflies. The kids loved seeing the chrysalis shells!
If you are looking for a Butterfly Garden like the one in Key West, this may disappoint. If you enjoy having a little competition trying to find all the different butterfly species, interested in learning more about how the butterflies are vanishing and looking to find out how to save them, this is a must visit in Fort Myers. *This is also a beautiful place to take kid photos.
The Butterfly Estates
1815 Fowler Street
Fort Myers, FL
Phone Number: 239-690-2359
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