Butterflies in the Garden


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The Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens will kick-off its 2019 season once again with the Butterflies in the Garden exhibit. The butterflies will be on display from March 15 to April 30, 2020 in the Indoor Michigan 4-H Children’s Garden at Michigan State University. The Butterflies in the Garden exhibit is open to the public from 2-4 p.m. on weekdays and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. Butterflies will have extended hours and special activities during spring break, April 1-5, 2020 from 1-4 p.m. It will be closed Easter Sunday, April 12.

In addition to the butterfly exhibit, the garden hosts a variety of programs for youth and families around various themes.

General admission to the Michigan 4-H Children’s Gardens and Butterflies in the Garden exhibit are free, but donations are appreciated. Some events have a $5 fee. There is a parking fee on weekdays. Visit 4hgarden.msu.edu for more information and to pre-register for events.

Download the full calendar with event descriptions and details.


  • Butterfly Day – Apr. 25, 10 a.m.-noon
    Join us in celebrating another exciting season of “Butterflies in the Garden.” Come and explore the secret life of butterflies in the Indoor 4-H Children’s Garden. We will discover the amazing butterfly life cycle, create butterfly gardens to take home, and much more. Cost per child: $5, parking free.
  • Plant Sale – May 18 from 7 a.m.-2 p.m.
    Our plant sale features hanging baskets, perennials, annuals, grasses, herbs, vegetable seedlings, shrubs and more.
  • Garden Geocache Event – June 6, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
    Cache veterans and new enthusiasts are welcome at this geocaching adventure. Bring your picnic lunch and enjoy a day of caching in the garden. We will be finding new caches, trading travel bugs, exploring the gardens and much more. If you have a GPS unit please bring it to this event. If you do not have one, we will provide one. For those that are new to geocaching come to the introduction class Geocaching 101, 10-11 am B109 Plant and Soil Sciences. Cost Per Child: free and parking free.
  • Garden Writers Workshop – June 7-9, 10 a.m.-noon
    Young writers will learn about the wonderful world of writing in the garden. Using the garden as their inspiration, campers will connect writing to nature, creating poems, stories, plays and much more. Ages 7 and up. (Limited to 20 participants). Cost per child: $30 for all three days, parking not included.*
  • Stories in the Garden – June 10 from 10-11:30 a.m.
    Teens will be reading stories to younger children – a magical time of fun and learning. Great for kids 0 to 100! Cost per child: free.
  • Mad Hatter Tea Party – June 18, 10 a.m.- noon
    Bring a friend and join us for a spot of tea and cake in the garden. Please wear your fanciest hat, and costumes are quite acceptable. We will be playing games, making hats and much more. Registration required. Cost per child: $5, parking not included.*
  • Digger Day – June 23, 10 a.m.-noon
    Come to the garden and explore the world of diggers. Front-end loaders, dump trucks and backs hoes, all of these tools help with projects both big and small in our communities. MSU Infrastructure Planning and Facilities will bring some of MSU’s biggest and best equipment to the garden for us to explore. We will also have activities and crafts so come ready to dig and get dirty at this new event! Cost per child: $5, parking not included.*
  • Stories in the Garden – July 8, 7-8:30 p.m.
    Teens will be reading stories to younger children – a magical time of fun and learning. Great for kids 0 to 100! Cost per child: free, parking not included.*
  • Water Day – July 13, 10 a.m.-noon
    Come cool off from the summer heat and have fun in the garden with water. We will play water games, do water art and explore all things fun about water. Come ready to get wet! Cost per child: $5, parking not included.*
  • Train Day – July 23, 10 a.m.-noon
    All aboard! Join us in celebrating our love for locomotives with the Lansing Model Railroad Club and the Capital Area Railway Society. Watch trains of all shapes and sizes, help us construct a train village in the garden, discover what happens on the tracks and much more! Cost per child: $5, parking not included.*
  • Bug Day – July 30, 10 a.m.-noon
    We cannot get enough of these amazing six-legged friends! Join us for what has become an annual tribute to insects in the garden. We will be collecting bugs, observing bugs, making bugs and even writing poetry about bugs! Our friends from the MSU Bug House will be back this year with their amazing collections of insects from all over the world! Cost per child: $5, parking not included.*
  • Camp Monet – Aug. 4-6, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
    Young artists will love spending three days in the garden creating marvelous projects. Campers will use inspiration from the garden to make projects that involve sketching, painting, sculpting, dying, weaving and much more! Lunch will not be provided, so please bring a lunch each day. We will eat together in the garden. Ages 7 and up. (Limited to 20 participants.) Registration required. Cost per child: $70 for all three days, parking not included.*
  • Stories in the Garden – Aug. 12, 10-11:30 a.m.
    Teens will be reading stories to younger children – a magical time of fun and learning. Great for kids 0 to 100! Cost per child: free.
  • Bubble Day – Aug. 13, 10 a.m.-noon
    Come celebrate the end of summer vacation at the garden with bubbles! As we explore the wonderful world of bubbles we will paint, eat, and even make music with bubbles. Don’t forget to invite your friends and family to come to this bubblelicious bash! Cost per child: $5, parking not included.*
  • Holiday Open House – Dec. 3, 5-7 p.m.
    Enjoy our displays of poinsettias and 16′ poinsettia tree under evening lights. Bring your camera and the kids. Santa will arrive in his sleigh at 5:30 pm. MSU Poinsettias, centerpieces, and wreaths will be for sale. Enjoy some holiday refreshments. Cost per child: free, parking free.

Please register in advance for these events at 

Stories for Sprouts & Seedlings
This program is designed especially for young children, ages 2-4, to experience the wonders of gardening through stories and hands-on projects. Each month a different book is featured with an accompanying gardening activity. This program occurs the third Wednesday of the month from 10-11 a.m.

  • May 15, 10-11 a.m. — The Very Impatient Caterpillar by Ross Burach
  • June 17, 10-11 a.m. — The Amazing Life Cycle of Plants (Look and Wonder) by Kay Barnham
  • July 15, 10-11 a.m. — Bee: A Peek-Through Picture Book by Britta Teckentrup
  • August 19, 10-11 a.m. — Over and Under the Pond by Kate Messner
  • September 16, 10-11 a.m. — Potato Pants!  by Laurie Keller
  • October 21, 10-11 a.m. — Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman

 *You must park in a space designated as a “Pay by Plate” parking space. Signage has been installed in these areas. Parking spaces not marked at “Pay by Plate” may be reserved for permit parking. Parking in a space not designated as “Pay by Plate” parking may result in a parking violation. Immediately after parking, enter license plate number and payment into the lot’s SPOTON pay station or via the MSU SPOTON app. Pay stations accept cash payment or credit cards. They do not give change back nor are refunds issue for time paid for, but not used.