Join the Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden in its effort to raise awareness for nature’s winged wonders at its Monarch Festival on Saturday, September 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The goal of the Monarch Festival is to educate Zoo guests about the decline in monarch populations and to inspire them to take part in saving these butterflies by learning how to attract them to public gardens, neighborhoods or their own backyard. Festival activities are free with Zoo admission. 

Festival activities will take place in and around the Zoos Butterfly Garden, a 20,000 square-foot exhibit designed especially to host and nurture nature's most delicate creatures. As the largest, walk-through outdoor butterfly garden in Oklahoma, the garden is a color and texture display of more than 15,000 plants fashioned to sustain the complete life cycle of butterflies. Special to the festival, local artist Christie Hackler will install and display pieces from her collection, “A Migratory Experiment,” that focuses on the conservation of the monarch butterfly. Zoo guests will be in awe of Hackler’s sculptures and more than 1,000 steel butterflies viewable throughout the Butterfly Garden from mid-September through October.

Several conservation organizations including the National Wildlife Federation, OKC Metro Monarch Network, Myriad Gardens, The Nature Conservancy, Martin Nature Park Center and Oklahoma Sierra Club Cimarron Group, will provide information and activities for guests of all ages. Additional local artists will be selling nature-inspired art during the festival.

“The partnerships that have developed in support of the Zoo’s Monarch Festival created a new sense of passion and commitment during the planning process,” said Rebecca Snyder, Zoo curator of conservation and science. “Together, we have magnified our mission to save monarch butterflies from their plight in the wild.”



·         Dress Up!:  Wear butterfly costumes or accessories and receive free admission to the 2 p.m. sea lion presentation on the day of the event. Get your hand stamped at the turnstiles to enter the presentation for free.

·         Story time and craft station:  Join the fun on Grandma’s Porch (Children’s Zoo) at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. After each story time, kids are welcome to join the butterfly parade and “migrate” down to the butterfly garden!

·         Plant sale: The Zoo will have milkweed plants available for purchase in the Global Plaza.


Happening in and around the Butterfly Garden along the Zoo’s Lakeside:

·         “How to Plant a Monarch Garden” information station hosted by the Zoo. Pledge to plant a monarch garden and receive a free milkweed plant, while supplies last.

·         Art Vendors                      

·         Monarch butterfly tagging:  Ongoing from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Kids are welcome to participate.

·         Butterfly Garden tours: Walk and talk with one of the Zoo’s horticulturalists to learn more about planting and maintaining a pollinator garden. Meet by the large butterfly sculpture in the Zoo’s butterfly garden at 10 a.m., 12 p.m. or 2 p.m.

·         Painting Fun with Pinot's Palette artists! Help create a monarch butterfly painting. 


Celebrate the beauty of the monarchs with the Zoo! Learn how to care for, connect with and conserve all things wild. The Oklahoma City Zoo is a proud Adventure Road partner and member of Oklahoma City’s Adventure District located at the crossroads of I-44 and I-35. Hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Buildings close at 4:45 p.m. daily. Regular admission is $8 for adults, and $5 for children 3-11 and seniors ages 65 and over. Children two and under are admitted free. Are you a Zoo fan? Find us at Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. To learn more about these and other happenings, call (405) 424-3344 or visit www.okczoo.org.