Moms’ Guide to the Festival of Butterflies at Powell Gardens

Kansas City families are lucky to have the gem that is Powell Gardens. This summer, don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy one of Powell Gardens signature festivals as they celebrate 25 years of the Festival of Butterflies. The festival continues to create memorable experiences for families and visitors of all types, ages and sizes.

This year’s attendees can enjoy family-favorites like the Martha Jane Phillips Starr Conservatory alongside some new festival highlights like the Midwest Foraging and art installation at the Lotus Pond.  

As a family of four with kids ages 6 and 2, the festival had something to offer everyone. We enjoyed our time exploring beautiful kid friendly and engaging spaces like the Children’s Garden, Pollinator Playground and our evening stroll through the Butterfly Meadow Walk as we worked our way through the grounds.

In the Martha Jane Phillips Starr Conservatory, we had the chance to experience up-close encounters with countless free-flying butterflies from Madagascar. Before entry, a quick rundown of conservatory procedures and guidelines are given to each visitor as an effort to help protect the butterflies in the exhibit. The care and attention that is given to this exhibit is apparent and helps make it an enjoyable experience for all. Seeing butterflies of all sizes fly around in the habitat created just for them is part of the magic and charm of the festival and sure to be a crowd pleaser for kids and adults alike.  Check out the digital guide to the festival.

Bonus: Visit Fortopia at Powell Gardens

The bonus for those visiting the festival this year, is the additional access you get to Powell Gardens’ latest exhibit, Fortopia! We highly recommend that even if you come for the butterflies, you make a plan to visit the East Lawn to explore the several new playfully designed forts. There are various creative fort options including our personal favorites, the cover/uncover labyrinth, the lucky woodland find and the Skully the Pirate Ship. 

Food and Drink Options

With so much to offer, you can easily work up an appetite. We appreciated the various food and beverage options like the new Basecamp Bar + Bites area where you can camp out near Fortopia, but also get some much needed reprieve from the sun while enjoying food and drink. This is also near the splash pad where kids can cool off! 

Other options include the Grand Hall Bar + Bites for adult and kid slashes as well as the Marketplace for snacks.

Powell Gardens is located at 1609 NW US Highway 50, Kingsville, MO 64061. The Festival of Butterflies runs from July 21-August 7, 2022 and is open 9 a.m. -8 p.m. daily. Tickets cost $12 for adults, $11 for seniors, and $6 for youth ages 5 to 12. Kids 4 and under are free. Parking is an additional $5. As always, Powell Gardens members are also free for this festival and all others throughout the year. 

More Mom Tips for Festival of the Butterflies

  • Like to plan ahead? You can purchase your festival tickets and parking passes online to save time when you arrive. 
  • Plan on spending around two hours there to fully explore all the exhibits and activities. 
  • First time visiting Powell Gardens? Don’t forget to grab a map! You can pick one up when you enter the main building and use it to easily navigate the grounds. 
  • More than likely it will be hot! Bring water bottles and wear appropriate clothing. We strongly suggest sun hats for the littles and LOTS of sunscreen! 
  • Strollers will be helpful for touring the grounds, but remember that you can’t bring them into the conservatory so plan accordingly for your youngest kiddos and non-walkers. 
Hi friends! My name is Solissa (pronounced “So-Lisa”), and I live in Lees Summit, MO with my husband/best friend Adam and our two daughters Everly (6) and Mia (2). I was born & raised in San Diego but have called KC home for the last 18 years. Although I miss the warm weather & beaches, I LOVE raising my family here in the Midwest. I am a proud first-generation college graduate who attended the University of Missouri-Kansas City where I earned both my bachelors & master’s in education. I was once a brave soul who taught middle school but now, I have the privilege of serving the nonprofit community a program director for a local college access/scholarship program. Outside of my full-time job, my personal passion project/side hustle is teaching mindfulness to K-12 school communities. If you really knew me, you would also know that I am your typical introvert who would rather be at home on a Friday night, but I also appreciate the opportunities to meet new people and try new things. When I am not overly consumed by parenting and work life, I love the moments where I can get lost in a really good book, connect with nature on a local trail (Kansas City has so many great ones!) or binge watch the latest streaming sensation (you name it, I’ve probably watched it!). Being a mom is the best and hardest job I’ve ever had the privilege of holding and I’m so honored to be part of the Kansas City Mom Collective! Cheers to learning and growing in community! XOXO


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