Things You Need To Know When Visiting The Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium

butterfly garden in New Orleans, Louisiana

My family loves all the Audubon attractions in New Orleans. So much so we always have a membership to Audubon Nature Institute. Which means that we take countless trips to the Audubon Zoo, Aquarium of the Americans and the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium throughout the year. One of our favorite places to go in New Orleans with kids is the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium. Here are my six things you need to know when visiting the “bug museum” for the first time.  

butterfly garden in New Orleans, Louisiana

Where Is Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium Located?

The insectarium is located inside the US Custom House,which is a federal building, at 423 Canal St, New Orleans. Due to this, all guest must go through a metal detector. While this isn’t a big deal, you may not want to take unnecessary items with you. Obviously no sharp objects like swiss army knives are allowed as well as no guns. Here is a complete list of everything you need to know about what is prohibited in a federal building. 

Where Do I Park at the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium?

The Butterfly Garden and Insectarium doesn’t have it’s own parking lot. However you can park at many different places in Downtown New Orleans. Parking can be validated to get a discount on the price at Hilton Riverside Automated Whale lot of $9 for 6 hours or $5 off parking at Canal Place Parking Garage, or the Badine Parking Lot.  Parking discounts are subject to change without notice and are often not applicable during major holidays, Carnival season, festivals and major sporting events. You must also bring your parking ticket to have it validated to receive the discount. 

Is There Food at the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium?

The Tiny Termite Cafe at the Insectarium is a unique insect themed area where you can purchase snacks and drinks from a vending machine and eat them on living tables. Meaning each table has live insects inside of it. You can also sample bug creations from the chefs at Bug Appétit such as chocolate chirp cookies.

If you’re looking for more than a snack, there are many restaurants close by. Or if you aren’t adventurous with kids, we usually visit the Aquarium of the Americas and eat there. Inside the aquarium you will find the Aqua Grill serving made to order sandwiches and salads, Papa John’s Pizza, and Häagen-Dazs ice cream.


What Type of Exhibits Does the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium Have?

Insectarium exhibits include a Swamp Exhibit with alligators, the Main Hall with insects from prehistoric times to present day, the Underground that lets you shrink to the size of a bug, and many more to explore the world of bugs. Including the Butterfly Garden where you get to see butterflies up close and personal.

Be aware! There is one exhibit call the Awards Night Show that may frighten little ones under the age of 5. The show is interactive with smells and things that touch your seat.

What is the Cost of Admission to the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium?

The cost to visit the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium is $22.95 for adults, $19.95 for seniors 65+ and $17.95 for children ages 2-12.

Of course Audubon Members receive free unlimited admission. Which is why you should consider a membership. A family membership for a year is currently $200.  If a family of four visits twice, you have basically broken even.  I like having a membership because then, if I just have a couple of hours to spend there, I am happy to go.  You also get unlimited admission to the Audubon Zoo and Aquarium. 

What Other New Orleans Attractions Near the Insectarium?

I don’t know about your kids, but my kids don’t stand around and watch each of the exhibits for five minutes.  It probably will take you an hour to an hour and a half to get through the insectarium.  This is why we always pair a trip to the Insectarium with other attractions in the area such as the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas. 

Some other attractions close by include:

  • New Orleans Streetcar – 1.25 per ride and kids love it.
  • Cafe Du Monde
  • The French Market
  • Woldenberg Riverfront Park which includes a 90-foot linear water feature that the kids can play in to cool off on a hot day.
  • Mississippi Riverboat Cruises such as the Creole Queen and Steamboat Natchez
  • French Quarter
  • Jackson Square
  • St. Louis Cathedral
  • and many more…

I hope these tips help you to plan an awesome visit for you and your family. What is your favorite part of the Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium? 


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About the author

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Lisa is a mother to an awesome son and daughter. She has been married for 22 years to her lobster. She attended UNO more years ago than she would like to admit and has a full time job in the CBD. She grew up in Jefferson Parish and now lives on the Northshore. She loves spending her weekends gallivanting the area from Nola to Biloxi with her family and vacationing as much as her pocketbook and vacation time will allow. She loves Disney. She has a scrapbook habit that connects her with friends. She is a Christian that tries to walk the right path but stumbles a lot.

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