16 January 2023
KEY WEST, Florida Keys — Visitors can help celebrate the 20th “birthday” of the Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 21, with a kid-centric family fun day and free admission to the renowned attraction at 1316 Duval St.
One of only three major butterfly facilities in Florida, the conservatory houses more than 60 species of live butterflies in a climate-controlled, 5,000-square-foot glass-enclosed tropical habitat.
Visitors can walk among the butterflies, sometimes called “flowers of the sky,” and observe their behavior in the rainforest-like environment that also is home to over 20 varieties of exotic birds, lush butterfly-attracting plants and two spectacular pink flamingos named Rhett and Scarlett.
Attractions during the Jan. 21 “birthday party” are to include crafts and activities for kids and families, a face-painting booth, a bounce house, picnic-style food to enjoy, games, giveaways, vendors offering appealing wares and some kid-friendly surprises.
In addition, Key West Mayor Teri Johnston is to make a special proclamation commemorating the facility’s two-decade milestone.  
As well as viewing the conservatory’s winged inhabitants, event attendees can observe sea creatures in a Key West Aquarium touch tank and interact with animals from the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Animal Farm. Each family in attendance is to receive a butterfly host plant or nectar-source plant to take home.
The 13,000-square-foot Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory opened its doors in January 2003 after many years of research and development by co-founders George Fernandez and Sam Trophia, an acclaimed butterfly artist whose work graces the on-site gallery.
Today its offerings include daily explorations, guided twilight tours and small-group “flamingle” encounters with Rhett and Scarlett.
Butterfly Conservatory and event information: keywestbutterfly.com
Key West visitor information: fla-keys.com/keywest or 1-800-LAST-KEY
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