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Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium

Updated: July 31, 2023

This post will cover all of the most interesting things to see and do at the Audubon Insectarium. We will also provide details about how to get tickets, planning your visit and other important information.

NOTE: The Audubon Insectarium is once again open as of July 2023, and it has relocated to the same building as the


There are a few different ways to get admission for this attraction.

The most obvious option is simply to visit the Audubon Insectarium and purchase tickets at the gate.

Alternatively, you can also buy tickets online to save yourself some time.

Finally, there are discount passes available which include admission to the Insectarium, making it easy and affordable to enjoy this activity.

Ticket Prices

  • $35/Adults
  • $30/Children
  • $30/Seniors

Purchase tickets or learn more.

Tickets are valid for a full year after purchase until they have been used.

In other words, even if you can’t make it out to the Audubon Insectarium on the date you have planned, you’ll still have plenty of time to use your ticket!


If you’re trying to save money on tickets for this attraction, there are a few different discount opportunities to consider.

This section will cover the best ways to save money on admission to the Audubon Insectarium.

New Orleans Tourist Attraction Discount Passes

Tickets to the Audubon Butterfly Garden & Insectarium are included with both major tourist passes in New Orleans.

Depending on how you use these services, you could save 50% or more on every activity they offer.

Each pass also includes admission to the Audubon Zoo and Audubon Aquarium.

Both passes have more than 20 different attractions to choose from, including the following additional locations:

  • Mardi Gras World
  • National WW2 Museum
  • Cajun Pride Swamp Tour
  • New Orleans Jazz Museum
  • San Francisco Plantation House
  • Longue Vue House & Gardens
  • Oak Alley Plantation
  • Edgar Degas House
  • And more!

Please read our full post covering New Orleans tourist passes for more details.

Audubon Experience Ticket

The Audubon Nature Institute offers the only combo ticket currently available for this attraction.

This combo package includes admission to the Audubon Zoo, the Audubon Aquarium, and the Audubon Butterfly Garden & Insectarium.

Combo Price

  • $44.95/Adults
  • $34.95/Children
  • $37.95/Seniors
  • Learn more.

If you’re planning to visit all three attractions, this option will save you up to $30.90 per person!

Groupon/Living Social

When all else fails, don’t forget to check sites such as Groupon and Living Social to see if they’re offering any deals.

These services often provide decent discounts on popular attractions, including each branch of the Audubon Nature Institute.

Direct Online Purchase

If you buy Audubon Insectarium tickets on the Audubon Institute website, you can save $3 per person.

This discount is only available directly from the source and it is only offered to guests who purchase their tickets online.

AAA Discount

Get $2 off adult tickets and $1 off child tickets for up to 4 people when you show your AAA card.

Military Discount

Get $3 off adult tickets and $2 off child tickets for up to 4 people when you show your military ID (active and retired).


In this section, we will provide details about how to get to the Audubon Insectarium, hours of operation, best times to visit and other important details to consider.

Where is the Audubon Butterfly Garden & Insectarium?

As of 2023, this attraction is located at 1 Canal Street in the same building as the Audubon Aquarium.

One of the easiest ways to get here is via the streetcar (#47 and #48), which runs along Canal Street and provides a stop right across the street from the Audubon Insectarium.

Alternatively, you can also take a bus (#5 and #55), which also make a stop across the street from this location.

If you’re planning to use a hop-on-hop-off bus tour, it’s worth noting that they make a stop at Harrah’s Casino, just across the street from the Audubon Butterfly Garden & Insectarium.

Hours of Operation

The Audubon Insectarium is open seven days a week and they have the same hours every day of the year.

  • 10 am - 5 pm
  • Last entry at 4:30 pm

This location may close early or keep the doors shut due to inclement weather. Check the Audubon Institute website before heading out to make sure that there are no closures.

Best Times to Visit

As with most attractions in New Orleans, the Audubon Butterfly Garden & Insectarium is at its busiest during weekends and in the afternoon.

Best Time to Go to Audubon Insectarium

The quietest hours are from 10 am - 12 pm and 3 pm - 5 pm.

If you’re trying to avoid the crowds, your best bet will be to visit either earlier or later in the day on a weekday.

Saturday Popular Times

Even the Audubon Institute recommends experiencing the Butterfly Garden and Insectarium during their least frequented hours.

How Long Will It Take?

Although there is no indication that you will have to wait very long in a ticket line, purchasing your tickets online will make it easier to get inside of the Audubon Butterfly Garden & Insectarium.

Most people spend at least 2 hours wandering around the Insectarium and enjoying all of the attractions they have to see.

We recommend setting aside 5-10 minutes to get your tickets and another 1 ½ - 2 hours for exploring the garden and seeing the exhibits.

Other Important Details

Here are a few more things to keep in mind before visiting the Audubon Butterfly Garden & Insectarium:

  • Photography of all kinds is allowed
  • Outside food/drink are not allowed
  • The building is handicap accessible
  • A limited number of wheelchairs are available
  • Strollers are allowed, but they do not offer rentals
  • All visitors must pass through metal detectors before entering
  • Maps and daily schedules are available in the lobby

Nearby Attractions

Here are a few additional locations you might want to visit and activities you can enjoy while you’re in the area of the Audubon Butterfly Garden & Insectarium.


This section will cover some of the best exhibits at the Audubon Butterfly Garden & Insectarium.

We will also provide information about what you can expect to see and do while visiting these sections of the building.

Butterfly Garden

This is one of the most popular attractions at the Insectarium, and it’s not difficult to see why.

At any given time, you can expect to see hundreds of butterflies fluttering around this garden.

These beautiful animals aren’t contained, and they freely fly around the area at their own leisure.

Main Hall

The Main Hall, a sort of "Aquarium Building" for the Insectarium, leads to diverse exhibitions much like separate entrances.

It is enriched with murals, a living collection of new animals including prehistoric insect models, actual bugs like dung beetles, a large leafcutter ant colony, and walking leaf insects.

This intriguing array of animal species, from the Mississippi River to the Caribbean, even hosts unique creatures like the armadillo and the tortoise.

Visitors could also marvel at the entomologists' 60-foot-long hands-on touch pool and the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas' largest exhibit, the 450,000-gallon Gulf of Mexico exhibit!

Insects of New Orleans

At this exhibit, you will learn about the important role that insects have played in the development of the New Orleans area.

This is a great place to learn about bugs like mosquitoes, katydids, and even cockroaches (although you can totally skip that part if you want!)

These are the types of bugs that you can expect to see in and around the city, so you might as well become more familiar with them!

Terminix Immersion Theater

At this unique and interesting theater, you’ll have the opportunity to see a film all about bugs.

In addition to featuring notable voice actors that you and your children will probably recognize, this multi-sensory theater also has technology that can help you to actually feel some of the moments in the movie!

Admission to this attraction is included with each ticket.


If you’ve ever wondered what life would be like as a bug, this exhibition will be an interesting experience.

Travel into an underground tunnel of an insect and discover how they live their lives from a unique perspective.

There are also displays and other things to see which will help you learn more about bugs.

Bug Appetit

While some guests may be a bit too squeamish for this one, the more daring visitors might want to think about trying to eat a few bugs at this exhibit.

In addition to the bug-filled food, this area of the Insectarium also covers information about cultures where bugs are frequently eaten.

Dishes are served throughout the day, including king cakes with crickets in them!


In this section, we will cover some of the more notable and popular events that are held at the Audubon Butterfly Garden & Insectarium throughout the year.

NOTE: Since the Insectarium just moved, some or all of these events may not take place in 2023. Call ahead to see what is happening or check this page for upcoming events.

Party for the Planet (June 22, 2019)

This is an Amazon encounter celebrating pollination, lush greenery, and all of the bugs, including honey bees, that contribute to this vital building blocks of all life.

Guests, dressed as their favorite pollinator such as butterflies or even bats from Central America, will have the opportunity to learn about the important connections between bugs, plants, and human life in diverse habitats.

Visitors are encouraged to join the Audubon Nature Institute president in the Amazon gallery, adorned like their favorite pollinator, to receive a special butterfly badge, a memorable token from the only facility housing such an event.

Along the way, don't forget to enjoy the snacks provided, including waxworms, a Bug Appétit discovery!

New Orleans Museum Month (August 2019)

During this collaboration between museums in the New Orleans area, members of participating museums will have the chance to visit all of them for free.

In other words, if you have a membership at one museum, you can visit another participating museum free of charge.

For more details about which institutions are included, check the New Orleans Museum Month website.

Smithsonian Museum Day (September 21, 2019)

Once a year, the Smithsonian magazine hosts Museum Day, an event where they provide free entry to anyone with their ticket.

This is a very limited opportunity, and it’s a great chance to see the Audubon Insectarium without worrying about admission prices.

Make sure to register for Museum Day ahead of time if you want to take advantage of the event. Tickets will be available to download beginning on August 15th.

Crawloween (October 2019)

This Halloween event includes a lot of creepy activities for visitors.

In addition to the spooky things to see, there will also be trick-or-treating, a contest to guess how many maggots are in a jar, and holiday-themed cookies at Bug Appetit.

Anyone who comes in a Halloween costume will receive a discount on their tickets!

Hoppy Thanksgiving (November 2019)

If you’re really serious about trying out food with bugs, this is an interesting event that you might want to attend.

In addition to all the other dishes they usually create, Bug Appetit will also be making popular Thanksgiving food such as stuffing and pie with insects as the main ingredient.

One thing is for sure: this is definitely one of the most unique Thanksgiving meals you’ll ever have!

Jingle Bugs (December 2019)

Celebrate Christmas with bugs at the Audubon Insectarium!

This event includes a variety of fun activities including caricatures, face painting, and even an opportunity to meet Santa Claus.

There will also be festive exhibits created for the seasonal activity, so make sure to look around for the most interesting displays.

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Does Audubon Insectarium offer any free days?

Under the Audubon Community Connect program, Orleans Parish residents enjoy free access to the Audubon Insectarium, which hosts a beautiful garden filled with free flying butterflies, important insects, and live arthropods.

This initiative not only offers an encounter with amazing animals from different species but also provides a taste of edible insect cuisine.

Is the Audubon Insectarium still closed?

The Audubon Insectarium has completed its renovation, allowing visitors to explore the diversity of creatures on the second floor.

Now, open daily, it provides a kind opportunity for special animal encounters with the largest group of animals, including honey bees, lightning bugs, and other important insects.


About The Author

Sarah Hester

Sarah first moved to New Orleans in 2001 to work for the American Red Cross of Southeast Louisiana. While working in the communities of New Orleans she fell in love with the unique culture of the Big Easy; it's food, music, architecture, wildlife, and most of all history. Read More... Sarah began her career with FTBF, first as a guide, then as an owner/operator. She believes every day is a good day if she gets to impart her love of her beloved New Orleans with Free Tours By Foot guests. She especially likes to convert new Who Dat Saints Fans!
Updated: July 31st, 2023
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