Butterfly World

The Butterfly House in Fort Lauderdale is a hobby turned mania that has become one of the most popular local attractions. Every child is born with a passion or a gift; Ronald Boender, a retired electrical engineer from Illinois, had a passion for butterflies. As you walk through the lush gardens of Butterfly World, flitting butterflies accost you from every angle, but don’t be alarmed, as these are some of the most fragile and gentle creatures in the world. Although butterflies roam about in our everyday world, paying a visit to Butterfly World allows the visitor to see the rarest and most beautiful butterflies, creating an enchanting experience.

Born and raised in Illinois by Dutch parents, Ronald Boender grew up with a passionate love for butterflies, beginning with common varieties on his father’s farm. After retiring from his work as an electrical engineer, his interest in butterflies was once again kindled, and his backyard hobby soon became a business of rearing and selling butterflies to universities and zoos. He named his company MetaScience Co.

Soon, he became aware of butterfly houses emerging into popularity, and he traveled abroad to meet the trailblazer, Clive Farrell, who founded the London Butterfly House. Boender decided it was time for the United States to follow this trend, so he formed a partnership with Farrell and made plans to build the first butterfly house in America; it would be an attraction as well as a research and education facility. The Butterfly House Florida opened its doors to the public for the first time on March 28, 1988.

Since its opening, the Butterfly House in Fort Lauderdale has come to include a hummingbird aviary and a lorikeet encounter, as well as a skilled staff for research and aviculture care. A campaign has also been developed to "Bring Back the Butterflies" to America, in which butterfly enthusiasts receive free information and are encouraged to farm butterflies in their region. In addition to maintaining the aviary, funds from the Butterfly House Florida go to support research and saving of endangered butterflies, including the Schaus Swallowtail, which may soon be taken off the endangered list thanks to the efforts of dedicated butterfly-lovers.

As you walk through the Butterfly House in Fort Lauderdale, scores of butterflies flit around and even land on you from time to time. The experience is captivating as the insects form a myriad of floating colors. Once you are fully enthralled by these delightfully delicate creatures, continue through to the hummingbird aviary and then take advantage of the opportunity to hold the gaudy lorikeets in the palm of their hands. No matter when you go to Fort Lauderdale, this is an excellent attraction to visit, and you can easily spend a full day taking in the sight of such beautiful creatures. Of all of the attractions in the city, this is truly one of the most charming.

Visitors are required to pay an entrance fee at Butterfly World, and depending on how often you plan to visit and the number of guests in your group, a membership with the organization may prove to be beneficial. Members receive an annual pass for a one-time fee and also receive reduced rates for other attractions within Florida, including the Miami Seaquarium, the Miami MetroZoo, and the Florida Aquarium in Tampa. Guests of members receive 10 percent off entrance fees, and members will receive special invitations to member-only events. The Butterfly House Florida also hosts groups, lunches, and birthday parties.

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