Frequently Asked Questions


  • Are you open to the public?

    Yes! We welcome a range of visitors to Idlewild, from shoppers and gardeners to insect and butterfly lovers. Check out our Plan A Visit page for more on what we have to offer, as well as our seasonal hours of operation.

  • What can I do at Idlewild Butterfly Farm?

    Please check our Plan A Visit page for full details of what Idlewild has to offer visitors.

  • What are your hours of operation?

    Butterflies and insects are a seasonal business, so be advised that our hours of operation change during late autumn, winter, and early spring. Outdoor operations, including the butterfly house and plant sales, are available from May through October. The insectarium and gift shop are open regardless of weather or season. Please check our Plan A Visit page for our current hours of operation.

  • Should I call ahead to schedule a tour?

    If you have a party of 8 or less and are visiting during our regular business hours, scheduling a tour is not necessary. We welcome visitors and conduct tours on a walk-in basis.

    For larger groups, we recommend calling ahead. Giving us a general idea of what to expect will help make your visit go as smoothly as possible, and create a more enjoyable experience for you. For groups of 20+ or classroom field trips, please call in advance to make arrangements.

  • Is your facility “kid-friendly”?

    Absolutely! We love children of all ages and encourage you to expose them to the wonderful world of bugs at an early age. Please note that all children must be supervised by an adult at all times when in all areas of the facility: including the boutique, insectarium, garden, and butterfly flight house.

    Be advised that the butterfly flight house cannot accommodate strollers.

  • Is Idlewild Butterfly Farm a conservatory?

    We are a small business and operate as a working farm and insectary -- we just have very small livestock!


  • Are butterflies available for consumer purchase?

    Yes! We sell butterflies for release at special events and ceremonies, butterfly floral baskets and centerpiece displays, butterfly chrysalides, and caterpillar-to-butterfly metamorphosis kits, all available for retail purchase at our facility in Louisville. Please note that butterflies, chrysalides, and caterpillars are only available during our butterfly season (May-October).

  • When can I purchase butterflies?

    We generally begin selling live chrysalides and butterflies for releases in May and continue through the beginning of October. Butterflies cannot be hatched or released during late autumn, winter, or early spring.

  • Do you sell wholesale?

    Yes, we sell wholesale to butterfly breeders, butterfly houses, insectariums, and event planners. A tax ID# is required.


  • Do you host special events?

    We provide educational entertainment for special events, and can host certain events at our facility. Please contact us with details of your event.

  • What do you sell in your gift shop?

    We have everything from hand-crafted butterfly wing jewelry to bug toys and educational kits for kids. If you're looking for unique gifts not found anywhere else, come see us! We carry many one-of-kind items made by local artisans including blown glass, candles, soaps, greeting cards, and more. We have professionally mounted and framed butterflies and exotic insect specimens for sale. You can also take home Idlewild Butterfly Farm apparel and souvenirs to remember your visit.

    The majority of our products are specifically sourced from independent artisans and businesses based in the USA.

  • Do you sell live insects?

    We sell live butterfly chrysalides, live butterflies, praying mantis egg cases, ladybugs, and many other biological pest control predators.

    But we are not a pet store, nor do we sell any of the insects in our insectarium. While we can legally import, possess, and display certain tropical species, it is illegal to sell these insects to the general public.

  • Do you sell plants?

    Yes! We begin selling butterfly host and nectar plants in mid to late April. We carry both native and non-native perennial and annual species of plants, some of which are very hard to find. We also carry a selection of vegetable and herb plants and old-fashioned cutting flowers, as well as several varieties of milkweed.

    Many of our plants also attract hummingbirds and other pollinators. Our plants are locally grown using beneficial insects and are guaranteed not to be sprayed with chemical insecticides, which is extremely important as residue can kill butterflies, pollinators, and beneficial insects!