Follow the Butterflies in Richmond

It's June, Great Outdoors Month and time to take flight and celebrate the end of school with a family mini-vacation in Richmond, Virginia. You can chase butterflies and a number of outdoor and nature-related experiences along a convenient six-mile stretch. Flit and fly from one attraction to another with easy parking at each location.

Come out of your cocoon and visit Butterflies LIVE!  at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. Hundreds of live butterflies feed, flutter and take flight all around you in the North Wing of the Garden's glass Conservatory. Showy tropical species and familiar natives transform the space into a wonderland of vibrant colors, captivating sights and extraordinary discoveries.

Migrate down the road just a few miles to the Science Museum of Virginia to see "Flight of the Butterflies." This 40-minute IMAX film details the amazing trek of hundreds of millions of Monarch butterflies across North America and reminds us of the importance and wonders of nature.

Next door to the Science Museum of Virginia is the Children's Museum of Richmond. Its Backyard Exhibit, designed for children up to age 8, is dedicated to getting children outside to play.  This open space allows children to experience nature in a meaningful way and incorporates elements of water, sand, musical instruments and Virginia native plants.

Sweet nectar in the form of sandwiches, pizza, ice cream and more can be found just a few miles away at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts' Best Café. This spacious, light-filled café offers casual fare, including delicious adult and kid-friendly items. An outdoor terrace overlooks a reflecting pool and the Robins Sculpture Garden.

Next door to the Virginia  Museum of Fine Arts is the Virginia Historical Society. Learn more about Virginia's natural attractions with What Remains of Edward Beyer's Blue Ridge: Landscapes of Salem and Liberty. These paintings are remarkable not only for their size and beauty, but also attention to detail.

End your day by resting your wings for a while at Maymont. Wild-life exhibits are scattered throughout the 40-acre valley between the historical estate, Children's Farm and Nature Center. All exhibits feature native Virginia wildlife in their natural habitats, including black bears, bison, white-tailed deer, gray fox, bobcats, bald eagles, and other birds of prey. You're sure to see butterflies as you walk Marie's Butterfly Trail from the Children's Farm to the Wetlands Habitat!