Did you know a group of butterflies is sometimes called a “flutter” and that they taste with their feet? And did you know that butterflies are found on every continent in the world except Antarctica? Butterflies are pretty fascinating creatures, and at Bear Mountain Butterfly Sanctuary, you can get up-close and personal with these incredible insects.

In the quaint town of Jim Thorpe lies Bear Mountain Butterfly Sanctuary. Kids and adults alike can agree, this place is a must-visit. Mari Gruber, sanctuary owner and “Butterfly Lady,” got her start in 2002. After attending a seminar on raising butterflies for her 50th birthday, Mari was hooked. “I became really interested in creating a space where kids could come experience nature in an intimate setting.” But don’t let the name fool you; BMBS has more to offer than just butterflies. Exotic frogs and Axol, “the cutest aquatic salamander imaginable,” also call BMBS home. Mari explains that one of the things that makes BMBS so special is its dedicated crew. “The staff at BMBS really knows their science and are happy to share and answer all of your questions.”

BMBS’s “season” starts Saturday, June 9, so you can drop in to witness butterfly magic all summer long. Visit Thursday through Monday between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. or Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 2 to 6 p.m. From interactive programs to short films, there’s plenty to see and do at BMBS. Be on the lookout for special events, too. Treasure Hunts happen on Mondays and every Friday is Grandparents’ Day, where grandparents receive free admission with each full-priced child admission. Visit on a “Super Sunday” to learn about a variety of animals. See the live bat show at 5:15 p.m. on June 24 or check out birds of prey, including owls, hawks, and falcons, on July 22 at 5:15 p.m. Super Sunday shows are just $6 per person and include light refreshments after the show. For a complete list of events, visit www.bearmountainbutterflies.com and visit the Events page.

A trip to BMBS is not only fun and educational, but it’s affordable, too. Visitors age 3-61 can spend a day at the sanctuary for $8, with $1 discounts offered to seniors (age 62+), active duty military, and veterans. Are you a member of AAA? Good news – your entire party can save $1 on admission, Monday-Thursday. Frequent flyers of BMBS should consider purchasing a punch card; at $60 for 10 admissions and no expiration date, this is one deal you can’t pass up!

BMBS is a great location for school field trips, scout outings, and private parties. BMBS will also bring the butterflies to you – a great option for schools and other organizations that are unable to make the trip. For more information or to make a reservation, contact BMBS via email at bearmb@ptd.net. The calendar fills up fast, so schedule your event well in advance.

From Painted Ladies and Monarchs to Swallowtails and Frits, the butterflies at Bear Mountain Butterfly Sanctuary are aflutter and awaiting your arrival. See you there!

By: Jamie Bowman


Bear Mountain Butterfly Sanctuary
18 Church Road, Jim Thorpe, PA
(570) 325.4848