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RELEASE: Museum of Life and Science’s Magic Wings Butterfly House Receives $1 Million Boost from North Carolina for Vital Renovations

For Immediate Release – September 25, 2023

Media Contact:
Ro Rode, Director of Marketing and Communications
(561) 596-1410 |

Photos of the Magic Wings Butterfly House

A view of the Magic Wings Butterfly House and gardens looking down a set of stairs as guests walk towards the building.


Durham, NC — The Museum of Life and Science is delighted to announce an exciting development for its cherished Magic Wings Butterfly House. The Museum has been awarded a remarkable grant of $1 million from the state of North Carolina, a crucial step towards securing the future of this beloved attraction.

Since its opening in 1999, the Butterfly House has remained a beacon of natural wonder on the East Coast, captivating over half a million visitors annually. Within its iconic 35-foot tall glass conservatory, guests of all ages embark on an engaging and educational journey through a lush rainforest environment surrounded by hundreds of vibrant tropical butterflies.

The Magic Wings experience extends beyond butterflies, with The Insectarium hosting a unique collection of rare and exotic insects and invertebrates from around the world. This fusion of natural beauty and educational opportunity has cemented Magic Wings as an exceptional destination within the Museum.

Yet, with no significant updates since its inception, the Magic Wings Butterfly House now requires essential renovations and enhancements, requiring a total of $1.5 million in funding. The state’s generous appropriation of $1 million will enable the Museum to combine this vital state investment with $500,000 in additional funds. These funds will be dedicated to critical updates, including roof repairs, replacing glass in the conservatory, and exterior siding.

Moreover, this investment will empower the Museum to revitalize its Butterfly House rental facilities, opening doors to year-round events and new revenue streams. It’s a strategic move that preserves a beloved attraction and ensures its sustainability for future generations.

“We are thrilled by this generous grant from the state of North Carolina. It’s a transformative moment for Magic Wings Butterfly House,” shared the Museum’s Butterfly House Director, Uli Hartmond. “With this support, we’re preserving the magic that has captivated visitors since 1999 and enhancing it for generations to come.” 

The Museum of Life and Science extends its heartfelt gratitude to the state of North Carolina for recognizing the significance of this project. We will continue to inspire, educate, and create lasting memories within the Magic Wings Butterfly House.


About the Museum of Life and Science

Located less than five miles from downtown Durham, the Museum of Life and Science is one of North Carolina’s top family destinations. Our 84-acre campus includes a two-story science center, one of the largest butterfly conservatories on the East Coast, and beautifully landscaped outdoor exhibits. Our interactive experiences include Dinosaur Trail, Ellerbe Creek Railway, Hideaway Woods, Into the Mist, Earth Moves, and Aerospace, which features one of the largest collections of Apollo-era NASA artifacts in the state. The Museum is also an AZA-accredited facility, home to rescued black bears, lemurs, endangered red wolves, and more than 60 species of live animals. Last year, the Museum celebrated its 75th anniversary and its ongoing commitment to Durham, the Triangle, and North Carolina communities. To learn more, visit