Staff Report

After 12 months of renovations as part of its $20 Million Centennial Project, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History has transformed its “Backyard” and Nature Club House, and a new Sprague Butterfly Pavilion will open on Sept. 22.

The popular “Butterflies Alive!” exhibit in the new Butterfly Pavilion will run from Saturday, Sept. 22, to Sunday, Oct. 14, and will be open daily from noon to 4 p.m.

The enclosed exhibit is a tranquil garden filled with butterfly-friendly plants and native landscaping with nearly 1,000 butterflies fluttering freely around them.

Just beyond the pavilion, the renovated and ADA-accessible Museum Backyard is a nature play area nestled in the oak woodland along Mission Creek. Also starting Sept. 22, it will be open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Nature Club House is staffed by naturalists and full of touchable objects as well as interactions with animals and insects.

The Museum Backyard also includes a new elevated walkway that winds through forest and creek, making nature accessible to all, and improvements to the creek that flows through the site.

Other features include a Bio Builders Zone, Create Zone, Play Stage, fossil-excavating activities, a sensory garden and the “Eyes in the Sky Aviary,” home to seven rehabilitated raptors.