About half a million monarch butterflies pass through Texas every year. These tiny creatures cover over 1,500 mi (2,414 km) flying from their breeding grounds in Canada and the northern U.S. to Mexico, where they spend winter. Texas is strategically placed between two destinations.
Monarch butterflies enter Texas in early September, following the route along I35 from Wichita Falls to Eagle Pass. One group of butterflies also flies along the Gulf Coast of Texas on their way to Sierra Madre Range in Central Mexico. The migration is usually over by the end of October. In late March, the butterflies are back in Texas as they return north to breed.
The arrival of these iconic butterflies is celebrated across the Lone Star State with various festivals and activities. There is the annual Butterfly Flutterby in Grapevine, Texas, every October. which features butterfly releases, art and educational exhibits as well as a costume contest. Art displays can be seen at the Tower Gallery on South Main Street. Another place worth visiting is The Native Texas Butterfly Garden in The Heard National Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary, located in McKinney. Visitors can encounter many free-flying native butterflies there. Monarch butterflies are abundant In Fredericksburg. Wildseed Farms, the largest wildflower farm in the United States, celebrates the monarch season each October with special events and butterfly releases. San Antonio hosts its own Monarch Butterfly and Pollinator Festival held by The Texas Butterfly Ranch. This event features educational as well as artistic exhibits and is free for the public. In the south, visit the National Butterfly Center in Mission which offers guided walks, a native plant sale, and kids’ crafts and other events during the season.