The Butterfly House & Aquarium is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We are the only public saltwater aquarium in the Dakotas and one of only a few butterfly houses nationwide that are open year-round.
Through educational experiences with the smallest and most delicate animals like butterflies, corals, and jellyfish, we fulfill our mission of:
inspiring conservation of the vital building blocks of sea, sky, and land.
We strive to strengthen the connection between people and our natural world via: education through experience; conservation through appreciation and action; practices that ensure sustainability; and partnerships that connect people, planet, and profit.
Spreading Our Wings
Starting as a butterfly conservatory in 2002, the Butterfly House & Aquarium has transformed into a must-see Sioux Falls attraction over the last couple of decades. In 2010, a group of aquarium hobbyists brought forward an idea that would change the Sertoma Butterfly House forever: add aquariums by renovating our old gift shop.
Within a year of opening, the Aquarium had families and classes pouring in to experience a piece of the ocean — right here in South Dakota. Over time, the starter aquariums were gradually replaced by exhibits with interactive elements and a more diverse collection of marine animals. Annual attendance grew from 45,000 when we displayed butterflies alone, to 87,000 guests experiencing both the butterfly and aquarium habitats today.
Looking to the Future
Now, we are preparing to bring more ocean education to our land locked families. With support from community members like you, we will soon share an expansion of aquarium habitats and interactive classrooms, alongside the beloved butterfly conservatory.
Our Board of Directors