About Us

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.

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. After the last ten years of displaying tropical butterflies, we struggled to bring in visitors and meet operating budgets. It was a monumental turning point—a time to change, take risks, and rise to the challenge.

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.

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Looking to the Future

With support from community members like you, the Dakota Aquarium Capital Campaign will nearly triple the size of the Butterfly House & Aquarium. The expansion will focus on new educational experiences with aquarium exhibits and interactive classrooms, alongside the beloved butterfly conservatory.

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