Mariposa Butterfly Festival

Butterfly resting on an orange

Visited: May 2017

Mariposa’s Butterfly Festival is a fun filled family weekend held the first weekend in May. Thousands of butterflies are raised for anyone who attends to release.

What We Saw

Chalk Art

Chalk Art can be seen along the Mariposa Creek Walkway.


Walk down the chalk path and find the butterfly release table by the creek. Butterflies are free for anyone to take. At the table, they keep the butterflies with orange slices where they sip the juice.

Lick, Lick, Lick

Art’s Park

Carry your little butterfly friend through the shops until they fly away. In the Art’s Park you will find free live entertainment. Art & Artisan booths are spread out where you can find local crafts, jewelry and shirt vendors, as well as organizations distributing information.

There are plenty of fun family activities planned from: a butterfly parade, a kids hat decorating contest, a rock hunt, and a 5K run.


The Mariposa Museum and History Center was open offering demonstrations and tours. There are displays about how the Chinese immigrants changed the mining community. You can view a miners cabin display as well as information about the local Indian population, the Miwoks.


There are even free trolley rides that take you through historic downtown.

You can escape the festival and turn up the road about a mile to visit the California State Mining and Mineral Museum and Park.

mineral and mining museum

The museum, whose collection has been growing since 1880 is dedicated to educating visitors about mining and minerals of California, as well as its history and the environment. Being a State Park, they offer free activities for kids and are part of California’s Junior Ranger Program.

Walk through a reproduction mine tunnel to see how gold was mined in the beginning of California history. Make sure you see the Fricot “Nugget,” beautiful and huge crystallized gold nugget. It is the largest – intact nugget of crystalline gold from California.


What We Ate

Betts Gold Coin Sports Tavern


Stop in at the Gold Coin Sports Tavern for a local beer and a burger.  We loved the murals on the walls and the fun western bar feel with guns, gold mining tools, and historical photos of famous citizens. The food was pretty good, but the atmosphere the reason to stay. We sat down and ended up having great conversations with everyone else at the bar.

The Mariposa Butterfly Festival is a one of a kind experience to take the kids up to the mountains and relax with nature, music, and a good time.

Directions: Mariposa is located along Highway 140, west of Yosemite

View other butterfly Festivals in California

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