There’s a whole lot of green space in Orlando North, Seminole County, but let’s not overlook the other colors. You’ll see them in flowers all around our destination, of course, but if you want a concentrated kaleidoscopic experience, you can hardly do better than Lukas Nursery & Butterfly Encounter.
The place is huge, and lots of fun too — with the folksy charm of an old-Florida roadside attraction. Just a couple miles south of the Oviedo Mall, Lukas Nursery & Butterfly Encounter bursts with reds, yellows, pinks, oranges, blues, purples and every other color on the spectrum (including an abundance of green).
This isn’t one of those nurseries that’s just about shopping for potted plants and gardening supplies. It’s a destination in itself. You can stroll row after row of gorgeous flowers, plants, trees, shrubs and more. At every turn you’ll encounter whimsy and surprise (the enormous wind chime is always a favorite). The statuary is as endless as it is fun — you’ll find dinosaurs, bears and gators peeking out from the greenery, huge pterodactyls hanging from the ceiling, even dragons, Sasquatch and zombies crawling out of a tree trunk. Your meandering will also take you to fenced-in areas that house cows, bulls, roosters and other live animals.
Guys! Over the weekend, the family and I had the COOLEST experience at @lukasnursery in Oviedo, FL!! ���� Aside from their beautiful nursery filled with hundreds of plants and flowers – Did you guys know they also offer a Butterfly Encounter Experience?! We LOVE nature activities in this family, so we definitely had to check it out! Swipe to see how close and personal you can get to them ��. . Butterflies actually thrive in warmer temps, so this is the perfect Summertime activity to do in Orlando North right now! Check out @doorlandonorth for more close-to-home getaway ideas that are safe and fun for the whole family. ❤️ #DoOrlandoNorth #WeAreON�� #Ad
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The Butterfly Encounter offers a chance to get up close with a vast array of these “flying flowers.” The enclosed space, with an opaque roof that lets in endless streams of light, is filled with plants and water features. It’s also a bird conservatory with colorful finches, Chinese quail and other species. But as you might expect, it’s the butterflies that steal the show. The wide variety of native species flutter around you, showing off endless hues and intricate natural designs. For an even closer view, you can put a dollop of nectar on your finger and have a butterfly land on it. As you saunter along the paved walkway, you’re sure to be filled with a sense of peace and wonder that is too often missed in today’s busy times.
The Butterfly Encounter has a decided educational component as well, including demonstrations and a butterfly farm where you can watch caterpillars and chrysalises hatch into delicate flying creatures. The Butterfly Encounter is open every day, starting at 10 a.m. with the last admission at 3:30 p.m. Top tip: The earlier you arrive, the better! The space will be more comfortable to stroll through, and the butterflies will be more active. Admission is only $6 (plus tax).
One TripAdvisor reviewer enthused: “Children love coming here. It’s so fabulous to get close to butterflies and have them eat practically out of your hand. One lady in our group placed some nectar on her nose and the butterfly landed there! Worth the admission price.”
Be sure to peruse the large gift shop that features plenty of beautiful and whimsical butterfly-related merchandise.
The Lukas Nursery & Butterfly Encounter is a fourth-generation business and a fixture in the community. Its origins date back more than a century, when Paul Lukas and Mary Klimek, two immigrants from Czechoslovakia, married in Cleveland, Ohio in 1908. Three years later, the Lukases, along with six other families, moved to the rural flatlands near Oviedo, looking to escape the industrial hustle-bustle and the cold. They began farming in 1912 and named the area Slavia after their European heritage. (Slavia is still recognized as an unincorporated village of Seminole County). The family worked the land through boom times and hard times, but persisted, each generation following the last.
In 1973, Paul Lukas’s grandson founded the nursery with 50 one-gallon cans of ornamental plants, which they sold under an old chicken house. The nursery rapidly expanded to 24 acres, and was officially incorporated as a business in 1976. The Butterfly Encounter was added in 2004.
One travel vlogger called the Lukas Nursery & Butterfly Encounter “a little nuts.” He meant it in the best possible way. For a quirky — and colorful — good time, make a visit to Lukas Nursery & Butterfly Encounter part of your stay in Orlando North, Seminole County.
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