Waiting in the wings

A midlife crisis led to a thriving fair attraction for Butterfly House owners Jane Breckinridge and David Bohlken.



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A midlife crisis can involve activities as minor as getting a tattoo or buying a motorcycle or as major as changing careers.

Count Jane Breckinridge in the latter camp. She went from vice president of circulation for Mpls.St.Paul Magazine to raising butterflies.

Breckinridge and her husband, David Bohlken, inherited a Christmas tree farm in Luck, Wis., from Bohlken’s parents about 20 years ago. The farm contained acres of milkweed, the host plant for monarch butterflies. For a while, the couple sold butterflies for release at weddings. One day a friend suggested they start a butterfly house, one place in the world butterflies and humans can interact, Breckinridge says.

Bohlken loved the idea. So the couple secured a tent at the Minnesota State Fair. In 2006, the Butterfly House attained a building at the fair.

A neighbor vendor at the fair suggested that the couple go to the provincial fair in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada — Capital EX. From there, the Butterfly House continued to grow.

This year alone, the Butterfly House will have traveled to seven different events, including the Tulsa State Fair and Oklahoma State Fair.

The couple now lives southeast of Bixby, near Leonard, where they raise butterflies that are indigenous to Oklahoma, such as the monarch and painted lady. They also raise some butterflies in western Wisconsin. Planting host plants, such as milkweed for monarchs, helps attract and feed the butterflies.

The Butterfly House imports about 90 percent of its butterflies from countries around the world, including Costa Rica, Philippines and El Salvador, as well as the continent of Africa.

Breckinridge says a special USDA permit is required to obtain the butterflies, and she works with local family farms worldwide to acquire them. 

“We contract with small family farms and help them to make sustainable wages,” Breckinridge says.

The butterflies are actually shipped as chrysalid. At the Butterfly House, visitors will see the chrysalids in USDA-approved birthing centers as they metamorphose into butterflies.

The Butterfly House contains up to 5,000 butterflies, including the unusual blue morpho and giant owl varieties. The blue morpho butterfly is nearly the size of a human hand and has iridescent blue coloring. The giant owl mimics nature; when its wings are shut, it looks like an owl, Breckinridge says.

This is the second year the Butterfly House has appeared at the Tulsa State Fair. In 2010, it won the fair’s award for most interactive display.

Breckinridge says bringing the Butterfly House to people is a joy.

“It’s an opportunity you cannot experience anywhere else,” she says. “(I am) glad to bring the experience to the people.”

The Tulsa State Fair continues through Oct. 9. Gate admission prices range from $6-$10 and admission is free for children under age 5. Admission to the Butterfly House is $3 per person.

For more information about the Tulsa State Fair, visit www.tulsastatefair.com, and to learn more about the Butterfly House, visit www.explorebutterflies.com.

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September 2019

ATTENTION ELEPHANT LOVERS! Have you ever wanted to spend the day with an elephant? Now you can! Due to a great deal of public interest, the Oklahoma Awesome Adventures is partnering with the...

Cost: $400

Where:
Oklahoma Awesome Adventures
2657 E 2070 Rd
Hugo, OK  74743
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Sponsor: Oklahoma Awesome Adventures
Telephone: 580-743-5849
Contact Name: Emily
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Cost: $30-40

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Uptown 23rd District
Uptown 23rd District
Oklahoma city, OK  73103
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Telephone: 405-200-5848
Contact Name: Riley Cole
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Cost: Free and open to the community

Where:
Woodland Hills Mall
7021 S Memorial Dr.
Tulsa, OK  74133
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Telephone: 713-224-9115
Contact Name: Woodland Hills Mall

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Cost: 10

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Spread throughout Metro Tulsa
, OK


Sponsor: Pella Windows of Oklahoma
Telephone: 918-663-5820
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Cost: $15

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Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Drive
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
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Telephone: (405) 236-3100
Website »

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Cost: Adults $5/Kids Free

Where:
13th & Guthrie Ave
1222 S. Guthrie Ave

Tulsa, OK  74119
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Sponsor: Tulsa Greek Festival
Telephone: 918-583-2082
Contact Name: Tonya Boone
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Cost: Free

Where:
Holland Hall School
5666 E. 81st St.
Tulsa, OK  74137
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Sponsor: Down Syndrome Association of Tulsa
Telephone: 918-804-3728
Website »

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Cost: $25 - above

Where:
Tulsa Ballet - Studio K
1212 E 45th Place
Tulsa, OK  74105
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Sponsor: Tulsa Ballet
Contact Name: Dan Meagher
Website »

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In our 4-week Beginning Fencing class, you'll learn about the history of Olympic fencing, the three fencing weapons – foil, saber and epee – and the general rules for each of the specific...

Cost: $75

Where:
Southminster Presbyterian Church Community Center
3500 S Peoria
Tulsa, OK  74106
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Sponsor: Tulsa Fencing Club
Telephone: 918-928-2663
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Cost: free & open to the public

Where:
McKeon Center for Creativity
910 S. Boston Ave.
TCC Metro Campus
Tulsa, OK  74119
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Sponsor: Tulsa Community College
Telephone: 918-595-7339
Contact Name: Cindy Armstrong
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Cost: $75

Where:
Southminster Presbyterian Church Community Center
3500 S Peoria
Tulsa, OK  74106
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Sponsor: Tulsa Fencing Club
Telephone: 918-928-2663
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Living Arts of Tulsa will present a multi-media exhibit of Jave Yoshimoto’s work. Intractable Chasm examines the refugee crisis in Greece, experienced firsthand by Yoshimoto when he...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East Reconciliation Way
Tulsa, OK  74120
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NSUBA RiverHawk Run 5K Tuesday, Sept. 24 – 6 p.m. $25 early signup, $35 after Aug 16, kids 12 & under free. 3100 E. New Orleans St., Broken Arrow, OK 74014 Invite your...

Cost: $25/$35 after Aug. 16

Where:
NSUBA Campus
3100 E New Orleans Ave
Broken Arrow, OK  74014
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Website »

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Cost: $75

Where:
Southminster Presbyterian Church Community Center
3500 S Peoria
Tulsa, OK  74106
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Sponsor: Tulsa Fencing Club
Telephone: 918-928-2663
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Cost: Free

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Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East Reconciliation Way
Tulsa, OK  74120
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Cost: $15

Where:
Asbury United Methodist Church
6767 S Mingo Rd
Tulsa, OK  74133
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Sponsor: Asbury LifeCare Ministry
Telephone: 918-392-1146
Contact Name: Ruth Winn
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Cost: 0

Where:
Asbury United Methodist Church
6767 S Mingo Rd
Tulsa, OK  74133
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Sponsor: Asbury United Methodist Church
Telephone: 918-392-1146
Contact Name: Ruth Winn
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Cost: $15

Where:
Asbury United Methodist Church
6767 S Mingo Rd
Tulsa, OK  74133
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Sponsor: Asbury LifeCare Ministry
Telephone: 918-392-1146
Contact Name: Ruth Winn
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ONEOK Field
201 N Elgin Ave
Tulsa, OK
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Cost: Free

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Mother Road Market
1124 S. Lewis Ave.
Tulsa, OK  74104
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Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East Reconciliation Way
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The Champions of Health Gala celebrates people and organizations that are making a positive impact on the health of our state through innovative programs. The proceeds from the evening benefit The...

Cost: $100/ticket

Where:
Cox Business Center
Tulsa, OK


Sponsor: The Oklahoma Caring Foundation
Telephone: 918-551-2164
Contact Name: Ellen Devereux
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Cost: 100

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Cox Business Center
100 Civic Center
Tulsa, OK  74103
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Sponsor: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma
Contact Name: Ellen Devereux

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Pop-acoustic worship group I AM THEY is announcing plans to headline The Trial & Triumph Tour this fall during the month of September with special guests Dan Bremnes and Elle Limebear....

Cost: (prices vary)

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 South Lewis Avenue
Tulsa, OK  74171
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Telephone: 918-495-6000
Contact Name: Mabee Center Marketing
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Disney On Ice presents Mickey’s Search Party is Coming to Tulsa, OK, September 26 - 29 Bringing the Magic Closer to Fans than Ever Before TULSA, OK — Create unforgettable...

Cost: $15, $20, $30, $35, $40, $45

Where:
Expo Square Pavilion
4145 East 21st
Tulsa State Fair
Tulsa, OK  74137
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Telephone: 918-798-3655
Contact Name: Kasey Littlefield

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Living Arts of Tulsa will present a multi-media exhibit of Jave Yoshimoto’s work. Intractable Chasm examines the refugee crisis in Greece, experienced firsthand by Yoshimoto when he...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East Reconciliation Way
Tulsa, OK  74120
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Get your wheels in motion and join us for our 6th Annual CF Cycle for Life NIGHT RIDE! Participants will start the evening at our Get Lit tent, getting their glow on, and gearing up to ride along...

Cost: $150 Fundraising Minimum

Where:
River Spirit Casino
, OK


Sponsor: Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
Telephone: 918-744-6354
Contact Name: April Mitchell

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Originally from West Africa, Kizomba is a partner dance that is a sexy addition to any Latin dance party. It is the fastest Latin growing dance in the U.S. Come and learn the basics plus a few more...

Cost: 109

Where:
THE DANCE PLACE
3310 WEST 42ND PLACE
TULSA, OK  74107
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Telephone: 918-813-6514
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The Tasting at Woodward Park is an elegant fundraising gala that matches upscale wines with delectable hors d’oeuvres to provide a stimulating culinary experience, all while enjoying leisurely...

Cost: $150 for members, $175 for non-members

Where:
Woodwark Park
2435 S Peoria Ave
Tulsa
Tulsa, OK  74114
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Sponsor: Tulsa Garden Center
Telephone: 918-576-5155
Contact Name: Laura Chalus
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Disney On Ice presents Mickey’s Search Party is Coming to Tulsa, OK, September 26 - 29 Bringing the Magic Closer to Fans than Ever Before TULSA, OK — Create unforgettable...

Cost: $15, $20, $30, $35, $40, $45

Where:
Expo Square Pavilion
4145 East 21st
Tulsa State Fair
Tulsa, OK  74137
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Sponsor: Feld Entertainment
Telephone: 918-798-3655
Contact Name: Kasey Littlefield

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A half-marathon, 5k, and one-mile fun run along Tulsa's scenic River Trails to raise funds and awareness to both celebrate cancer  survivors and help eradicate breast cancer.

Cost: Half: $70; 5k: $35

Where:
River Spirit Casino Resort
8330 Riverside Parkway
Tulsa, OK  74137
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Sponsor: River Spirit Casino Resort
Telephone: 918-914-9039
Contact Name: Pamela Ballard
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A half-marathon, 5k, and one-mile fun run along Tulsa's scenic River Trails to raise funds and awareness to both celebrate cancer  survivors and help eradicate breast cancer.

Cost: Half: $70; 5k: $35

Where:
River Spirit Casino Resort
8330 Riverside Parkway
Tulsa, OK  74137
View map »


Sponsor: River Spirit Casino Resort
Telephone: 918-914-9039
Contact Name: Pamela Ballard
Website »

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It's a 5k run or 1 mile walk with a twist. See all the historic churches in downtown Tulsa while participating in the Rosary! Children can listen to the Fatima story as parents participate in...

Cost: 30

Where:
Holy Family Cathedral
122 W 8th St
Tulsa, OK  74119
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Sponsor: St. Michael Catholic Radio
Telephone: 918-260-3617
Contact Name: Tricia Schittler
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We’re excited to announce that New York Times best-selling author Amy Stewart will be our guest speaker for our fourth annual literary brunch on Saturday, September 28, starting at...

Cost: Cost is $65 for Garden members; $75 for non-members.

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
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Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Website »

More information

Living Arts of Tulsa will present a multi-media exhibit of Jave Yoshimoto’s work. Intractable Chasm examines the refugee crisis in Greece, experienced firsthand by Yoshimoto when he...

Cost: Free

Where:
Living Arts of Tulsa
307 East Reconciliation Way
Tulsa, OK  74120
View map »

More information

America’s LARGEST interactive comedy murder mystery dinner show is now playing at the Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa Broken Arrow! At The Dinner Detective, you’ll tackle a challenging crime while you...

Cost: 59.95

Where:
Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa- Broken Arrow
420 W Albany St.
Broken Arrow, OK  74012
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Telephone: 866-496-0535
Contact Name: The Dinner Detective
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The Drunken Botanist at OK Distilling Company. Amy Stewart’s New York Times best-seller, The Drunken Botanist: The Plants that Create the World's Great Drinks, is a favorite of...

Cost: $25

Where:
Oklahoma Distilling Company
1724 E 7th St.
Tulsa, OK  74104
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Website »

More information

Originally from West Africa, Kizomba is a partner dance that is a sexy addition to any Latin dance party. It is the fastest Latin growing dance in the U.S. Come and learn the basics plus a few more...

Cost: 109

Where:
THE DANCE PLACE
3310 WEST 42ND PLACE
TULSA, OK  74107
View map »


Telephone: 918-813-6514
Website »

More information

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Cost: $20-$42

Where:
VanTrease Performing Arts Center for Education
10300 E 81st St
Tulsa, OK  74133-4513
View map »


Sponsor: Signature Symphony at TCC
Telephone: 918-595-7768
Contact Name: Tabitha Littlefield
Website »

More information

Disney On Ice presents Mickey’s Search Party is Coming to Tulsa, OK, September 26 - 29 Bringing the Magic Closer to Fans than Ever Before TULSA, OK — Create unforgettable...

Cost: $15, $20, $30, $35, $40, $45

Where:
Expo Square Pavilion
4145 East 21st
Tulsa State Fair
Tulsa, OK  74137
View map »


Sponsor: Feld Entertainment
Telephone: 918-798-3655
Contact Name: Kasey Littlefield

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Cost: 12.50

Where:
Duet Jazz Club
108 N. DETROIT AVENUE
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Sponsor: Story Club of Tulsa
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Contact Name: Ryan Howell
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