For twelve years now the American Museum of Natural History has brought butterflies to Manhattan from all over the world. Last weekend their "Butterfly Conservatory: Tropical Butterflies Alive in Winter" exhibit opened (it will run through May 31st of next year), and we sent Katie Sokoler over to photograph the 500 vibrant creatures (monarchs, zebra longwings, and paper kites amongst them). What to expect: a 1,200-square-foot vivarium, a freestanding structure aflutter with activity, lamps simulating sunlight in the rain forest, recorded sounds of howler monkeys, parakeets and other animals. Get more details here.

The museum's president, Ellen V. Futter, calls the exhibit "joyful, enchanting, and educational" — but let's not forget pretty. Plus, it's 80 degrees in there, so it's a nice escape from Nor'easters.