Freshwater pond filled with water lilies. The leaves are bright green and there are five yellow blooms visible.

White River Gardens


Find your zen in our gardens

Originally a separate facility that was a collaboration between the Indianapolis Zoo and the White River State Park, today the White River Gardens is part of the Zoo’s new guest entry experience that creates a total immersion into nature from the very first steps inside the Zoo. As visitors first walk through the Indianapolis Colts Welcome Plaza, they now enter the Zoo through the White River Gardens.

This beautiful 3.3-acre landmark attraction includes the Hilbert Conservatory, a 5,000 square-foot tropical oasis inside a glistening glass building, as well as the outdoor DeHaan Tiergarten that combines the best of gardening ideas, plant information and inspirational design that continues its tradition of connecting animals, plants and people.

Colorful butterfly sits upon a bright green, tropical plant leaf. The butterfly is mostly dark brown with accents of bright orange and cream.
Butterflies Are Back!

Set against the vibrant greenery of the tropical plants, visitors can once again enjoy colorful butterflies taking flight during their visit to the Hilbert Conservatory this summer.

Guests can also explore the life cycle of a butterfly at our incubator filled with chrysalises—butterflies in the making from their caterpillar stage. Interpretive graphics will help guests learn about important adaptations of butterflies that help them survive and thrive in the wild, plus conservation ideas about how to support butterflies in their own outdoor spaces. 


White River Gardens is home to more than 20,000 honey bees. Go inside the hives with our experts and how you can help these important pollinators.

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