Forget the cold and snow.  A sure sign of spring's return to West Michigan is almost here.

Frederik Meijer Gardens' annual Butterflies Are Blooming exhibit opens Thursday. 

The exhibit will run March 1 - April 30.  You'll find over 6,000 tropical butterflies, including 40 different species from the Far East, Africa, and Central America.

The 15,000 square foot exhibition is annually Frederik Meijer Gardens' most popular exhibition.

This is a can't-miss event, especially if you have kids.  Each year my 5-year-old daughter patiently stands with her index finger outstretched just hoping that a butterfly will land on it.  Maybe this will be the year.  I'll be ready with the camera just in case.

Some exciting news for regular visitors to Butterflies Are Blooming. reports that for the first time Frederik Meijer Gardens will be announcing the times that new butterflies will be released into the exhibit. has more info, including hours of operation and admission prices.