Bayou Bend is open year-round with programs and events for adults and families with children. In addition to the highlights below, Bayou Bend offers an Election Celebration every four years and many other activities. For more information, contact Joey Milillo, programs manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 713.639.7759.
Are you interested in the docent program? Bayou Bend docents are nationally recognized volunteers who provide outstanding tours and education to visitors.
Offered free of charge on select Sunday afternoons*, Bayou Bend Family Days feature music, games, crafts, and a host of other activities that are fun for both children and adults. Families with young children are invited to take guided tours, led by volunteers from the Houston Junior Woman's Club, of selected rooms of the house. Plus, guests may register for great giveaways from the MFAH and Houston Public Radio. *Family Days usually take place on the third Sunday of the month, but check the calendar for specific days.
Yuletide: Holiday Time at Bayou Bend, one of Houston's most beautiful annual traditions, features festive lights, decorations, and period room settings that bring historic American celebrations to life. Bayou Bend offers several evening programs during Yuletide—including events for families on Friday nights and for adults during the week—when guests may tour the exhibition, then enjoy holiday refreshments and entertainment outside. Yuletide typically begins shortly before Thanksgiving and closes around New Year's Day.
The 2013 Yuletide exhibition receives generous support from Sheila and Steve Miller.
Bayou Bend partners with innovative music companies such as Ars Lyrica and the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra to bring you beautiful outdoor concerts throughout the year. Visit mfah.org/calendar for details and tickets.
There’s mystery afoot at Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens for sleuths ages 6 and older during the summer. Self-guided outdoor detective adventures feature educational themes ranging from plants and trees to architecture and sculpture. Indoor detective adventures are also offered, with tours of the historic mansion, full of antique treasures from the 18th and 19th centuries. Every Bayou Bend detective receives an Investigator’s Kit to help complete the hunt.
School and Group Tours
Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens offers a wide variety of group tours for adults and students.
Rienzi and Bayou Bend host a history book discussion series about life in America and Europe in the 1700s and 1800s. Meeting alternately at Rienzi and Bayou Bend, this book club offers free discussions on a regular basis.
Preschool Story Hour
Preschool Story Hour takes place on the third Tuesday of the month at 10 a.m. Stories are read aloud by an educator and are followed by an optional activity. Walk-ins welcome, advance reservation appreciated. Call 713.639.7750.
♦ The Carol and Les Ballard Lecture Series
Twice a year, renowned scholars speak about interesting aspects of American decorative and fine arts. Each lecture takes place in Brown Auditorium Theater at the MFAH. A reception follows.
"Bound by Thread: American Women and the Needlework Tradition"
Speaker: Linda Eaton, Winterthur Museum
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
♦ Talk + Tour
This biannual series offers lectures in a themed format. Each lecture takes place at the Kilroy Visitor Center and is paired with a house-tour experience. Call 713.639.7750 for information.
The Bayou Bend Speakers Bureau, staffed by Bayou Bend docents, offers informative talks and lectures, illustrated with slides, for groups and organizations interested in learning more about antiques, gardens, history, holiday decorating, or the lifestyles of Americans in the past.
More than 60 topics are available. Presentations to educational institutions (teacher groups, colleges, etc.) are free of charge. Other groups pay a tax-deductible honorarium of $50 that is used to support the educational activities of Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens. Please call 713.353.1508 for more information.
Each March, Bayou Bend participates in Azalea Trail, presented by River Oaks Garden Club. Azalea Trail showcases the colorful azaleas at Bayou Bend, Rienzi, private homes, and the garden club's Forum of Civics. At Bayou Bend, guests enjoy the splendor of spring among the woodland gardens and glimpse the collection of American decorative arts in the main hall of the house. For more details, contact River Oaks Garden Club. Tickets are also available at Bayou Bend beginning in February. Azalea Trail admission is the only way to view Bayou Bend during this weekend. Proceeds support local organizations including Bayou Bend and Rienzi.
Sip & Stroll Evenings
Thursdays during select months
Stroll through Miss Ima Hogg's historic estate at twilight. The beautiful house interiors and 14 acres of gardens are open for self-guided tours. Enjoy light refreshments and music on the Diana Terrace. Before or after your visit, stop by the Lora Jean Kilroy Visitor and Education Center to visit The Shop at Bayou Bend and the Hogg Family Legacy Room.
Spring House and Gardens Days
Third Weekend in March
During this weekend of education and natural beauty in the gardens of Bayou Bend and Rienzi, adults enjoy guided tours, demonstrations, and more. Tours of the grounds introduce you to local experts in diverse fields of expertise, from landscape design to attracting bees. Guests are also treated to light refreshments and shuttle service between the two house museums.
Summer History Camp
Bayou Bend's Summer History Camp is a unique, interactive program that gives students a fun, educational opportunity to learn about life in 18th-century America. The camp is designed for students entering or exiting the 5th grade during the summer they attend. To request an application or more information, contact Joey Milillo, Bayou Bend programs manager, at email@example.com or 713.639.7759.
4th of July Celebration
On Independence Day, Bayou Bend is open for an afternoon of music, art activities, and historical demonstrations that celebrate American freedom. Admission is free.
Generously underwritten by
Mary and Michael Epps
In memory of Ralph E. Wallingford