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 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.



Jazz & Juleps

Tuesday, April 4, 2017, 6–8 p.m.

Sip on mint juleps under an elegant Southern garden tent while Boomtown Brass Band heats up the night with live Dixieland jazz. Take a twilight stroll through Bayou Bend’s beautiful springtime gardens, relax on the Diana Terrace, and take advantage of special evening access to the first floor of Ima Hogg’s legendary mansion.

Learn more

Ballard Series Spring Program

Back of the House and Beyond
Saturday, April 22, 2017, 1–5 p.m.

Get a look behind closed doors at Bayou Bend and Rienzi and see rooms and spaces rarely on view to the public. Limited passes are also available for a seminar with Maggie Lidz, former estate historian at Winterthur Museum in Delaware.

► Admission is free! Learn more and RSVP for the seminar.

Family Days

Offered free of charge on selected 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! Check the calendar for specific days.

Detective Days

There’s mystery afoot at Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens for sleuths ages 6 and older. Detective Days are self-guided activity sheets that provide a focused activity, challenging a child's observational skills and critical thinking.

Detective Days are available during self-guided tour hours for both the house and the gardens.

Detective Days at Bayou Bend are generously supported by Denise Monteleone.

Summer History Camp

Crafting America

2017 Dates:
June 19–23 | SOLD OUT
June 26–30
July 10–14
July 17–21

► Download the 2017 application

Bayou Bend's collection of early Americana serves as the jumping-off point for exploring activities children participated in 250 years ago. During Summer History Camp, 21st-century kids become blacksmiths, mold candles, write with quill pens, wear 18th-century clothes, and play colonial games. The camp’s thoughtful curriculum creates an engaging atmosphere for understanding the past through multiple perspectives, and challenges campers to form opinions based on asking questions and discovery through active participation.

Designed for children entering or exiting 5th grade during the summer they attend, History Camp is a five-day program: Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The week culminates in a special presentation for family and friends on Friday afternoon.

Questions? Contact Joey Milillo at or 713.639.7759. 

Bayou Bend Summer History Camp receives generous funding from Houston Junior Woman’s Club.

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. 

School and Group Tours

Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens offers a wide variety of group tours for adults and students.

► More Information

The Bayou Bend School Tour Program is generously underwritten by The Crain Foundation.

Book Club

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.

► Additional Information / Calendar of Events

Azalea Trail

March 10–12, 2017

Bayou Bend participates in the annual Azalea Trail, presented in March 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.

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day

On Mother's Day and Father's Day weekends, visit Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens for admission specials, refreshments, and musical performances.

Mother’s Day/Father’s Day Weekend at Bayou Bend is generously supported by Polly and Murry Bowden and Nancy and James Gordon.


Children's literature comes to life with ExploraStory! Bring your group of up to 24 kids (ages 3 to 5) to read a classic children’s book and participate in hands-on crafts and activities with Bayou Bend's experienced early-childhood educators in modern classrooms. Then investigate nature with a self-guided activity.

For the best selection of dates, reserve your visit a month in advance. More Information

Speakers Bureau

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 an honorarium of $75 that is used to support the educational activities of Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens. Please e-mail for more information.

Education programs at Bayou Bend receive generous funding from Houston Junior Woman's Club; Susie and Mel Glasscock; Mr. William J. Hill; Susan Vaughan Foundation; The Americana Foundation; Mrs. Denise D. Monteleone; Pat and Dee Osborne; Frost Bank; Huneycutt Family Foundation; Mrs. Nancy Glanville Jewell; Mary Lynn and Steve Marks; Mr. and Mrs. George W. Strake, Jr.; The Summerlee Foundation; Exxon Mobil Corporation; Polly and Murry Bowden; and Nancy and James Gordon.

The education programs also receive endowment income from funds provided by Mr. and Mrs. A. L. Ballard and Mr. and Mrs. Charles W. Tate.

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