Programs and Events at Bayou Bend
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 email@example.com 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.
Christmas Village at Bayou Bend
December 15, 2017–January 6, 2018
Open every evening except December 24, 25 & 31
Sunday–Thursday: 5:30–9 p.m. | Friday & Saturday: 5:30–10 p.m.
Premium nights: December 15, 16, 22, 23, 29 & 30 + January 5 & 6
Discover an immersive Christmas experience at beautiful Bayou Bend! Get in the holiday spirit with carolers, a faux-snowball play area, a handcrafted model train, a trail of lights, and more—all on 14 acres of gardens and art nestled in River Oaks. Holiday-themed tours of Ima Hogg’s historic mansion crafted by Todd Waite feature live actors, theatrical effects, and Christmas decorations. Christmas Village takes place rain or shine.
► Learn more and get tickets
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.
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 specially chosen rooms in the house.
*Family Days usually take place on the third Sunday of the month, from September through April. Check the calendar for specific days.
School and Group Tours
Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens offers a wide variety of group tours for adults and students.
The Bayou Bend School Tour Program is generously underwritten by The Crain Foundation.
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.
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
Using Artifacts in STEAM Education
Saturday, February 10, 2018, 9 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Artifacts enable historians to study the development of technologies that changed the lives of Americans forever. A new learning model at Bayou Bend focuses on these innovations in transportation, industry, and health and hygiene.
In this workshop at Bayou Bend, educators discover a model for incorporating STEAM learning objectives into close-looking at objects and other primary source materials. Rescheduled from September 30, 2017.
Friday, Saturday, Sunday
March 2–4, 2018
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Summer History Camp
June 19–23 | June 26–30 | July 10–14 | July 17–21
Bayou Bend’s collection of early Americana serves as the jumping-off point for exploring activities that 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.
Bayou Bend Summer History Camp receives generous funding from Houston Junior Woman’s Club.
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.