Programs & 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 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.
August 3, 10 & 18, 2017, 1 p.m.
Explore American and Texas pottery on three special afternoons. These free events for children and their caregivers feature tours, hands-on workshops, scavenger hunts, and more, all centered on Bayou Bend's collection of ceramics.
Pottery Fridays are generously underwritten by Mr. William J. Hill.
Summer History Camp
SPOTS AVAILABLE: July 16–20
SOLD OUT: June 18–22 | July 9–13 | June 25–29
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, write with quill pens, make candles, 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.
David B. Warren Symposium
A Diverse History: Texas, the Lower South, and the Southwest before 1900
February 22–23, 2019
To honor Bayou Bend’s founding director emeritus and his passion for American material culture, the MFAH established the David B. Warren Symposium, presented biennially since 2007. Each symposium develops a different aspect of the overall theme of American material culture and the Texas experience.
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.
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.
Discovering the World of Alexander Hamilton
Cell-Phone Audio Tour & Self-Guided Tour
U.S. founding leader Alexander Hamilton is enjoying a resurgence in popularity thanks in large part to the hit Broadway musical Hamilton. Written by MacArthur “genius grant” recipient Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton quickly became one of American theater’s most celebrated achievements, critically and commercially.
Bayou Bend salutes all things Hamilton with a cell-phone audio tour that is also available as a self-guided tour for visitors on-site. The tour places the spotlight on objects in the Bayou Bend Collection that directly reference Hamilton’s life as well as many of the people, places, and events depicted in the musical.
Audio Tour Hours Available Friday, Saturday & Sunday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Last admission to the house is 4 p.m. No reservations needed.
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
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.
Bayou Bend’s Speakers Bureau offers informative talks and lectures—illustrated with colorful slides—for groups and organizations interested in learning about antiques, history, holiday decorating, or the lifestyles of Americans in the past.
Staffed by Bayou Bend docents, Speakers Bureau 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. Contact email@example.com for more information.
2018 dates: March 2–4
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.
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.