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Decorating For The Holidays

By Bonnet House Blog No Comments

‘Tis the season…for holiday decorations, that is! While we know that the holiday season holds a deep meaning for individuals of all backgrounds, this time of year just wouldn’t be the same without all the fabulous holiday decor. Here at Bonnet House, we love seeing the ways in which people celebrate and decorate for the holidays each year. To ring in the holiday season, and help others get into the festive spirit, we are announcing a few unique opportunities for individuals and families to experience the magic of the holiday season together.

To kick off holiday celebrations at Bonnet House, we’ll be hosting our popular annual Holiday Magic Soiree on December 2nd, 2022 from 7:00pm – 10:00pm. The Main House and grounds will be lit up and sparkling all night. All of the trees, wreaths, and centerpieces throughout the house will also be lit and designed to delight.

This Holiday Soiree will include a full bar, catered dining by Alexander Event Catering, and live music with Kelly Dow and Julia Wadsworth. Guests will also have the opportunity to meet POMP, SNOW & CIRQUEumstance, along with new characters from the award-winning storybook! This will be followed by an exclusive preview performance from the new POMP, SNOW & CIRQUEumstance musical pre-Broadway.

There are so many creative ways to decorate for the holidays, and it can be a challenge to stay up-to-date with all the trends. To help you put together unique holiday arrangements, Bonnet House will also be hosting two Holiday Floral Arranging Classes on December 7th and 8th 2022 from 5:00pm – 6:00pm.

Attendees will learn how to create their very own holiday arrangement with Victoria Park Flower Studio on the beautiful Bonnet House Veranda. The class is limited to just 25 participants and is $55 per person. The fee includes a self-guided tour of the house from 6:00-8:00 pm where you can decide on your favorite trees, wreaths, and centerpieces designed by local artists. There will also be live music and libations available each night!

If you are unable to attend or participate in any of our special holiday events this year, you can still come by Bonnet House any day of the week from 11am – 4pm and enjoy the beautiful winter foliage that can be found throughout the estate and gardens.

We hope to see you at one of our special events this year! To learn more about our holiday activities, and decorative events, click here. 

Whimsical Wonderland & Evening Experiences At Bonnet House

By Bonnet House Blog No Comments

Are you looking for a unique way to create magical experiences for your family this holiday season? Well, look no further than Bonnet House Museum & Gardens! Each year, Bonnet House creates a variety of special holiday-themed activities that are fun for the whole family. This year, Bonnet House has been planning a family-friendly evening full of fun, excitement, and holiday whimsy.

On December 3rd, 2022, Bonnet House will be hosting Whimsical Wonderland from 5:30pm – 8:00pm. Join us for a Wonderland of live entertainment, a scavenger hunt, and storybook reading. There will be plenty of opportunities to capture your holiday family portraits. Guests will also get the chance to meet POMP, SNOW & CIRQUEumstance along with the fun new characters from the award-winning storybook and coming musical!

But the festivities don’t stop there! Between December 7th – December 9th, 2022, Bonnet House will be hosting a series of Holiday Magic Sparkling Evening Experiences! You won’t want to miss these opportunities to see our estate and gardens lit up and sparkling with holiday magic. All of the trees, wreaths, and centerpieces set up throughout the house will be lit and designed to delight. Guests can decide on, and even purchase their favorite displays as they enjoy a self-guided tour of the house during this rare nighttime opportunity.

Live music and libations will also be available each evening. There will be a different special cocktail featured each evening, and wine and beer will be available as well. You can check out the performance schedule, here:

● Wednesday, December 7 – Gin & Jazz featuring Davis & Dow Jazz Duo, 6:30pm – 7:00pm & 7:15pm – 7:45pm
● Thursday, December 8 – The Yuletide Carolers, 6:30pm – 7:30pm
● Friday, December 9 – Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida, 6:30pm – 7:00pm & 7:15pm – 7:45pm

The holidays are always better when we can all celebrate together. We hope that you and your loved ones will join us for Whimsical Wonderland and our Holiday Magic Sparkling Evening Experiences. To learn more about these events and to plan your next trip, click here.

5 Best Fall Activities In South Florida

By Bonnet House Blog No Comments

Fall is a beautiful time of year in South Florida! The weather is cooling down and the humidity levels are finally beginning to drop. Here in Fort Lauderdale specifically, there are so many fun all activities that can be enjoyed with family and friends. If you’re looking for fun things to do this fall in Fort Lauderdale, check out our top five list of activities:

1. Parkridge Pumpkin Patch – Are you and your family searching for the perfect pumpkins to decorate this Halloween? Well, you can look no further than the popular Parkridge Pumpkin Patch located in Coral Springs, Florida. Admission to the pumpkin patch is free, and pumpkins of all shapes and sizes are available for purchase. Spend time taking pictures in the picturesque pumpkin patch and bring home your own pumpkin to decorate with loved ones!

2. Harvest Festival Weekends at Flamingo Gardens – Celebrate the arrival of fall at Flamingo Gardens! Each Harvest Festival weekend will have a unique theme, and guests are encouraged to dress up in costume to fit the week’s theme. Each weekend will feature hayrides, pony rides, entertainment, fun activities, and food. This event is perfect for families and will be sure to get you into the autumn spirit.

3. Trick Or Trot 5K – Fall is the best season to exercise outside in South Florida. The Trick Or Trot 5K, located in Sunrise, Florida, is the perfect way for you and your family to get active this autumn! This event will take place on Saturday, October 22, 2022, and welcomes participants of all ages, and ability levels. Costumes are also encouraged at this fun, family-friendly race.

4. The Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show – While this event may not be fall-themed, it is one of the most popular events in Fort Lauderdale during the season. This famous boat show will take place October 26th – 30th, 2022, and is the world’s largest in-water boat event in the entire world. If you are interested or are just simply curious about what this impressive boat show has to offer, you won’t want to miss out!

5. Bonnet House Museum & Gardens – The Bonnet House property is one of the most beautiful places in Fort Lauderdale to spend the day with family and friends. With fascinating elements of history, art, and ecology, there is something new to experience around every corner of the property. Enjoy the local flora and fauna, and learn about the historical significance of the area while visiting one of the most unique spaces in South Florida.

Fall is truly a wonderful time of year here in South Florida. We hope that you and your loved ones will take advantage of all that our community has to offer this time of year. If you are interested in enjoying the autumn season here at Bonnet House Museum & Gardens this year, you can plan your trip and purchase tickets, here .

Fall at the Bonnet House by Gene Cain

By Bonnet House Blog One Comment

The seasonal changes of fall at the Bonnet House (and in South Florida) are much more subtle than the dramatic changes seen and felt in geographic areas to the north.  Virtually no hardwood  trees at the Bonnet House exhibit the dramatic color changes common to its northern neighbors, but that does not mean that fall is without some important changes that can be greatly appreciated by visitors to South Florida.

The most important change is a move away from the “rainy season” and into the “dry season” common to many tropical places.  South Florida’s dry season starts in mid-October and continues until mid-May.  Only about thirty percent of South Florida’s  annual rainfall occurs during the fall-winter-spring dry season.  The arrival of the dry season also means a drop from the summer’s humidity and some slightly (but welcomed) cooler temperatures.  Of course, these changes make visiting the Bonnet House even more delightful in the fall!

The end of summer also means the arrival of migrating birds escaping from the north.  Some are just passing through to even warmer climates but some stay until spring  The most common arrivals are the warblers including Palm, Black-throated Blue, and the Black and White Warblers.  Visitors may also see other visiting birds such as Northern Parulas, Ovenbirds, and American Redstarts.  Of course, wherever small birds gather so do visiting raptors like Red-tailed and Red-shouldered Hawks.  Also, the occasional Cooper’s Hawk and Broad-winged Hawk may stop by on their way to Central and South America.  Being surrounded by water, the Bonnet House is a magnet for water birds like Egrets, White Ibis and Yellow-crowned Night Herons.

The natural and exotic vegetation at the Bonnet House property also respond to the changes in the weather.  Several species in the extensive orchid collection bloom during the cooler drier days and nights.  Among them are Mrs. Bartlett’s favorite Vandas.  Other species blooming in the Fall include Phalaenopsis (Moth) and Cymbidium orchids.  Many are growing “naturally” on the Bonnet House’s many palm trees.  A wonderful fall bloomer is Bougainvillea vine.  It thrives during the drier and cooler seasons of the year in South Florida.  Colors range from white to purple. American Beautyberry has been blooming all summer and is now covered with dramatic clusters of glossy, iridescent purple berries – a favorite food of many birds including the Northern Mocking Bird (Florida’s State Bird).  Other plants have also  transformed their summer blossoms into berries and fruits including Simpson’s Stopper, Surinam Cherry, Wild Coffee, and Starfruit.

Experience South Florida fall on a crystal clear “blue sky” day with the temperature in the mid-sixties or low seventies along with low humidity, and you will know why the Bartlett’s loved their Bonnet House!  Plan your visit today.

2022 Call For Designers & Decorators

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We have great news to share! Holiday Magic is once again returning to Fort Lauderdale in 2022!  For our team at Bonnet House, this means that we will be hosting a fundraising event like no other. Our fifth annual Holiday Magic event will kick off in December of 2022 with a team of designers decorating Bonnet House trees, wreaths, and centerpieces that will be on sale throughout the first week of December.

On December 2nd, the festivities will begin with a Soiree on the veranda. Following the Soiree, Bonnet House will be open for self-guided tours in the evenings on December 3rd and December 7th-9th. We will feature something special and exciting each night; including a visit from Santa, story-telling, and more. All items purchased can be picked up or delivered (delivery fee applies) on Monday, December 12th, or can be brought home at the time of purchase.

Holiday Magic is one of Bonnet House’s largest fundraisers and is dedicated to the preservation of the estate. Because 100% of the proceeds from tree, wreath and centerpiece sales will directly benefit the Bonnet House estate, we are asking designers and decorators to donate their time, talent, and decorations to this worthy cause. Bonnet House will provide high-quality trees, wreaths, and centerpieces at no cost to the designer/decorator and can be picked up at Bonnet House. All designers will be able to choose the theme and color scheme of their piece and put their creative skills to good use!

The specific size details of the provided pieces include:
● TREE SIZE: Tree sizes vary from 4’ and 7’. All trees will be pre-lit. Stands are provided with each tree.
● WREATH SIZE: Door wreaths will be 36, 30 inches, and 24 inches.
● CENTERPIECES: Undecorated artificial centerpieces will be 36 inches.

If you are a talented designer or decorator, we hope that you will consider volunteering your time and talents to create a unique piece to benefit Bonnet House. If you are interested in decorating a tree, wreath, or centerpiece for our fifth annual Holiday Magic event, please complete and submit this form by Thursday, November 10th, 2022.

Art Workshops Coming To Bonnet House This October

By Bonnet House Blog No Comments

As the fall season approaches and the kids go back to school, this time of year has many feeling nostalgic about their own days in school, and wanting to spend time outside enjoying the cooler, crisper air. Well, here at Bonnet House, we may not literally be able to turn back time, but we can certainly provide opportunities for you to spend time outdoors and learn or improve upon a new skill.

This October, Bonnet House will be hosting two watercolor workshops for both beginner and intermediate skill levels and a Four-week Colored Pencil Drawing Workshop for all levels.

Our Beginning Watercolor Workshop will take place on October 11th,12th, 13th, 2022, and will cover various watercolor techniques and theories. This creative and informative adventure will be led by Barbara DiMartini over the course of the 3-days. To register for this workshop, click here.

Our Intermediate Watercolor Workshop will take place October 18, 19, 20, 2022, and will cover traditional techniques of realism in watercolor and line drawing. Classes are $140 for members, and $160 for non-members. To register for this workshop, click here.

The Colored Pencil Drawing Workshop will take place Saturdays, October 8 – 29 from 9:30 am – 12:30 pm. Learn colored pencil techniques that will help you create great-looking artwork without years of experience.  Galal Ramadan will be teaching this Colored Pencil Drawing Workshop. Click Here to register for this workshop. Classes are $160 for members, and $175 for non-members.

Here at Bonnet House, we work to provide opportunities to teach and inspire our guests. These popular workshops are a great way to not only learn something new, but to also gain a new lens from which to view the world around you.

These workshops tend to fill up quickly, so book your spot today.


By Bonnet House Blog No Comments

Broward Attractions and Museums Month (BAMM)

September is Broward Attractions and Museums Month (BAMM), which encourages visitors to experience the diversity of cultural treasures throughout Broward County. During September, visitors may buy one admission and get a second admission for free to 13 participating museums and attractions in Broward County, while five additional museums offer free admission, as part of the BAMM promotion.

Adventures await you right outside your door! Discover new artists or ancient artifacts, ride on a riverboat or an airboat, explore a botanical garden and historic house or feed a flamingo…and so much more.

Participating attractions and museums include:

  • Art and Culture Center/ Hollywood (BOGO admission)
  • Bonnet House (BOGO admission *self-guided tours only)
  • Butterfly World (BOGO admission)
  • Coral Springs Museum of Art (Free admission)
  • Flamingo Gardens (BOGO admission)
  • Historic Stranahan House (BOGO admission *online reservation required)
  • History Fort Lauderdale (BOGO admission)
  • International Swimming Hall of Fame Museum (Free admission *partially open)
  • Jungle Queen Riverboats (BOGO *90-minute cruises only *online reservation required)
  • Museum of Discovery and Science (BOGO *Tuesdays excluded. Adult purchase required)
  • NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale (BOGO admission)
  • Old Davie School Historical Museum (BOGO admission *online reservation required)
  • Plantation Historical Museum (Free admission)
  • Sawgrass Recreation Park (BOGO admission *online reservation required)
  • Stonewall National Museum & Archives (Free admission)
  • Wiener Museum of Decorative Arts (BOGO *adult purchase required)
  • World AIDS Museum (Free admission)
  • Young At Art Museum (BOGO admission)

 Visitors just need to mention “BAMM” or inquire about the offer at the facility’s ticket booth to purchase one regular price admission and get a second admission of equal or lesser value for free. (Some organizations may offer the discount online using BAMM as the promotional code.)

Participating organizations may have additional restrictions or blackout dates that apply, as well as additional discounted offers available. No other offers, discounts or coupons may apply. Visitors should check each attraction’s website or call for details, hours of operation, and COVID19 updates before visiting.

Broward Attractions and Museums Month is September 1-30, 2022. Visit the Facebook page at for additional information.


By Bonnet House Blog No Comments

It’s not just the sound of water that can be quite relaxing, it’s also looking at water.  According to Elizabeth Bernstein of the Wall Street Journal, “Neuroscientists say that spending time near oceans, lakes, rivers and other blue spaces can provide a range of benefits including reducing anxiety, easing mental fatigue and rejuvenating us.”

Bonnet House offers several opportunities for respite, reflection, and rejuvenation.

Just steps away from the Bonnet House Welcome Center, you’re immersed in a natural Florida mangrove swamp surrounded by water from the Intracoastal waterway. You’ll see fish, water birds, crabs, and maybe even a manatee.

On the east side of the house, you see the Bonnet Slough, a pond of fresh water covered by Bonnet Lilies (spatterdock).  Sitting on the Chickee Bridge, you can enjoy the water views and observe turtles, Alligator gar fish, anhinga, and green heron. Or maybe you’ll hear and/or see a common gallinule.

A short walk up the beach path offers views of the wonderful Fort Lauderdale beach and the Atlantic Ocean.

Other water viewing opportunities include the Courtyard Fountain where you can enjoy the sound of water from the tiered fountain in the center or the Orchid Display House Fountain enjoyed from inside the Shell Museum Complex.

Contemplating Frederic Bartlett’s three ceiling murals also provide the calming properties of viewing water.  Even the blue walls around the courtyard viewed from one of Mr. Bartlett’s yellow benches is another rejuvenating opportunity.

At Bonnet House, we preserve the art, history, and nature of Bonnet house, providing inspiration and respite for all.  Water, tranquility, inspiration, and respite await you on a visit to Bonnet House. Plan your visit today.

New Member Special At Bonnet House

By Bonnet House Blog No Comments

Here at Bonnet House, we offer a wide variety of fun and educational opportunities and events for all our guests, but did you know that Bonnet House members receive exclusive benefits and unique perks? Bonnet House offers multiple membership packages, including options for individuals and families. Purchasing a Bonnet House membership not only allows you to enjoy valuable recreation and entertainment opportunities but also helps preserve our historic estate and grounds.

All Bonnet House members receive at least these basic benefits:

● Unlimited Free Admission for Year of Membership (specialty and guided tours not included)
● Half-price admission for up to three guests accompanied by a member
● Discounts for events, lectures, and classes
● Subscription to the Bonnet House newsletter

From September 1st through November 30th, 2022, Bonnet House will be offering a special new member sale for all first-time Bonnet House members! Join now and no later than November 30, 2022, at any of these 4 levels in order to receive:

● $250 Hibiscus – 4 tickets to one Holiday Magic Night Tour Evening Experience (a $140 value)
● $500 Orchid– 6 tickets to one Holiday Magic Night Tour Evening Experience (a $210 value)
● $1,000 Golden Shell– 4 general admission tickets to Holiday Magic Soirée (a $400 value)
● $2,500 Bartlett Circle – 8 VIP tickets to Holiday Magic Soirée (a $1200 value)

These exclusive perks include tickets to Holiday Magic, one of Fort Lauderdale’s most popular events of the holiday season, so you don’t want to miss out on this incredible opportunity. Become a Bonnet House member today to receive these incredible benefits, and get the satisfaction of knowing that membership to Bonnet House helps to support and preserve a South Florida treasure!

To become a member today, complete this form. If you have any membership questions, please call 954-653-1557 or email [email protected].

Bonnet House Field Trips

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Bonnet House Museum & Gardens located in Fort Lauderdale is one of the last native barrier island habitats in Florida.  Our historic 35-acre property hosts five unique environmental zones and provides plenty of curriculum-worthy experiences.  Our Education Department will schedule a Field Trip for your Group. Did you know that Broward County Teachers receive Complimentary Admission anytime?

Onsite Field Trips to Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, for Grades K-12, include tours of the House and Grounds.  Our Field Trip Staff immerse students in a memorable experience where the barriers of past and present disappear.  Conclude your visit by bringing a picnic lunch to enjoy beneath our heirloom fruit trees with views of local wildlife.

This huge outdoor learning environment includes our 100-year-old historic home built in 1920 by the Birch and Bartlett Families from Chicago.  Mr. Hugh Taylor Birch, a Fort Lauderdale Pioneer, studied all things Nature, while his daughter Helen was a Poet, Composer, and Fine Art Collector. Frederic and Evelyn Bartlett were American Artists and Muralists with eclectic styles.  With our own Curated Primary and Secondary sources, students integrate their classroom knowledge with real-life stories from the many people who lived and worked on the Bonnet House property.

Trek through a timeline from the Tequesta to the mid-twentieth century while learning about Florida History and Natural Science.  Study our extensive ecosystems, plant adaptations, and field observations.  Deepen an understanding of the diversity of wildlife and habitats between the Atlantic Ocean and Intracoastal Waterway.

To register for your Onsite Field Trip please click here to choose from several Themes offered year-round.  Title I Schools receive special pricing!

Visit us often this academic year!  Cross a Chickee Bridge, Explore, Imagine, Research, Team up on a Science Lab, Walk through a Timeline, Share a Picnic, Observe Mangrove Critters at low tide, Create a Photo Journal or Compose a Song… Bonnet House Museum & Gardens await your arrival!

Click here for more information and to schedule your Bonnet House Historical Field Trip!