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Upcoming Workshop & Lecture Series At Bonnet House – Spring 2023

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There is always something new and interesting to look forward to at Bonnet House Museum & Gardens – and this spring season is no exception. This month, we are excited to announce the start of our colored pencil drawing and painting workshop, as well as a brand new lecture series. For those interested in art, history, and architecture, these programs are a must!

Here at Bonnet House, we believe that it’s never too late to learn a new skill. If you’re interested in creating beautiful works of art, but don’t have years of experience, consider attending our upcoming Colored Pencil & Painting Workshop with instructor, Galal Ramadan. Galal has written many articles published in Colored Pencil Art Magazines and has been in solo national and international exhibitions. He was born in Alexandria, Egypt, and now resides and teaches in Florida.

This 4-week workshop will take place on Saturdays, April 15th, 22nd, May 6th and 13th from 9:30am-12:30pm. This workshop is $160 for Bonnet House members, and $175 for non-members. To learn more, and register for this popular workshop, click here.

Additionally, on April 17th, we are excited to present this newly added lecture and screening to our Speaker Series honoring pathbreaking Orlando architects Ida Annah Ryan and Isabel Roberts. The program will feature an introduction by Claire Vickery, Founder of Grace Arts Center and producer of the 2022 short documentary film, “Pavilion on the Water.”

The film is about Frank Lloyd Wright’s first female employee, Isabel Roberts, who eventually closed FLW’s Oak Park Chicago office and moved to Florida to join another female architect, Ida Ryan, who was the first to receive an architecture degree in the U.S. and the first from MIT to also graduate with an architectural engineering certificate. Their firm was commissioned by the City of Orlando to design a futuristic pavilion in the middle of Lake Eola in 1924 and their work was part of the City Beautiful Movement championed by Orlando long before the arrival of the amusement parks.

This lecture will be offered in person and virtually via Zoom. This event is free for Bonnet House members, and $5 for nonmembers. To learn more about this documentary and what you can expect from our speaker series, click here.

This spring, there are so many fun and exciting events coming up at Bonnet House Museum & Gardens. We are incredibly thrilled to be able to provide such unique opportunities to learn more about art, and the individuals that have made such a large impact on our community. We hope that you take the time to explore our events calendar and attend one of our many interesting events or programs this season.

Our Tight-Knit Family at Bonnet House

By Bonnet House Blog One Comment

At Bonnet House, our talented team of staff and volunteers make up a tight-knit family with common passions for history, art, nature, and more. We care deeply about the estate, and believe that it’s preservation benefits not only the individuals who visit, but the entire Fort Lauderdale community. It is through our volunteers and their efforts that we are able to maintain the integrity and beauty of this unique historical estate, and ensure a pleasant and enjoyable experience for each guest.

Our volunteers come from a variety of backgrounds, ranging from biochemistry to banking, and law to photography. Many have been with us for over two decades, and are still enjoying their time here!

At Bonnet House, we value each and every one of our volunteers. We need and desire their continued help, enthusiasm and support of our estate. Without them, the Bonnet House experience would simply not be the same. Whether it’s everyday operations, special evening events, or post-hurricane cleanup,  Bonnet House couldn’t operate as it does without our team of dedicated volunteers.

Volunteers have a variety of different opportunities to serve at Bonnet House. Our available volunteer positions include:

● Lead Guide
● Education Volunteer
● Back-Up Guide
● Nature Trail Interpreters
● Bridge Greeter
● Courtyard Coordinator
● Museum Shop Assistant
● Collections Volunteer
● Research Volunteer
● Data Input
● Handyman Volunteer
● Garden Volunteer

If you have any questions or wish to join our team of volunteers at Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, please call (954) 703-2606 or click here.

Enjoying The Outdoors In South Florida

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If you are an outdoor enthusiast, there is no place better than sunny South Florida. With warm weather year-round, South Florida is the perfect place to experience all that nature has to offer. Here at Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, we embrace the outdoors and the beauty of the unique landscape that surrounds us. Our estate is not only a great place to enjoy art and history, but guests also have the opportunity to view an abundance of native flora and fauna that call our property home.

It may be surprising to some that the Bonnet House estate contains five distinct, separate ecosystems which showcase some of the last examples of a native barrier island habitat in South Florida. These pristine habitats offer excellent opportunities for our guests to view nature as well as hundreds of beautiful native and migratory birds, among other animal species. For this reason, Bonnet House is a popular place for many South Florida residents and visitors to go bird watching and/or birding no matter the season.

If you’re interested in learning more about the specific birds that can be found in South Florida and around the Bonnet House property, you can sign up for our popular Birding Class on March 5th, 2023. This class will teach you a 10-step approach to increase your ability to identify birds such as family groups, behavior, silhouette, habitat, field marks, commonality, seasonality, and more. The class will include an informative PowerPoint, numerous handouts, a workshop activity, and a walk around the garden to look for birds. To learn more about this event and sign up, click here.

If birding and bird watching aren’t your cup of tea, there are still so many opportunities to enjoy and appreciate nature and forestry at Bonnet House. As part of the five distinct ecosystems on our property, Bonnet House is home to a native maritime forest. Maritime forests are shoreline estuaries that grow along coastal barrier islands that support a great diversity of unique plants and animals.

If you are interested in spending time in and learning more about the native maritime forest on our property, Bonnet House offers specialized Forest Bathing classes throughout the springtime. On March 26th, 2023, guests will have the opportunity to join Don Oprea in the Bonnet House Hammock and relax among the trees. In this class, guests will be able to listen to the sounds and enjoy the sights of nature. To learn more and register for this class, click here.

Here at Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, we couldn’t feel luckier to be situated in such a pristine location. We hope that you and your loved ones are able to join us as you spend time in the great outdoors this year. To plan your next visit to the Bonnet House estate, click here.

New Art Classes Coming To Bonnet House

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Once again, we are so excited to announce that Bonnet House will be hosting a variety of fun and educational art classes this winter and spring! We have everything you will need to hone in on your existing skills and learn new techniques. These classes are not just great for beginners, but also for people who might wish to become more well-rounded in their artistic abilities. We promise you will not want to miss out on our watercolor, calligraphy, oil, and acrylic classes this year!

Starting on February 28th, 2023, Bonnet House will begin a six-week Oil/Acrylic Painting Workshop with Bonnie Opie. Learn how to create beautiful images with oil/acrylic paint. Basic oil/acrylic techniques such as underpainting, glazing, composition, and the use of light and color will be covered.  All artists are welcome. This workshop will take place on Tuesdays from 9:30 am – 12:30 9m and will last through April 4th. Classes are $190 for members and $220 for non-members. To learn more and to register for this class, click here.

Starting on March 1st, 2023, Bonnet House will be providing an opportunity to join watercolorist Barbara DiMartini in the historic Bonnet House gardens for a six-week session. This fun and informative workshop will include traditional techniques of realism in watercolor and line drawing. Students will even have time to paint outdoors in our beautiful, shaded garden space. These classes will take place on Wednesdays from 9:30 am – 12:30 pm and will last through April 5th. Classes are $190 for members and $210 for non-members. To learn more and to register for this class, click here.

We are so excited to present these opportunities for people to learn and grow in their artistic endeavors. We sincerely hope that you and your loved ones are able to attend these fantastic educational workshops this year. To view our full workshop schedule for the winter and spring, visit our events calendar.

Orchid Festival Sponsorship Opportunities Available

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It might be hard to believe, but here at Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, we are already gearing up for our annual International Orchid & Garden Festival! This popular event welcomes orchid enthusiasts and plant lovers alike to vividly experience – and purchase – diverse, colorful and fragrant varieties of orchids, tropical plants, herbs, and fruit trees sold by local and international vendors from Thailand, Ecuador, and Brazil. This year, the festival will take place from April 1-2, 2023 from 9:00 am-4:00 pm.

This two-day event is always extremely popular, and every year brings in more visitors and vendors than the last. This year, we have added a catered lunch by Alexander Event Catering on our lovely waterfront Veranda. Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy orchid and tropical plant displays, food vendors, libations, garden art, orchid care, and general gardening lectures, live music, Brunch on the Veranda, and much more.

Over 5,000 people typically attend this annual festival. The entire Bonnet House grounds will be open for guests to enjoy, and self-guided house tours will be available as well. Lectures and workshops on orchid cultivation, live music, food and beverage vendors will also be scheduled throughout the day.

Because the International Orchid & Garden Festival has been so successful in recent years, we have decided to add a few special opportunities for guests to make the most of their weekend. This year, we’ve added a special Brunch for VIP guests on both days from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm.

This includes admission, as well as bloody marys and even mimosas!

While these events are always fun, and exciting, they would be impossible without sponsors. Our event sponsors are a huge part of the success of our International Orchid & Garden Festival, and we couldn’t be more grateful for their support. We have a variety of sponsorship levels including:

– White Orchid (2 Tickets) – $250.00
– Yellow Orchid (4 Tickets) – $500.00
– Blue Orchid (6 Tickets) – $1,000.00
– Red Orchid (8 Tickets) – $2,500.00
– Purple Orchid (10 Tickets + 2 VIP) – $3,500.00

To learn more about becoming a sponsor for this annual two-day festival, call or email Darla Stanton at 954-653-1557 or [email protected].

Decorating For The Holidays

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‘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

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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

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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.