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Holiday Magic Designs with Julius & Beatrice

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The holidays have come to Bonnet House Museum & Gardens and it is truly a magical experience! Enchanting trees, festive wreaths, and dazzling centerpieces deck the halls and museum rooms bringing a lot of light, joy, and holiday cheer to this beautiful estate.

In the videos below, sibling designers Julius Bianchi and Beatrice Flarida give us a closer look at some of the Holiday Magic decor and explain some of their design inspiration. Listen to the stories behind the vintage pieces in the Butler’s Pantry, the equestrian theme in the kitchen, the magical woodlands in the dining room, and be dazzled by the 10-foot tree in Frederic Bartlett’s Studio. This year is the first time you’ll see decor in Evelyn’s Bamboo Bar. Toast with Beatrice to a very happy NYE 2024! We hope you enjoy the stories shared here and feel inspired to come out and support the museum in person.

Butler’s Pantry

Equestrian Theme in the Kitchen

In the Staff Dining Room

Frederic Bartlett’s Studio

Bamboo Bar

Drawing Room

The Bonnet House has always been a place where artists thrive, and we are so grateful for the teams of extraordinarily talented designers and volunteers who generously donate their time, talents, and decorations to create a very merry holiday here for all to enjoy.

We hope you come see us soon! Happy Holiday Magic!

An Exciting Future for Bonnet House

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Bonnet House is on the Cusp of an Exciting Future


What if you could be transported to a different time?

What if Bonnet House Told the Story of the Diverse People who Created and Nurtured It?

What if Fort Lauderdale became known as a destination for outdoor art?

What if local artists had gallery space to display work for visitors and locals?

What if you could have lunch in the middle of nature and Fort Lauderdale beach?

Click here to View Some Ideas.

From the Collections Vault: Frederic’s Currier & Ives Murals and Bothways Farm sign

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From the Collections Vault: Accession Numbers 1998.FB.182,183,185,188,205; 2023.DA.001; 2004.B.022: Frederic’s Currier & Ives Murals and Bothways Farm sign

Happy upcoming holidays! This year we will be featuring a mini exhibit in the gallery of Frederic’s interpretations of a few Currier & Ives paintings that have been in our vault for some time. Three large murals and two smaller pieces will be featured along with an original Bothways Farm sign and Currier & Ives Catalogue Raisonne with a personal note from the publisher to Evelyn.

Currier & Ives was a printmaking business based in New York from the years 1834-1907. Their hand-colored lithographs were a staple in virtually every Victorian home in the United States. Their art became synonymous with Americana and the holidays in modern times, thanks especially to the 1948 holiday song “Sleigh Ride” by Leroy Anderson.

About the Bothways Farm and murals:

Over the years, the Bartletts acquired two properties in Massachusetts. Frederic and his second wife, Helen Birch, purchased a more formal summer estate they donned “Whitehall” in Beverly in 1925. In 1938, Evelyn purchased a 114-acre farm in Essex which her and Frederic named “Bothways Farm” as there were “two ways to get to Bothways”.

The farm produced meat, eggs, cream, butter, and milk that were then flown to Bonnet House for consumption during their winter getaway. The property included a hunting lodge, chapel, and picnic house. The picnic house already existed when the Bartletts moved in; at that time it was just a little cabin. It had been built for the former owner’s grandchildren to spend the night in. The screened-in porch, four columns, and decorative work were designed and added by Frederic Bartlett. This building is sometimes referred to as the “Currier & Ives Building” because Frederic painted the interior walls with reproductions of Currier & Ives prints as part of the celebrations for a 1946 party he had for Evelyn. Bothways is still an active farm today, though the picnic house no longer exists.

The murals on display, as well as five others in collections storage, were removed from interior walls in 1997 at bequest of Evelyn after her death. The photos you see are of the murals as they were in the picnic house, as well as the little house itself with Frederic and Evelyn in front of it. Come see our new winter mini exhibit and learn more about each piece for a limited time, from November 21st through March 31st, 2024.

Interesting links:
Bothways blog posts from “Good Morning Gloucester” website:
Currier & Ives information, timeline, prints list, and FAQ, from the American Historical Print Collectors Society:

Special Family Day At Bonnet House

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As the holiday season approaches, it is always a good idea to remember the importance of family and togetherness. Spending time with our loved ones as the seasons change and the days get shorter is a time-honored tradition. Here at Bonnet House, we are providing a variety of unique opportunities for families to spend time together this holiday season.

On November 18th from 9:00am – 3:00pm, we invite you to join us for our Special Family Day! Special Family Day will include a selection of fun, family-friendly activities including:

● Live music by the Gold Coast Youth Orchestra at 10:00am & 11:00am on the lovely veranda
● Escape Back to the Museum STEM-based Outdoor Game with Ciphers, Riddles, and STEM Labs along our historical hardwood hammock
● The Mounted Police Horse Unit and K9 Police
● A Treasure map of what to find on the Bonnet House Estate
● Meet the Barefoot Mailman and other historical people from Bonnet House

Guests will also have the opportunity to tour the historic house museum, and explore the nature trails filled with native plants, trees, and an occasional monkey! Admission to Special Family Day is $10 per adult, and children under 13 as well as Broward County educators are free of charge!

We hope that you and your family join us for this special occasion. Spending time with family is one of the most important things we can do, and Bonnet House is the perfect place! To learn more about Special Family Day, visit our event calendar.

Celebrate the Holidays at Bonnet House

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What’s that noise we hear in the distance? It’s the sound of jingle bells! That’s right, our Holiday Magic celebrations are right around the corner, and we couldn’t be more excited! The Holiday Magic five-day celebration kicks off Friday, December 1st with our annual Holiday Magic Soirée. This popular event is followed by four nights of Holiday Magic Sparkling Evening Experiences that will fill you up with Christmas cheer!

On Friday, December 1st, the Main House and grounds will be lit up and sparkling during this Holiday Soirée with a full bar, catered dining by Hansen Group, and live music. The fantastical characters from the award-winning storybook POMP, SNOW & CIRQUEumstance, will join us again this year with a new presentation from their first-ever residency show and immersive experience. Additionally, all of the trees, wreaths, and centerpieces that you will see on display will be for sale. Soirée attendees have the opportunity to view and purchase these works of art before anyone else! To purchase tickets for general admission and exclusive VIP access, click here.

On Saturday, December 2nd, we will be hosting a magical evening for families to enjoy. Join us for a Wonderland of live entertainment, and plenty of opportunities to capture your holiday family portraits. Some of the evening’s highlights include:

● Scavenger Hunt throughout the house and letters to Santa: 5:30 – 7:30pm
● Photos with POMP, SNOW & CIRQUEumstance™: 5:30pm
● Broward Center Spotlights performance: 6:15pm
● Santa rides in on a Firetruck: 6:30pm
● Broward Center Spotlights performance: 7:15pm

We will also be offering holiday cheer during each evening tour which will include general admission to the house and two drink tickets. Self-guided house tours will take place between 5:30pm – 8:00pm. To learn more about this exciting family-friendly event, and purchase your tickets, click here.

We hope that you and your loved ones are able to attend some or all of our annual holiday events this year. The holidays are such a special time of year, and we can’t wait to celebrate with you at Bonnet House this year! To learn more about our upcoming Holiday Magic events, visit our event calendar.

From the Collections Vault: Evelyn’s Honeymoon Photo Albums

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Accession Number 2011.BH.030 & 034: Evelyn’s Honeymoon Photo Albums

Happy American Archives Month! Our collections are such a treasure trove and I am just beginning to scratch the surface. While on the hunt in our storage for another project, I came across two cardboard floral photo albums in our archives. Photos slid out as I picked one up, revealing scenes of Frederic and Evelyn in Europe I did not know existed. The two albums feature one photo per paper page in glossy black and white of their 1931 honeymoon trip. I was immediately taken by the intimacy and quirkiness of the photos. They took snapshots of each other mainly, mimicking each other’s poses or including fun candid pictures. There are of course a few of the both of them together, by/on a ship or at a meal, and even in traditional German clothing. I believe these photos really show their artistic nature and love for each other.

We did not have much information on where Frederic and Evelyn went on their honeymoon exactly. Venice, Munich, Paris, and Monaco were confirmed; however, these photos show other locations as well. I began to do some research through reverse image searching. I was able to find that Frederic and Evelyn visited the Gorges Du Loup viaduct near Nice, France, the Rhône Glacier ice grotto in Switzerland, and multiple locations in Garmisch, Germany. There are as-yet-to-be-identified spots as well. You can see some of the pictures here in this article, and for the curious like myself, the links to these locations are here:

Garmisch-Partenkirchen: beautiful scenery on the Zugspitze – Germany Travel

Rhone Glacier Ice Grotto | Switzerland Tourism (

The Gorges du Loup viaduct, or Viaduc du Loup, was unfortunately destroyed by German troops during World War II and only partial remnants exist today. Here is a website link to its history:

Pont-du-Loup Viaduct | Historical Society of Tourrettes-sur-Loup (

A few of these are direct inspirations for paintings we have on the property! I was in a state of awe seeing photos that Frederic used for the honeymoon painting diptychs in the studio that I wrote about in our latest newsletter. The railings, clothing, poses, and backgrounds are clearly recognizable in the paintings. I just knew I had to include them in our museum somehow – so now you can find a collage of these photos and information in the Studio, as well as a copy of the entire photo album in the Drawing Room that all are welcome to peruse. If you recognize any other locations, feel free to reach out and let us know. Hope you enjoy!


Preserving Bonnet House

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The Bonnet House property was purchased in 1895 by Hugh Taylor Birch. While the property had already experienced over 4,000 years of Florida history at the time it was purchased, the state of Florida looked nothing like it does today. Although much time has passed, the Bonnet House property still encompasses one of the last examples in South Florida of a native barrier island habitat. We are fortunate to be one of the few places in Florida to include five distinct ecosystems and an abundance of native plants and wildlife.

These five unique ecosystems include the Atlantic Ocean beach and primary dune, a freshwater slough, the secondary dune which includes the house site, mangrove wetlands, and a maritime forest. To complement the natural vegetation, the grounds also contain a Desert Garden composed of arid plantings, a hibiscus garden, and the main courtyard planted with tropical vegetation.

Our stunning variety of tropical vegetation includes but is not limited to mangroves, saw palmetto, blue porterweed, wild coffee, bougainvillea, and plumeria. Bonnet House also showcases various blooming examples of orchids in our greenhouses and throughout the estate all year round.

If you are interested in learning more about our fascinating ecosystems, and specific plant varieties, we encourage you to participate in our Education Programs . Our Educational Programming enlivens our mission statement and supports Florida’s B.E.S.T. Standards by offering onsite classes, field trips, and virtual lessons in Florida history, nature, art, and design.
These programs:
● Integrate character education
● Involve hands-on activities
● Provide various choices of curriculum enrichment
● Conform to the National Trust for Historic Preservation curriculum guidelines

Here at Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, we pride ourselves on providing unique and interesting opportunities for our guests to learn more about our estate, its owners, and Florida’s beautiful ecosystems. But none of this would be possible without our passionate and engaging volunteers. These dedicated individuals help us to educate guests, and care for our many species of plants. Our volunteers are truly the heart and soul of Bonnet House and they make all of our goals come to fruition.

Whether it’s everyday operations, special evening events, or gardening, Bonnet House couldn’t operate as it does without our team of volunteers. Volunteers have a variety of different opportunities to serve at Bonnet House. 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.

Plan Your Next Event At Bonnet House

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Life is full of ups and downs. Although our lives can’t be perfect all the time, there is still an abundance of joy to be found in each experience and opportunity. Here at Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, we want to be there for the most important moments in your life. Whether you’re planning a wedding, celebrating a retirement, or taking graduation photos, we can accommodate your event on our vast estate.

The Bonnet House estate spans 35 acres on Fort Lauderdale Beach, providing a variety of exquisite settings for events of any shape and size. Whether you are planning a close and intimate gathering or a grand and lavish affair, Bonnet House Museum & Gardens sets the scene for romance and timeless memories. Guests have the exclusive use of the tree-lined alee, garden courtyard, waterfront veranda, hibiscus garden, or the Bonnet House Beach. It is important to note that the renting party is responsible for all services such as catering, tables, and chairs. To learn more about how you can plan your next event at Bonnet House, visit our Estate Rental webpage .

The Bonnet House property is truly stunning, and offers some of the most beautiful settings for photography and filmography in the area. In fact, Bonnet House was the primary location for Will Shriner’s delightful movie “Hoot,” the television series “The Bachelor” and “The Glades,” and even served as the finish line for season 7 of the reality television program “The Amazing Race.” To learn more about photography and filming on our estate, you can view our specific guidelines, here.

Photographers and videographers are not the only folks that seek inspiration from our historic property. The Bonnet House Fine Artists are a group of accomplished artists, whose work is often inspired by the lush and tropical Bonnet Grounds. Bonnet House Fine Artists members exhibit and sell their work on the Bonnet House property and in various galleries, museums, and public sites throughout the community. Membership is open to artists working in any medium. To learn more about becoming a member of this unique community, click here.

There is so much that is worth celebrating in life. Our expansive, historic estate is the perfect place to capture timeless memories. If you’re interested in having Bonnet House be a part of the most important moments in your life, you can email [email protected] or call (954) 703-2608 to schedule an appointment.

Why Bonnet House?

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Bonnet House Museum & Gardens has been a staple in the South Florida community for over 100 years. The estate offers an extraordinary blend of art, architecture, history, and ecology. Filled with a delightful collection of art and personal treasures, the Main House exudes a sense of charm, whimsy, and gracious living. The surrounding grounds of the estate remain a virtual oasis of coastal wilderness and informal gardens, nestled amid the commercial development of the Fort Lauderdale beachfront.

This 35-acre subtropical estate and historic house museum was built in 1920 and was the winter retreat of the Birch/Bartlett family. Bonnet House has survived with remarkable authenticity – reflecting the creative lifestyle of its artist owners and preserving the natural setting of Old South Florida. This whimsical property preserves the home of the Bartlett family and offers a glimpse into their lifestyle, and the fascinating world of art in the early 20th Century.

You can be a part of persevering this remarkable institution and the legacy of the Birch & Bartlett families by donating. Your tax-deductible contribution will go toward the maintenance and operations of Bonnet House Museum & Gardens. To make a contribution or become a member, click here.

Additionally, donations enable us to continue offering unique opportunities for the public to learn and explore our estate. For example, this year we are excited to announce that we are hosting a Night At The Museum! We are inviting guests to participate in one of our two extravagant experiences. These include an overnight stay at Bonnet House and dinner for two (or eight!) individuals.

For a donation of $5,000, we will be offering a once-in-a-lifetime experience that includes a luxurious dinner for two and an overnight stay in the newly renovated guest suite. The curated experience will immerse participants in the leisurely life enjoyed at a 1930s-era beachfront estate including the rare opportunity to tour the property like never before with accommodations for two in a newly refurbished second-floor suite, dinner for two on the veranda with an exquisitely designed personalized menu, and breakfast in the morning with Bloody Mary’s and mimosas.

Separately and for a donation of $5,000, visitors can enjoy the elegant entertaining tradition of the Bonnet House estate, just as its iconic former owners, Frederic and Evelyn Bartlett did. This experience for eight includes a specially curated tour, pre-dinner cocktails, and dinner on the veranda or moonlit courtyard. Menu options may be exquisitely personalized and could include dishes like a scrumptious lobster first course, steak, and a full open bar.

Discover the beauty of Bonnet House at night at this fantastic event. We hope that you and your loved ones can show your support for Bonnet House Museum & Gardens by attending Night At The Museum. Book your reservation today!

Broward Attractions and Museums Month (BAMM)

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With so much to see and do in Fort Lauderdale, it can often feel overwhelming to pay out of pocket for all the unique experiences that our community has to offer. But luckily, September is Broward Attractions & Museums Month (BAMM)! This exciting opportunity encourages visitors to experience the diversity of cultural treasures that are offered throughout Broward County. During the month of September, visitors may buy one admission and receive a second admission for free to 12 participating museums and attractions in Broward County, while eight additional museums offer free admission, as part of the BAMM Promotion.

During September, visitors just need to mention “BAMM” or inquire about the offer at the admissions desk to purchase one regular price admission and get a second admission of equal or lesser value for free.

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)
● The Frank Art Gallery (Free admission)
● Historic Stranahan House (BOGO admission *online reservation encouraged)
● History Fort Lauderdale (BOGO admission)
● International Swimming Hall of Fame Museum (Free admission *partially open)
● Island Space (Free admission)
● Jungle Queen Riverboats (BOGO *90-minute cruises only *online reservation required)
● Museum of Discovery and Science (BOGO *Tuesdays excluded. Adult purchase
● 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)
● Studio 18 Art Complex (Free admission)
● World AIDS Museum (Free admission)
● Young At Art Museum (BOGO admission)

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 other updates before visiting.

There is so much to see and do with the whole family in Fort Lauderdale. We encourage you to take this fantastic opportunity to explore Fort Lauderdale and experience something new and exciting with your loved ones. Visit the Facebook page at for additional information about this amazing opportunity.