Skip to main content

How To Plan Your Perfect Wedding At Bonnet House

By Bonnet House Blog No Comments

Planning a wedding can often feel like a daunting, overwhelming task. With so much to plan, coordinate, and choose from, wedding planning can easily turn special moments into stressful checklists. Here at Bonnet House, we believe that planning a wedding should be a magical experience, and we work every day to ensure that our happy couples are smiling throughout the entire process. If you’re thinking about planning a wedding at Bonnet House Museum & Gardens, here are a few things you can expect.

The Bonnet House estate spans 35 acres, and offers a variety of exquisite settings for weddings of any size and aesthetic. 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. Our dramatic spaces, such as the Hibiscus Garden, fountain courtyard, water front veranda, and tree-lined alee all provide memorable possibilities for your wedding ceremony. Aside from the exclusive use of Bonnet House property for your wedding, we also provide:

● Use of the property for photography two hours before ceremony
● Private use of upstairs bridal suite
● Personal Bridal Assistant
● Ceremony and Front Door Hostess
● Complimentary tram service for guests to be escorted from the parking lot to the main house.
● Free parking
● Rehearsal and Ceremony coordination
● Ceremony microphone and speakers
● Two hours for set up and one hour for clean up

Bonnet House showcases a rare combination of historical beauty with modern comforts and conveniences to ensure that all in attendance are properly accommodated for. We are happy to work with any gay, lesbian or other LGBTQ+ couple interested in having a beautiful wedding to create memories that will last a lifetime. We are truly proud to work with any couple, regardless of their sexual or gender identities.

Our rental fee covers only the venue, however, the estate works with many pre-approved caterers and vendors to suit every budget and design goal. Bonnet House makes no warranties or representation as to the quality of any vendor. For your protection, please obtain a copy of the vendor’s current license and/or insurance, so that you can be sure they are covered on the day of your event.

Our historic estate is a wonderful place to create lasting memories with loved ones. We hope that you consider Bonnet House Museum & Gardens as you plan your upcoming ceremony. For more information or to set up an appointment please complete our online form , or call (954) 703-2608 or email [email protected].

Plan Your Next Visit To Bonnet House

By Bonnet House Blog No Comments

School is out for the summer and we couldn’t be more excited about all of the fun activities available to our guests this season! Whether you’re interested in spending time outdoors in nature, or inside learning about history, we have everything you and your family need to have a blast this summer.

Here in South Florida, we are no strangers to crowded beaches, and large groups of tourists. If you’re looking for a way to be outside on the water without dealing with large crowds, we have the perfect solution for you. Kayaking and paddle boarding are great ways to stay cool on the water, while also getting some exercise! Bonnet House Museum & Gardens has partnered with Fort Lauderdale Adventures to offer visitors the unique opportunity to kayak or paddle board through our secluded Coconut Cove. To learn more and to book your experience, click here.

Beginning on June 1st and lasting through September 3rd, Bonnet House will also be hosting our annual Summer Family Special. This special deal includes $20.00 admission rates for adults and free admission for any individual 17 and under (accompanied by adult). This is the perfect opportunity for you and your family to experience what life was like on a beachfront estate in the 1930s and 1940s while learning about the historic and ecological significance of the property.

The Summer Family Special is available Tuesday through Friday from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm and Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm, and tickets can be purchased at the Welcome Center.

With Fathers Day right around the corner, we could not forget to include a special way for Fathers to feel celebrated this year. On Sunday, June 18th, 2023 fathers will receive free admission to Bonnet House Museum & Gardens with the purchase of one additional ticket. Whether your dad enjoys art, culture, history, or nature, there will be something new for him to learn and enjoy at our estate.

There is so much to look forward to this season at Bonnet House! As the kids are out of school, we hope that you can consider bringing your family to visit our remarkable estate and create lasting memories. To purchase tickets and start planning your next visit, click here.

Bonnet House Gardens, Grounds & Exotic Plants

By Bonnet House Blog No Comments

In addition to its historic significance, the Bonnet House property encompasses one of the most interesting arrays of ecosystems in the state of Florida. In fact, the property contains five distinct ecosystems including the Atlantic Ocean beach and primary dune, a freshwater slough, the secondary dune which includes the house site, mangrove wetlands, and a maritime forest. Given this fascinating assortment of natural landscapes, it is not surprising that a variety of interesting plant and animal species can be found throughout the estate grounds and gardens.

To complement the beauty of the natural vegetation, the Bonnet House grounds contain a desert garden composed of arid plantings, a hibiscus garden, and an orchid display house. Additionally, the main courtyard is planted with stunning tropical vegetation. Our property is also home to a myriad of migratory birds, manatees, raccoons, turtles, and even a wild monkey!

When it comes to the specific plant species that can be found throughout the estate, the Jaboticaba Tree and Bleeding Heart Vine are two of our most exotic varieties. The Jaboticaba Tree is often referred to as the “Brazilian Grape Tree” because it produces large quantities of dark-colored, round fruits that cover the tree’s bark. Prior to producing these fruits, the tree forms white, fuzzy blooms that are stunning to view in person.

The Bleeding Heart Vine is also a crowd favorite and is especially popular among photographers. The Bleeding Heart Vine is native to the tropical regions of West Africa. When this plant flowers, their beautiful balloon-like, white and crimson petals make for a truly stunning feature. This plant will bloom for several months, so it can be enjoyed for quite a while on our property.

In addition to these exotic plant varieties, Bonnet House also features a unique selection of orchids. Visitors from all over the world enjoy visiting our orchid display house and taking our popular orchid care classes. In these courses, students will join our orchid curator, Jose Exposito, to learn about the different types of orchids, and how to care for them properly. Our next orchid care course will take place on August 8th at 9:30 am.

This spring and summer will be great times to visit the Bonnet House estate to experience the various flora and fauna that call this place home. We hope that you include a visit to Bonnet House on your next trip to Fort Lauderdale. To learn more, and plan your next visit, click here.

Fun Spring Activities In Florida

By Bonnet House Blog No Comments

With April underway, the spring breakers have started arriving in droves to the Sunshine State! While some locals may feel bothered by the increased crowds, it is not at all a surprise that vacationers want to spend the start of the spring season in our beautiful state! Whether you embrace the large crowds this time of year or are looking for more secluded activities, there are so many fun and exciting ways to enjoy the springtime in Florida.

1. Cool down at a natural spring. While Florida’s beaches may be crowded with tourists, spring break is a great opportunity to enjoy some of Florida’s stunning natural freshwater springs. Florida is home to over 700 freshwater springs, including the popular Weeki Wachee Springs State Park, Ginnie Springs, Ichetucknee Springs State Park, and Blue Springs Park. These crystal clear waters are the perfect places to cool down, and experience Florida’s most stunning wildlife.

2. Visit a botanical garden. Florida is fortunate enough to boast an incredibly diverse array of plant species. From orchids to hibiscus, to cacti, there are so many plants that can be grown throughout our beautiful state. Because of this variety, outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy strolling through Florida’s many botanical gardens, including those located on the Bonnet House property.

3. Attend a fun festival. Springtime signals the start of the festival season in Florida. Whether you’re interested in music, art, culture, food, or alcohol, Florida has a festival for everyone to enjoy. Popular festivals in Florida this spring include Epcot’s International Flower & Garden Festival, the Plant City Strawberry Festival, Marco Island Seafood & Music Festival, and Carnival Miami.

4. Go kayaking or paddle boarding through our scenic waterways. There are so many ways to enjoy Florida’s beautiful water without being at the beach. Kayaking and paddle boarding are the perfect ways to stay cool on the water, while also getting some exercise! In fact, Bonnet House Museum & Gardens has partnered with Fort Lauderdale Adventures to offer visitors the opportunity to kayak or paddle board through our Coconut Cove. To learn more about this fantastic opportunity, and book your experience, click here.

Whether you’re a tourist or a local, there are so many amazing ways to enjoy the springtime in Florida. We hope that you and your loved ones have the opportunity to visit this season and experience what our state has to offer. To learn more about visiting Bonnet House Museum & Gardens during your trip, click here.

Upcoming Workshop & Lecture Series At Bonnet House – Spring 2023

By Bonnet House Blog No Comments

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

By Bonnet House Blog No Comments

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

By Bonnet House Blog No Comments

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

By Bonnet House Blog No Comments

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

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.