Outside the birds are chirping and bees are buzzing as spring unfurls across the grounds at Blithewold. A stroll through the 33-acre estate reveals a diversity of daffodil divisions, carefully selected to extend the bloom time: that is if Mother Nature allows! The 2012 season opens April 1st with Daffodil Days.

Inside the Mansion, tablecloths are unfolded, china is unpacked and silverware is polished, setting the scene for tea. Tea service begins on April 10th, our Tea includes a variety of sweet and savory items (a highlight is a scone from Bristol Bakery) and is served Tuesdays through Fridays with two seatings at 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. Tea is $14 in addition to regular Mansion admission. Reservations are recommended and can be made online.

Daffodil Days close with a can't-miss day of frolic during the Fairy Festival (April 29th). This all-ages day includes a plant sale, fairy house building, a May Pole and storytelling. Regular admission rates apply.

A New Exhibit
Blithewold opens a new exhibit "Summertime by the Bay" on Tuesday, April 17th. The exhibit is a celebration of summer activities at Blithewold dating back to 1894 when the Van Wickles went on their first cruise
on the family's new Herreshoff yacht, Marjorie, and subsequently purchased the property we now know as Blithewold. For the next eighty years, summertime at Blithewold was a golden time, full of laughter, sunshine, and exhilarating activities - sailing, swimming, and kayaking; chasing dogs and balls on the great lawn; dancing and dining in the evenings while the young cousins ran wild through the grounds.
The main exhibit space in the house will highlight photographs, guest books, games, and summer clothing - all from the Blithewold collection. As a special treat, we have several of the family's small boats displayed in the Sleeping Porch. The exhibit continues in the Summerhouse where the family traditionally gathered for tea and lemonade on hot afternoons. Here you will see a collection of large-format photographs of the family enjoying their summers together. This will be an ideal place for children to connect to the past and try out old-fashioned games like hula-hoop, croquet, jacks, checkers, and cards.

2012 Season Highlights
• The New England 24th Annual Tree Climbing Competition May 19 - 20
• A Day Trip to Wave Hill Gardens in New York May 30th
• Intimate Garden Tour Series begins June 14th
• Music at Sunset Concerts & Cocktail Party Series begins June 27th
• Family Fun Fridays begin July 6th
• Mixed Magic Theatre presents Moby Dick on the Great Lawn July 18 - 19
Grounds are open daily from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., the Mansion is open Tuesday - Sunday 10 a.m - 4 p.m.
To make a Tea reservation and to see the complete list of summer programs and to register please visit www.blithewold.org/programs.