Picnic FAQ

picnic at winterthurThe Winterthur estate offers many beautiful places to picnic. Below are the answers to several “Frequently Asked Questions” about picnicking on the grounds. In general the responses below follow the golden rule and were developed to ensure that all guests at Winterthur have an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the Winterthur garden.
Where can I picnic? Can I picnic on the grass? Can I drive to my destination?

Members and guests can picnic anywhere on the grounds. In the interest of safety, we ask that you do not explore the barns, houses, outbuildings, or any areas marked “Staff Only.” Please maintain a distance of 25 yards from outbuildings/work buildings and residences for your safety and for the privacy of our tenants.

You are welcome to walk on the grass and to set up your picnic in the shade of one of our trees. We do ask that you walk or take the garden tram to your picnic destination, not drive.

What hours of the day can I picnic? Days of the week?

Guests can picnic on the estate from 10:00 am to dusk, Tuesday-Sunday, with their admission tags and can come back the next day with their paid admission (they must request a second admission tag). Members can picnic on the estate from dawn to dusk, Tuesday - Sunday. (The US Naval Observatory makes sunrise and sunset times available on their website.)

Is there a limit to the number of people in a picnic group?

The Winterthur garden is a peaceful and tranquil place. In the interest of keeping disturbance to other guests to a minimum, please limit the size of your picnic group to 10.

What are some of the better picnic spots on the grounds?

Sycamore Hill is a beautiful place to picnic. From the Bristol Summerhouse you can view across the valley to the train station and see the sky reflected in the pond – and there is almost always a breeze.

Behind the Cottage, along Clenny Run is a beautiful lawn and you can enjoy the sound of Clenny Run burbling along its stone-lined channel.

For families, the lawn next to Enchanted Woods is conveniently close to the children’s garden and to rest rooms. In April and May the nearby Sundial Garden offers a place for a fragrant, flower-filled stroll.

These are just a few – there are many more wonderful spots at Winterthur to enjoy a picnic.

What should I do with my trash?

Please take your trash with you when you leave. If you must deposit your trash, there are waste receptacles located in Enchanted Woods, near the restrooms, and adjacent to the Museum.

Can I pick wildflowers, collect mushrooms, collect rocks, etc. at Winterthur?

Please don’t! We ask that our guests and staff members take only photographs and leave only footprints. We ask that you help us to maintain the natural habitat that exists here at Winterthur so that other visitors can continue to enjoy the beauty of our garden, woodlands, meadows, and wetlands. Please do not move or remove any natural or manmade materials from any part of the estate.
What rules of “garden etiquette” should I be aware of?

Please don’t climb trees, stone walls, or other garden structures. Be aware that there are other guests in the garden and keep noise to a minimum (use headphones with CD players, etc.). Walking and running are allowed, but other recreational activities such as bicycling, rollerblading, kite flying, croquet, ball playing, Frisbee playing or sledding are not allowed. For safety’s sake we don’t allow guests to start fires, set up tents, or bring their own furniture into the garden.

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