Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion

Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park

[Photo credit: Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park]


Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park is one of America's longest surviving estates from the Victorian Era. The elegant Queen Anne-style mansion was built in 1887 in Canandaigua by New York City financier Frederick Ferris Thompson, and his wife, Mary Clark Thompson, as a summer home. Between 1901 and 1920, the widowed Mrs. Thompson and her staff created the nine formal gardens seen today. The grounds are open to the public from May 1 through October 31 each year. You may tour the stately rooms of The Sonnenberg Mansion or consult the gardens’ blooming schedule: The Greenhouse Conservatory, The Japanese Garden, The Sub-Rosa Garden, The Moonlight Garden, The Peacock House, and all the grounds are simply breathtaking.


APRIL:  Wildflower & Orchid Show

This historic mansion and garden is full of color with outdoor art shows, garden tours and wine and cheese tastings held April through October. In April, the Wildflower & Orchid Show celebrates the arrival of spring at Sonnenberg. Stroll through the gardens covered with early spring wildflowers as well as the orchid displays in the greenhouses and mansion. Guided tours, family activities, educational talks, and more.


Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park

[Photo credit: Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park]


JUNE: Rose Month

In June, join Sonnenberg for an evening of wine, food, and music in the historic mansion and gardens during the start of Sonnenberg’s Rose Month. Rose Month, held every June, is a month long celebration of the peak bloom period of the Rose Garden’s more than 2,500 roses. Sample wines and sumptuous foods from dozens of the Finger Lakes region’s wineries and restaurants while strolling through Sonnenberg’s historic gardens and mansion. It is a unique experience and not to be missed! Come prepared to bid on unique gift items in the silent auction and to buy a rose for your sweetheart!

JULY: Moonlight Stroll Concert Series at Sonnenberg

Festively lit historic garden paths and live music on a midsummer's eve make for a unique Finger Lakes experience as Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park celebrates with its popular Moonlight Stroll Concert Series in July. The 2-hour concerts take place every Friday night. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets as well as family, friends or that special someone for an evening out under the stars and strolls through beautiful garden as music floats through the air. Besides the musical entertainment, guests have a rare opportunity to partake of the beauty of Sonnenberg's gardens at night - for this is the one time each year that the gardens are lit and showcased at night. Evening garden strolls are a rare treat for the gardens take on a completely different demeanor - shadows grow long, hues deepen, and the fragrance of roses and other blooms become more pronounced as the evening air cools.

AUGUST: Arts At The Gardens

Arts At The Gardens is a two-day juried fine art and crafts show & sale held on the grounds of Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park.  Over 110 artists from across the nation.

OCTOBER: Haunted Garden Stroll

In October, there is the Haunted Garden Stroll for a "haunted" stroll through the Sonnenberg grounds. Hear strange Sonnenberg tales from the last 126 years that will leave you in goosebumps! Be ready for spooky characters during the walk - you never know who or what might be lurking or watching! Will it be an apparition of a Civil War general who died in the mansion? Or perhaps the Lady in Black who continues to walk the grounds? What other macabre visitations or weird sights will you experience?


Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park

[Photo credit: Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park]

DECEMBER: Sonnenberg Christmas Gala and Christmas Community Day

Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park in Canandaigua, NY is offers two holiday events in December that harken back to Canandaigua’s historic past—the  elegant Victorian fantasy Christmas party called the Sonnenberg Christmas Gala, and the festive Sonnenberg Christmas Community Day. The Sonnenberg Christmas Gala allows guests to take a step back in time to experience the spirit of the elegant parties that were once a mainstay of Sonnenberg’s past and a common sight to the Sonnenberg Mansion. The Gala features music, dancing, and festive foods. Local wines are available for purchase by the glass. Professional dancers put on a dance performance for guests. Guests are able to freely tour the Sonnenberg Mansion festooned with holiday decorations—a breath-taking backdrop for guests’ holiday snapshots. The Sonnenberg Christmas Community Day offers the community a second chance to tour the Sonnenberg Mansion that has been gaily decorated for the holiday season. Refreshments are available plus musical entertainment from the Canandaigua School choir.

Sonnenberg is a non-profit organization dependent upon the support of members and sponsors and its dedicated corps of volunteers. All proceeds from these events go to support the continued operation and preservation of Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park. While Sonnenberg Gardens operates in cooperation with the State of NY, it receives no State funding and operates only through the funds raised by the efforts of its non-profit organization. If you are interested in helping to support this historic treasure, please call 585-394-4922 or see