Special Tours

Experience Brucemore through a series of guided tours

Guided Mansion Tours

Craft an experience to suit your interests by choosing tours that range from a comprehensive overview to topical tours about arts and culture, midwestern industry, gardening, landscape design, architecture, and preservation.

The special themed tours tours are scheduled at various times throughout the year. Visit the Thursday Night Lineup page for the upcoming schedule.

Standard Mansion Tour

Our standard tour examines over a century of Cedar Rapids history through the lives of the three families who owned the 21-room Queen Anne-style Mansion.

For three generations, the estate was home to social and economic leaders of the community, as well as the servants that made their lifestyles possible. As Cedar Rapids evolved, so too did life in the Mansion, reflected in the art, furnishings, technology, architecture, surrounding landscape, and stories preserved at Brucemore.

The Mansion tour is a glimpse into the past and an irreplaceable tool for understanding modern Cedar Rapids and Eastern Iowa.

Nooks and Crannies

Visit every floor, peek into closed rooms, and satisfy curiosity through this all-access pass to the Mansion.

Marvel at the Skinner pipe organ room, discover the architecture and oddities in the attic, and experience the sight and sound of a "rain storm" in the basement Tahitian Room. Examine the superior craftsmanship and learn about ongoing preservation work.

The tour is not recommended for children under ten or individuals who have difficulty walking or climbing stairs.

For individuals and groups with fewer than 10 people, this tour will be offered as part of the Thursday Night Lineup:

  • September 11, 2014 at 5:30 p.m.
  • October 23, 2014 at 5:30 p.m.
  • October 30, 2014 at 5:30 p.m.
  • November 13, 2014 at 5:30 p.m.
  • November 20, 2014 at 5:30 p.m.

Visit the calendar of events to purchase tickets!

Hired Help: Working on a Country Estate

Join a costumed guide during a tour exploring the lives of Brucemore's domestic servants in the early twentieth century.

Consider what it was like to live and work on one of Iowa's grandest estates while discovering the servants' living quarters and the Servants' Village, an area only open to the public during this tour.

Documents, photographs, and other materials from Brucemore's collections enrich visitors' understanding of the relationships between the employers and their staff.

For individuals and groups with fewer than 10 people, this tour will be offered as part of the Thursday Night Lineup:

  • September 25, 2014 at 5:30 p.m.
  • October 9, 2014 at 5:30 p.m.
  • October 16, 2014 at 5:30 p.m. (Sold out)
  • November 6, 2014 at 5:30 p.m.

Visit the calendar of events to purchase tickets!

Seasonal Landscape Hike

Discover current landscape issues, the role of public use, and the seasonal chores required to preserve the historic grounds amongst the subtle and spectacular seasonal dressings of the 26-acre landscape.

See how planting choices with sensitivity to native species and seasonal display affect the overarching impact of a landscape design. Seek advice from Brucemore gardeners and ask questions on topics ranging from particular plantings to landscape designs.

For individuals and groups with fewer than 10 people, this tour will be offered as part of the Thursday Night Lineup:

  • September 18, 2014 at 5:30 p.m.

Visit the calendar of events to purchase tickets!

Historic Landscape Tour

Cover 26 acres and over 125 years of history during this exploration of Brucemore's landscape.

Each of the historic owners of this estate used the landscape differently. The changes they made to their gardens and grounds reflect their distinct personalities and the times in which they lived.

Brucemore's gardeners will point out evidence of and offer insights into these three eras - from the suburban Mansion and its sweeping front yard to the grand aspirations of a country estate and the modern trappings of a post-war couple.

The foundation of this tour is the design of noted landscape architect O. C. Simonds whose 1910 design still defines the way Brucemore is used and preserved today.

Brucemore in Bloom

Tour the blossoming gardens and lush terrain with Brucemore's gardeners.

Trace the development of the gardens from the original plan conceived by prominent landscape architect O.C. Simonds to the integration of function, recreation, and entertainment in Irene Douglas's vision for the country estate.

View current plants and landscape techniques that continue to help preserve the historically accurate prairie-style design by Simonds.

For individuals and groups with fewer than 10 people, this tour will be offered as part of the Thursday Night Lineup:

  • May 29, 2014 at 6:00 p.m.

Holiday Mansion Tour

Enjoy the seasonal splendor of glowing trees, a dining room set for Christmas dinner, stunning mantel arrangements, the lush garland adornment of the grand staircase, and other holiday cheer throughout the Mansion.

Sunday tours feature live music from the 1929 Skinner pipe organ.

This tour is offered between Thanksgiving and New Year's Eve; check our calendar for holiday hours.

 

*Tickets cannot be purchased in advance for daytime holiday mansion tours. Patrons are encouraged to show up to the Visitor Center to purchase tickets at least 30 minutes early during the holiday season.