Brucemore Takes a Cautious New Approach

The Holidays Return to Brucemore

November 27th, 2020

EEC_1185.jpgThis holiday season, the mansion at Brucemore has re-opened after being closed since March due to the pandemic and derecho. The holiday season creates fond memories of Brucemore for many people. This year, Brucemore is offering something new.

“We know that visiting Brucemore during the holidays is a tradition for many families. Last year, Brucemore was ranked one of the top 10 “Best Holiday Historic Home Tours” across the nation!” said Tara Richards, Director of Community Engagement. “Knowing what this experience means to so many people, we worked to find a safe way to allow the tradition to continue this year while keeping safety in mind.”

The safety of audiences and staff is a top priority for Brucemore. This year’s programs have been designed to create distance between family groups, drastically limit capacity, and minimize contact. Masks will be required of all people over the age of two when inside any of Brucemore’s buildings and outdoors when physical distancing is not possible. Tours will be self-guided, allowing families to book a private timeslot to start their visit and to explore on their own. Tickets will only be sold in advance.

“We wanted to devise a system that would be low contact and spread groups out within the mansion,” said Richards. “This year, families can purchase tickets for an entry-time. Once inside, they can explore at their own pace. Tickets will be sold every 20 minutes, allowing time to spread out and explore safely.”

This year, Brucemore is offering three, new tour experiences that are self-guided and require purchasing tickets in advance, including:

Visitors can also enjoy a sneak peek at the holidays at Brucemore through an online exhibit. This free, online exhibit is a great introduction to Brucemore during the Christmas season and provides an alternate experience for anyone who decides visiting in person isn’t right for them at this time.

Learn more about each of Brucemore’s holiday programs and purchase your tickets today!


Do I need to pay to enter the estate and walk on the grounds?

No. Visiting the Brucemore estate during grounds hours is free. Tickets are only required for scheduled tours and events, and they can be purchased in advance online.

Is a reservation needed to visit Brucemore?

You do not need a reservation to visit the grounds on your own. You do need a ticket to go inside the mansion. We recommend advance reservations for any of our mansion tours or other scheduled special themed tours due to limited capacity. Please visit our calendar to see upcoming opportunities and to purchase your tickets.

Touring the Mansion

Can I take pictures inside the mansion?

Yes. Photography is allowed during tours for personal, non-professional use. Tripods, selfie-sticks, or other photography equipment will not be permitted. Photographs should not distract from others’ enjoyment.

How large is the mansion?

Brucemore is approximately 15,000 square feet.

How many fireplaces, rooms, and floors does Brucemore have?

There are 21 “main” rooms, 14 fireplaces and four floors plus an attic.

Is all of the furniture original to the house and families?

Much of the furniture you will see on display belonged to the second or third families to live at Brucemore; however, some pieces had to be replaced with replicas or similar antiques.

Is the mansion handicap accessible?

The Brucemore mansion includes multiple floors and several staircases. Because of the historic architecture, some spaces are not accessible. Due to preservation work, the wheelchair lift that offers accessibility to the first floor is not available at this time. An elevator is not available from the first floor to the other floors at any time. Learn more about accessibility at Brucemore.

Group and School Tours

Is there an age requirement for students visiting Brucemore?

You do not have to be a certain age to visit or attend a program at Brucemore. Different programs are best suited for different ages. Tours of the mansion are recommended for 4th grade and older due to the concepts and historic collection.

Where do we park?

Parking is available on site a short walk from the mansion or carriage house. Buses must follow special instructions. Large events may not be able to accommodate on-site parking; please see the event calendar information for exceptions.

Is bus parking available?

Yes. Bus parking is available near the carriage house. Buses must arrive via special directions as they are unable to fit in our historic gates.

Is there a lunch area at Brucemore?

There is not a designated area indoors or outdoors to eat; however, you are welcome to bring your own blanket or chair to picnic on the grounds. Please carry out any trash to help our small staff keep the grounds beautiful.

Does my group have to arrive together?

Please let group members or chaperones know where they can meet the group.

What is your payment policy?

Brucemore admission is to be paid prior to the visit and a deposit may be required. Payment can be made by cash, check, or credit card and should be paid in one sum.

Do I need to make an appointment to tour the mansion?

You must have a ticket to a tour or program inside the mansion. Many tours do sell out in advance; purchase online or by calling 319-362-7375 in advance of your visit to guarantee your spot. See the schedule here.

Is the mansion wheelchair accessible?

The mansion is not currently accessible to wheelchairs due to preservation work. The mansion includes multiple flights of stairs. Most of the outdoor areas of the site are accessible. See our full accessibility information and contact us with additional questions regarding your visit.

Can I walk on the property?

Yes, the grounds and gardens are open daily most of the year. Several self-guided interpretive panels and tours via QR codes are available. See hours here.

What is Brucemore’s ticket policy?

Tickets are non-refundable, but may be rescheduled for comparable programs as space allows. Learn more.

I’m attending a large event at Brucemore. Where do I park?

Large events may require you to park offsite. Please read the event details on the calendar for specific information for each event.

Are weapons allowed at Brucemore?

We prohibit weapons on the property and at programs to ensure the safety and security of all employees and people visiting Brucemore.