-Free one-day-only affair showcases one of Delaware’s most historic estates-

Buena Vista: A Delaware Country Estate, located at 661 S. Dupont Highway (Route 13), southwest of New Castle, Delaware, will welcome visitors for a one-day-only spring event on Saturday, May 14, 2022 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Activities will include outdoor children’s games, nature walks, guided tours of the grounds and mansion, and educational programs by the Sunshine Plein Air Artists and Bluebird Society. Guests are encouraged to bring picnic lunches and cameras to capture the glories of spring at one of Delaware’s most historic estates.

Photo of the Buena Vista mansion
Buena Vista mansion

Admission to the event is free and open to the public but, as noted in the schedule below, reservations are required for some of the activities due to space limitations. For reservations or for additional information, call 302-323-4430. In case of inclement weather, the event may be postponed to the following day, Sunday, May 15, during the same hours.

Buena Vista spring event schedule of activities

10 a.m.– 3 p.m.
Self-guided walks in the gardens and through the estate property on a paved trail; children’s games on the lawn; and craft activities including the building and painting of bluebird boxes. Guests are also invited to take photos at their leisure and to bring a picnic lunch. Free, no reservations required

Photo of a section of the paved walkway that transverses Buena Vista’s grounds
Section of the paved trail that crosses Buena Vista’s grounds

10:15–11 a.m.
Guided tour of the gardens. Limited to 20 participants. Free but reservations required

10:30–11 a.m.
Guided tour of the Buena Vista mansion. Limited to 20 participants. Free but reservations required

11 a.m.–Noon
Guided tour via the paved trail that crosses Buena Vista’s agricultural fields and natural areas. Limited to 20 participants. Free but reservations required

11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Outdoor painting session led by the Sunshine Plein Air Artists. Limited to 20 participants. Free but reservations required. Art supplies provided but participants must bring their own chairs

Photo of a member of the Sunshine Plein Air Artists painting on the grounds of Buena Vista
Member of the Sunshine Plein Air Artists painting on the grounds of Buena Vista

12–1 p.m.
Lecture on bluebirds by the Bluebird Society. Free, no reservations required

1:15–2 p.m.
Guided tour of the gardens. Limited to 20 participants. Free but reservations required

1:30–2 p.m.
Guided tour of the Buena Vista mansion. Limited to 20 participants. Free but reservations required

2–3 p.m.
Guided tour via the paved trail that crosses Buena Vista’s agricultural fields and natural areas. Limited to 20 participants. Free but reservations required

2:15–3 p.m.
Outdoor painting session led by the Sunshine Plein Air Artists. Limited to 20 participants. Free but reservations required. Art supplies provided but participants must bring their own chairs

Photo of horticultural displays at Buena Vista
Horticultural displays at Buena Vista

The main section of the Buena Vista mansion was built between 1845 and 1847 by John M. Clayton, United States secretary of state from 1849 to 1850 under presidents Taylor and Fillmore, and United States senator from 1829 to 1836, 1845 to 1849, and 1853 until his death in 1856. The home later became the residence of C. Douglass Buck, governor of Delaware from 1929 to 1937 and United States senator from 1942 to 1948. Buena Vista and its grounds were donated to the State by the Buck family in 1965 and now serve as a conference/event center administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs.