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French Festival

Indulge your inner Francophile with French amusements from the 1700s in celebration of Bastille Day and Hillwood's French decorative arts collection.

  • Add to the festive atmosphere by making and wearing a French bergère or Napoleon hat
  • Experience the festivities of French court come to life in a play by Happenstance Theater
  • Enjoy the best of baroque dance with New York Baroque Dance Company
  • Immerse yourself in music of the 1700s with Kevin Shannon’s baroque guitar
  • Explore Hillwood’s luscious gardens
  • And of course, admire the exquisite collection of French decorative arts from the 1700s collected by Marjorie Merriweather Post.

Schedule of Activities

Come rain or shine, performances and activities take place indoors or in the airy and open shelter of the C. W. Post courtyard tent.

Baroque Guitar
10 a.m., 12 noon, 3:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
(30 minute performance)

Theater: A Day in the Life of the French Court
10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m., 4 p.m.
(20 minute performance)

Garden Talk
11 a.m., 1 p.m., 3 p.m.
(25 minute talk)

Baroque Dance
11:15 a.m., 1:15 p.m., 2:45 p.m., 4:45 p.m.
(25 minute performance)

Strolling Nobility & Strolling Mime
11:15 a.m.-12 noon; 2:45-3:30 p.m., 5-6 p.m.

Hands-on Art Project: Hat Maker's Workshop
Beauty Patch Parlor & Photo Station
Lawn Games
10 a.m.-6 p.m. 

Please note that the schedule is subject to change. Outdoor games and garden talks are weather dependent. Pick up a printed program on-site for the most up-to-date information. 

All of Hillwood’s 2019 festivals are supported by a grant from the Sally Foss and James Scott Hill Foundation.  All exhibitions and programs are funded in part by the U.S. Commission on the Fine Arts through the National Capital Arts and Cultural Affairs program.

  • Fanciful French nobles of Happenstance Theater at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens's French Festival

    Fanciful French nobles of Happenstance Theater

    Gail Marks
  • Visitors playing traditional lawn games at Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens's French Festival

    Play traditional lawn games at French Festival

    Gail Marks
  • New York Baroque Dance Company at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens

    New York Baroque Dance Company at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens

    Gail Marks
  • Picnic at Hillwood's French Festival

    Picnic at Hillwood's French Festival

  • Visitor wearing her handmade French bergère at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens's French Festival

    Create your own French bergère or Napoleon hat at French Festival

    Gail Marks
  • Garden talk at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens

    Garden talk at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens

  • Kevin Shannon's baroque guitar at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens's French Festival

    Kevin Shannon's baroque guitar at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens

    Gail Marks
  • Learn baroque dance steps at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens

    Learn baroque dance steps with New York Baroque Dance Company at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens