CANANDAIGUA – Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park in Canandaigua has a number of unique ways for families to celebrate the Fall season and its natural beauty this year.  

Mansion Mysteries: Sonnenberg Gardens is happy to present their ever-popular live-mystery-theater event, Mansion Mysteries, on October 19 – 21, 26 - 27. This unique event allows attendees to enjoy a live theater performance in one of the region’s most recognizable historic landmarks, the Victorian mansion at Sonnenberg. This year’s play written by Joanne Vanderven, The Mystical Flute, is set in 1972 amidst the preparations to open Sonnenberg as a public park, flower children, and the Viet Nam War where mysterious happenings and the haunting sound of a flute echo through the Sonnenberg Mansion. Mansion Mysteries plays are interwoven with pieces of real Sonnenberg history and Sonnenberg "personalities." The play is approximately 90 minutes long and the audience is invited to take part in the mystery by interviewing the actors and then casting their votes for the guilty culprit or culprits.

Mansion Mysteries performances start at 7 pm except the Sunday matinee on October 21 which starts at 4 pm. Gates open 30 minutes prior to show time. Light refreshments with a cash wine bar will be provided. Non-alcoholic beverages are also available. Guests are welcome to more fully immerse themselves in the event by dressing in period costume if they wish. Presale tickets are $30/person and $25/Sonnenberg members and youths.

Haunted Garden Stroll: Spooky tales and wandering spirits will come alive this October at Sonnenberg Gardens’ Haunted Garden Stroll on October 28 from 6 – 8:30 pm. The Haunted Garden Stroll is a night-time “haunted” half-mile stroll through Sonnenberg’s gardens where participants will see weird sights and lurking supernatural denizens. While spooky visitations and haunting sights will be about the darkened garden paths, it is a family-friendly event.

Admission for the Haunted Garden Stroll is $7/person and is free to children under 5. Cash or charge accepted at the gate. Please enter via Sonnenberg’s main gate at 151 Charlotte Street. Refreshments will be available for purchase.

Fall Foliage: With a 100-year old arboretum and meandering garden paths, Sonnenberg Gardens welcomes guests to celebrate fall color in one of the Finger Lake’s most picturesque locations. While flowers draw many visitors to Sonnenberg throughout the summer season, autumn is the time when the park’s majestic trees take the center stage. Scarlets, golds, and oranges paint the leaves throughout the historic estate. Open to the public every day through October 31, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. 

For tickets or more information, call Sonnenberg Gardens at 585-394-4922 or visit their website at

Photos: available at    Additional photos available from Kimberly Burkard.

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. Sonnenberg is a non-profit organization dependent upon the support of members and sponsors and its dedicated corps of volunteers. For more information on the revival of the grand estate on the “sunny hill,” contact Marketing Director Kimberly Burkard or Executive Director David Hutchings at 585-394-4922.