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Group Tours at the Lyman Estate and Greenhouses

A grand country estate with historic greenhouses

A National Historic Landmark

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In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, large expanses of land and proximity to Boston made Waltham a popular location for country estates. The Lyman Estate was the warm-weather retreat for four generations of the Lyman family. In 1793 shipping merchant Theodore Lyman commissioned famed architect Samuel McIntire to design and build a Federal-style house. The family enlarged the house in 1882 in the Victorian style and then remodeled it in the Colonial Revival style in 1917. Explore the mansion, which features an elegant ballroom and graceful oval parlor. The thirty-seven-acre property includes beautifully preserved gardens and historic greenhouses.

History and horticulture come together at the 1804 Lyman Estate Greenhouses, where century-old camellia trees and grapevines grow in greenhouses that are among the oldest in the country. The greenhouses specialize in orchids, exotic house plants, citrus fruits, camellias, and herbs. Five large specialty plant sales are held during the year. The knowledgeable staff can assist with plant selection and guidance on care. In addition to plants, the greenhouses sell growing supplies, handmade pottery, gardening books, notecards, and garden gifts.


Lyman Estate and Greenhouses
185 Lyman Street, Waltham, Massachusetts
Mansion: 617-994-5912

Greenhouses: 617-994-5913


Hours of Operation

  • Open year round:
    • Mansion: Third Saturday of the month, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
    • Greenhouses: December 15 to July 15, Tuesday through Sunday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

                                 July 15 to December 15, Tuesday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • All group tours must be scheduled by appointment. In addition to open days, group tours may be scheduled at times the museum is closed to the public.

 

Specialty Tours

  • Guided Mansion Tour: Enjoy an approximately fifty-minute guided tour; please allow one and a half hours for your visit.

 

Tour Details

  • Up to 20 visitors can tour the mansion with each guide; generally we can accommodate up to 40 visitors in the house in one hour. Accommodations can be made for larger groups.
  • Up to 20 visitors can tour the greenhouses with a guide in an hour.
  • Please note that the tour requires a considerable amount of standing and stair climbing. If members of your group need special assistance, please let the museum know in advance.

Cost

  • Guided Mansion Tour: $8 per adult, $7 per senior for groups of 10 or more visitors; or a guaranteed fee of at least $75. Prices subject to change.

  • Guided Greenhouse Tour: $8 per adult, $7 per senior for groups of 10 or more visitors; or a guaranteed fee of at least $75. Prices subject to change.
  • Guided Mansion and Greenhouse Tour: $15 per adult, $14 per senior for groups of 10 or more visitors; or a guaranteed fee of at least $125. Prices subject to change.
  • Receptive tour operator rates available upon request.

  • The tour leader or class instructor and bus driver are welcome to a complimentary tour with the group.

  • A non-refundable deposit based on your maximum number is due upon booking. The outstanding balance must be paid when the group arrives on-site for the tour.

  • Please call two weeks in advance to confirm a guaranteed number of visitors.

 

Nearby Attractions

  • A wide variety of restaurants, shops, historic sites, museums, and attractions near the Lyman Estate and Greenhouses include: John Brewer’s Tavern, The Chateau, Charles River Museum of Industry & Innovation, Gore Place, Stonehurst (the Robert Treat Paine Estate), and a number of shops and restaurants on Moody Street.

  • Visit other Historic New England properties nearby. Package discounts available.

    • Codman Estate, Lincoln - Overlooking a prospect of farm and pleasure grounds, this country seat, also known as “the Grange,” was a powerful force in the lives of five generations of the Codman family. The grounds feature a hidden turn-of-the-century Italian garden with perennial beds, statuary, and a reflecting pool filled with water lilies, as well as a 1930s English cottage garden.
    • Gropius House, Lincoln - Walter Gropius, founder of the German design school known as the Bauhaus, was one of the most influential architects of the twentieth century. He designed Gropius House as his family home when he came to Massachusetts to teach architecture at Harvard's Graduate School of Design.
 

Amenities

  • Two restrooms (one wheelchair-accessible) are located in the mansion. There are no restrooms available at the greenhouses.

  • A landscape following principles of eighteenth-century English naturalistic design with garden pathways and peach wall plantings restored to its 1920 appearance
  • A sales greenhouse and gift shop offering exotic and hard-to-find plants, growing supplies, handmade pottery, gardening books, notecards, and garden gifts

  • Plenty of on-site parking is available for both cars and buses.

 

Please Remember

  • Cell phones should be silenced prior to your tour.

  • Your group will stay with the tour guide for the entire tour.

 Book Now Group Tours

or call 617-994-5912

We are happy to help you create a custom group tour experience based on your individual needs and interests.

Group Tours at the Lyman Estate and Greenhouses