The Blank Canvas

In today’s fast-paced world, it is virtually impossible to avoid stress. Between work and family, there is very little time to just be. A blank canvas and set of paints can be wonderful tools to help us just be, while we cleanse our mind, body and spirit.

A blank canvas offers artists a world filled with possibilities. Tapping into the creative part of the brain can have a therapeutic effect, allowing people to relax and identify feelings they might not even be aware they have. For those who may have difficulty with verbal expression, a blank canvas and set of paints can give them a voice.

In our competitive society, it is important to spend time in a non-competitive environment, creating, dreaming, exploring. The blank canvas is a place where one can strengthen their individuality and self-esteem. As a person spends time immersed in creativity, a wonderful thing can happen … stress slowly dissipates, leaving their mind in an almost meditative state.

Painting can stimulate both hemispheres of the brain, helping development in children, as well as keeping an adult’s brain active. Stimulation of brain cells in an adult can be particularly helpful, as age-related illnesses can begin to rear their ugly head.

But let’s put aside the more scientific benefits that painting and creative pursuits can provide. Think about the sheer fun painting can bring, particularly when doing it with a group of friends. Laughter almost always ensues, as we socialize, learn, create and share … things that technology often prevents us from doing.

Whether it’s at Bailey Arboretum or even in your own home, think about sitting down at that blank canvas and see where it can take you.


Cranberry and Blush

On a warm December morning, a group of wedding photographers gathered together at Bailey Arboretum with a goal in mind … to walk away with stunning photos for their professional portfolios and to also have some fun. They teamed up with other wedding professionals, to participate in a unique and creative winter wedding, styled photo shoot.  Vanessa Leon ( shared that she was, “extremely fortunate to secure a date with Bailey Arboretum, a stunning venue on Long Island”. 

Photographers, hair stylists, makeup artists, florists and cake artists all came together for the Cranberry and Blush Photo shoot, creating stunning photos with beautiful winter wedding colors. Chelsea Knese (Chelsea Knese Photography) looked gorgeous as one of the models, giving everyone a glimpse of how beautiful she will look on her wedding day at Bailey Arboretum in 2020.

After a long day of shooting, each photographer walked away with spectacular photos, just as they set out to do. Winter, spring, summer or fall, Bailey Arboretum is the perfect backdrop for creative and beautiful photography.


Step Right Up!

A freezing cold, winter’s day is not exactly the type of day where one would think about going to a carnival but … when visiting Bailey Arboretum, anything is possible.

It was a special young lady’s 9th birthday and Bailey House was the site. The house was transformed into a carnival, with colorful balloons and decorations displayed throughout the rooms. Delicious food and music were in abundance, adding to the magical atmosphere. Young guests munched on hot, buttery popcorn, as everyone tried their hand at one of the carnival games supplied by one extremely creative mom.

Whether they were travelling through a laser maze, participating in a ring toss, bursting some balloons or just mugging for the camera with friends, the kids had some wonderful, old-school fun. And what’s better than finishing the day with a no-hands, doughnut-eating contest? Creative goody bags were distributed to each smiling guest, as the children said their farewells to the happy birthday girl.

A carnival at Bailey Arboretum? Why not? Anything is possible, with a creative mind and of course … a child’s imagination.

Lisa Ugolini
Event Coordinator

One Big Mess

It’s a sunny, summer Monday morning and the kids are arriving.  Some of the little ones are still sleepy-eyed, others hold on to their mother’s hand, and one proudly shows off his Spiderman sandals as they make their way into the Children’s Habitat. They’ve all come to make a mess. After all, it’s Messy Monday.

For five Monday’s during the summer, the kids come to hear a story, take a nature walk and make a mess. In discovery mode as we walk a trail, I hear shouts of excitement for each new find.  “I found this!” exclaims a little girl picking up a dried sweet gum ball while other kids hover for a closer look.  “See what I found,” states another child as he hands off an acorn.  Into our bucket go leaves, seed balls, acorns and more.  Everyone is looking a little closer at the things around us. 

We make our way back to a grassy area set up with the Messy Monday activity.  Today we’re using shaving cream and paint to create unique pieces of art.  The shaving cream smells good and feels squishy.  The paint makes things pretty.  Some of the kids remember a previous Messy Monday mixing yellow and blue paint to make…”green,” shouts a child at the end of the table. 

Their hands are in the shaving cream.  Paint is mixed in.  It’s getting messy as they push paper on top of the shaving cream, peel it off and scrape it down.  The table is now one big mess but the artwork revealed is magical.  The ooohs and aaahs can be heard from the kids as they put more paper into the shaving cream.  “Look at this one,” I hear as one child turns to show his mother.  He has multi-colored shaving cream halfway up his arms.

As things calm, the smell of shaving cream is still in the air.  The artwork gets hung to dry, the kids wash off in a pool of cool water, the mothers relax on the grass as other children run around.  Another summer Messy Monday comes to a close.


Is It Spring Yet!

With winter’s final blast hitting hard and late in the season, everyone was on edge with spring’s arrival, especially our early April bride and groom.  Devout nature lovers, our couple wanted nothing more than to have the ceremony outside in front of our spectacular Dawn Redwood, but worried about the weather until the final moment.  Our bride was not disappointed and was able to assemble her small group in front our tree for the exchange of vows.

One of her close friends and the florist for the event, Sebastian Li,  brought spring inside with huge branches of cherry blossoms on the banquet style tables and the buffet.  It was truly a sight to behold.

Rich and his team from Mill Creek Catering and Events, supplied a delicious dinner, complete with raw bar and sumptuous buffet.  The cool outdoor temperatures did nothing to deter the warmth of the meal being offered the guests.

I couldn’t be happier with how the house looked for our first wedding of the 2017 season.  It was cool and crisp and the sun was shining through the bay windows of Bailey House, illuminating the cherry blossoms set up throughout.  Yes, spring has finally arrived!


Jenny Klainberg, Event Coordinator

A Wedding, Locally Sourced

What happens when a bride and groom both grow up in the area?  They get married at Bailey Arboretum, of course.  Not only that, all the vendors that they used are local businesses as well.

The tent, constructed by A-Z Tent and Party Rentals, looked beautiful, with ivory linens and chair covers and navy blue accents.  The gorgeous flowers didn’t distract from our beautiful surroundings, as Richard from Simply Elegant Floral Decorators in Glen Cove, knows how to arrange.

Kent from the Brass Rail provided the delicious food and his staff was attentive and professional, as always (, serving up the most delicious and beautifully presented food for the guests.

What personalized this wedding, was all the homemade constructions spread throughout:  a directional sign pointing guests towards the ceremony, restrooms, tent; a box with heel covers of varying widths so that high heels didn’t sink into the ground; a box with Pashminas and wraps in case people got chilly; among other touches. 

The bride and groom beamed at each other while taking pictures in front of the Redwoods and since they practically grew up here, they both felt right at home.  Thank you for letting Bailey Arboretum host your special day!


Jenny KlainbergEvent Coordinator

Home Cooked

Two chefs and an event planner walked into Bailey Arboretum… Sounds like the beginning of a joke, right?  Except, it’s all true.  This weekend’s bride and groom are both professional chefs in Brooklyn and the bride’s brother is an event planner for a venue in New York City.  What did this mean for Bailey?  Every detail was meticulously executed, leaving no stone unturned.  The cake, baked by the bride, was decorated with the same detailing as her grandmother’s handkerchief, which was also fastened into the bouquet she carried down the aisle.  The couple requested herbs to be part of the table arrangements as a testament to their love of cooking.

Homemade touches were found throughout the reception, from the hand printed programs, to the table cards printed with wedding trivia.  For example, do you know where the term honeymoon comes from?  The term “honeymoon” comes from a Teutonic custom when newlyweds would hide out and drink Hydromel, a fermented honey and water drink. The father of the bride was to provide the Teutonic and the amount of time that it was provided was considered the honeymoon period.

Did I mention the party favors were pieces of handmade pottery by our very creative bride?  The pieces were beautifully displayed in the front room of Bailey House.

The groom and our caterer, Kent Monkan from The Brass Rail, worked together to plan the menu that was served family style on long tables.  It was a beautiful, elegant and welcoming way to serve a meal.  Exactly what the couple wanted for their guests: to feel at home.

Jenny KlainbergEvent Coordinator

Keep it Simple!

For many people who step foot onto the walking path up to Bailey House, having their wedding somewhere else is not an option.  Our bride and groom this past weekend, was no exception.  As soon as I sat with them in the office after their walk up to the house, she knew she was having her wedding here.

A morning ceremony under the Rose Arbor, with no additional adornments other than the glow on their faces, the couple exchanged their vows.  With 100 guests looking on with love and admiration, the Arboretum was brimming with pride.  The weather was picture perfect and the arbor was a beautiful site.

The biggest advantage of hosting your ceremony here at the arboretum is that the grounds serve as their own decorations.  There is nothing additional needed to enhance any pictures being taken.  There is no added backdrop necessary.  Some brides choose to add some personal flourishes to the arbor or to the gazebo in the Bird Garden, which can be beautiful of course, but is not necessary.

In this case, simple was spectacular.

Jenny KlainbergEvent Coordinator

A Touch of Grey

Did you know Bailey House isn’t just for wedding ceremonies and receptions?  How about a surprise birthday party for a musician with a love of the Grateful Dead? The house and lawn were transformed into Yasgur’s Farm, circa 1969. Tie dye, Frisbees, Hacky Sacks, lawn chairs and great music from the guest of honor’s band made the evening a great success.

A delicious backyard barbecue set up by Locust Valley’s The Brass Rail,, completed the evening. Guests were invited in shorts and t-shirts, to relax and enjoy the good company, great food and music and the beautiful weather.

Our hostess provided personalized Frisbees, plastic cups and napkins with quotes from Grateful Dead songs, all adding to the feeling of hanging out in her backyard. These are the touches that elevate a party into an event. Personal touches make the event special and fun.  And everyone had a great time!

Jenny Klainberg, Event Coordinator

The Show Must Go On!

Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor dark of night shall keep Bailey Arboretum from being the home to a beautiful wedding!  Our caterer for the evening, Bryan from Birch Hill Market,, and his steadfast staff were fearless in their execution of the wedding in the torrential rain.

Our bride and groom did not let the rain dampen their spirits and their glow was kept bright during the entire event.  Even though their guests were unable to play the lawn games that were planned for them, they danced and feasted and toasted the happy couple.  No one was deterred from having a fabulous time and both Bailey House and the reception tent looked glorious, even in the downpours.

I’ve been seeing a lot of home spun touches lately, adding to the personalization of each event and this wedding was no different.  There were homemade painted signs pointing to the tent, the valet and to the restrooms placed strategically around the grounds.  Photos of the happy couple and their parents and grandparents were placed throughout the house.  The seating cards weren’t the typical cards at all, but a chart for each table clothes pinned onto a large piece of framed chicken wire.  All of these touches, combined with Bailey House’s charming backdrop, made for a personal and welcoming reception.

Despite the rain, the show went on without a hitch and the results were a beautiful and special evening.

Jenny Klainberg, Event Coordinator

Family Day 2015

Another successful Family Day has come and gone! What made it a success? Local friends coming out and having a great time together here at beautiful Bailey Arboretum. One of the features that make the arboretum so special is the attraction it has to kids. Parents are always looking for things to do with the kids and they did it all on Family Day. Where else can you come with friends to dig, plant, hike, paint, visit with birds, watch a magician, listen to music, eat some great food and climb some trees? 

Our Board member, Elana Hoffman, created a great day with something for everyone to participate in, whether it was the nature walk, or a game of Badminton, there was fun for all!  Kids of all ages were able to run around and take advantage of all the activities set out. But most importantly, parents felt comfortable letting their children run free and be kids.

If you were there and you’re reading this, tell your friends to meet you at Family Day next year!

by Jenny Klainberg, Event Coordinator

First Wedding of the Season!

Did you notice the tent on the lawn Memorial Day weekend?  It was hard to miss!  But did you also notice the lawn games set up by the bride and groom?  It seems the trend these days is to have something for your guests to participate in during the cocktail hour and for dancing breaks during the reception.  And if your reception is outside, there’s nothing better than a lawn Jenga set or a giant Tic Tac Toe board, Croquet or Badminton, or all of the above! Guests were able to grab a cocktail and play some games while catching up with family and friends to celebrate.  It really added a down home, warm country feel to the wedding,

The sister of the bride, a professional floral designer, was hard at work with her team early Saturday morning adding personal touches around the Rose Arbor, unexpected flourishes around the tent, and beautiful accents around the house.  She had cascades of carnations strung together hanging from one of the trees to add to a beautiful backdrop for pictures.  There were personalized signs around indicating what things were, like the beers that were on tap, as well as a large welcome sign.  In the end, the flowers were beautiful accents that helped to enhance the beauty of the Arboretum itself.

To top off the personalization, the bride hand sewn all the floral napkins that guests were using for dinner, both to ensure she had just the right fabric she wanted, but also to add to the homey feel of the evening.  It worked and the tent looked spectacular!

The weather was picture perfect, the bride and groom radiated warmth and love and all the guests were treated to a beautiful, delicious buffet meal by Mill Creek Catering & Events.

It was a beautiful night and a great kick off for wedding season at Bailey Arboretum!  Cheers to many more to come!

by Jenny Klainberg, Event Coordinator