The state-of-the-art Cohen Recording Studio is located on the lower level of Smith Memorial Library.

Bird, Tree, and Garden Club

The Chautauqua Bird Tree and Garden Club provides 90 free events related to these grounds, the natural world and topics effecting our planet. Occurring at venues across the grounds, we invite you to join one of the many nature talks, walks and chats. Our nature guides and master gardeners conduct tours of the gardens, lead guided discovery thru the grounds and are experts on topics related to birds, trees, gardens, and monarchs. Explore Nature ~ Be Amazed!

Our lecture series occur at Smith Wilkes Hall Mondays and Tuesdays 12:15. Visitors are encouraged to bring a lunch and settle in to hear an expert in the field. 'Monarch Moments' speakers present information related to these incredible butterflies struggling for survival and in many cases are symbolic of the challenges occurring throughout the natural world.  The Tuesday 12:15 Brown Bag lecturers range from a Seneca Indian, a nationally recognized floral designer, photographers, authors and researchers and bee keepers to name a few.  With a focus on eco/lake and monarch friendly practices, take notes on a topic and apply the learning back home. 

Our Butterflies and Blooms initiative encourages home owners to create 'eco-systems' in their gardens using native plants. Guided by, gardeners can certify their land as a 'Monarch WayStation'. Need help getting started? Contact and a master gardener will consult with you for up to 30 minutes about pollinators, nectar plants, milkweed and other natives - saving water, reducing effort and eliminating pesticides and herbicides.  Each week, BTG will recognize yet another garden on the grounds that is a designated Monarch WayStation. 

In addition to recurring programming, we have special events such as Monarchpalooza (7/13) , Mushroom Sandwiches(7/28), the Annual Life Member Luncheon at the Athenaeum Hotel (8/4) and more. Join us at the end of the season when we announce the 2018 House Tour. 

Pick up a program brochure for events that occur throughout the season or access our website and take a look at the line up for the dates when you're on the grounds. Many events are suitable for children and multi generational. If you have any questions, please email us at

Considering Membership?

BTG Membership Application (PDF)


2017 BTG Brochure


Learn more at


Special Events

Special Events


  • Friday, June 23 • Noon 
    An Appreciation Lunch is served by the BTG Board to the various Crews: Woods, Garden, Landscaping and Grounds, our 'perennial' nature presenters and guides, the Chautauquan Daily reporter and a wide range of other respected members of the Institution staff who help us support BTG's mission.

Week One

  • Monday, June 27 11:30am - 7:30pm; Tuesday, June 28 • 1:30pm - 4:30 pm.
    Native Plant Sale - eco, monarch and lake-friendly plants for sale at Smith Wilkes Hall. Milkweed, pollinators, nectar plants, Shrubs, annuals and perennials all ready for purchase and planting; sourced from excellent nurseries.

Week Three

  • Thursday, July 13 • Noon - 3:30 p.m. 
    Monarchpalooza Hand-Feeding Monarchs: Investigate with every stage of the monarch life cycle at Lincoln Park. Docents will leaded 'guided discovery' talks at different stations. The event culminates with a 10' x 20' tent filled with Monarchs. Not to be missed. 

Week Five

  • Friday, July 28 * 11:30 - 1:00pm
    Mushroom Sandwiches at Smith Wilkes Hall
    Every 2 years the Bird Tree and Garden Club serves up its infamous 'Mushroom Sandwiches'. This 'secret recipe' is a cult classic. Join in on the fun at Smith Wilkes Hall for music and a delicious meal. A complete lunch is $10 including a drink, chips, fruit and dessert. Musical entertainment is provided by the Dixie Lakesiders and there's plenty of room to dance! If you've never had a mushroom sandwich - please don't miss out. If you've been waiting for their return for the past 2 years, come early before they're sold out!

Week Six

  • Friday, August 4 • Gather at noon for a 12:15 p.m. luncheon and program
    Annual Life Member Luncheon at the Athenaeum Hotel. Reservations ($35) required by July 18.
    Program: Mina Edison

The Chautauqua Property Owners Association serves as a communication link between individuals who own residences on the grounds and the administrative officers and trustees of Chautauqua Institution. As such, it has primary responsibility to represent to the Institution the interests and needs of the owners.

A corollary of this purpose is a responsibility to convey to owners the concerns and needs of the Institution's officers and trustees.

CPOA holds meetings open to dues paying owners at which its business is transacted. An Executive Committee includes officers and area representatives residing in designated sections on the Institution grounds that represent their sections and provide a personal contact for owners to convey their concerns to the Executive Committee and to the Institution.

The following is a list of community services and amenities available at Chautauqua Institution:

Babysitter List

The Youth Services Office coordinates a babysitting list that provides information to help families with young children connect with available babysitters in CHQ and the local area during the CHQ summer season. The list is intended as a public service and does not rate or recommend any individual. During the season the list is updated weekly and is available in many locations on the grounds. Anyone interested in placing their name on the list should fill out the form at the link below. Any questions, please contact Karen Schiavone at

Babysitting Application

Banking Services

Check-cashing and safekeeping deposit accounts are available in the Financial Services office on the second floor of the Colonnade building. The office is open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays, and 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays during the season. During the off season, the office is open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to noon and Fridays from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. (716) 357-6224. ATMs are located in the Main Gate Welcome Center, in the Colonnade building lobby and at the Athenaeum Hotel. Money orders are available at the Post Office on Bestor Plaza. The nearest full-service banks, an M&T branch and a Jamestown Savings Bank, are located in Mayville, approximately four miles north of the Institution.


Chautauqua Bookstore is located in the lower level of the Chautauqua Post Office building on Bestor Plaza and is open daily 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. during the season and 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. during the off-season. (716) 357-2151

Business Center

A business center is located behind the Colonnade Building and provides, for a fee, copying and fax services. (716) 357-6207.


The Plaza Market, located in the Colonnade building, offers limited convenience store-type items. Food for Thought, in the St. Elmo, offers gourmet and delicatessan fare. Full-service supermarkets include Lighthouse Point Grocery in Mayville, Tops in Mayville and Jamestown, and Wegmans in Lakewood.

Fitness Center

Chautauqua Health and Fitness is a full-service exercise and strength training facility with two sites: Turner Community Center (year-round) and Heinz Beach (summer only). (716) 357-6430

Medical Services

The Westfield Hospital Chautauqua Health Care Clinic offers basic medical care for children and adults, similar to that provided in a doctor’s office. The clinic is located at 21 Roberts Ave., near the Amphitheater. (716) 357-3209


Chautauqua Police Department, now located at 7 Massey Avenue adjacent to Chautauqua Fire Department, is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the season. (716) 357-6225. After 5 p.m., Main Gate security may be contacted at (716) 357-6279. In case of emergency, phone 911.

Post Office

A full-service post office is located on Bestor Plaza. During the season, the lobby is open weekdays 7 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.; the window, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Saturdays, the lobby is open 7 a.m. to noon; the window, 10 a.m. to noon. Closed Sundays. (716) 357-3275


Wireless Internet is now offered on the Institution grounds with “hot spots” on Bestor Plaza and at the Main Gate, Hall of Missions, Athenaeum Hotel, Elizabeth S. Lenna Hall, Bratton Theater, the Arts Quad, Bellinger Hall, Youth Activities Center and Smith Memorial Library. A map is available in the Colonnade Lobby.

WiFi Map (PDF)


Bike Rental

Dining & Shopping

Scooter Rental at the Main Gate: 716-357-6200

Smith Memorial Library