SM&NC Facility Rental Frequently Asked Questions

How to I reserve a date?
We ask that you complete and return the following facility use rental form in order to be considered for a private rental at the SM&NC. Upon receipt, we will check the availability of your desired dates and get back to you.

What is the rental fee for the Bendel Mansion?
The rental fee is $4,000.00 for a 5-hour block of time.

What does this rental fee include?
The Bendel Mansion rental includes: The Great Hall, the Bendel Gallery, the Atrium, and the Solarium (combined spaces accommodates 120-150 guests), the lobby with bathrooms, and a commercial kitchen with adjacent prep room.

Can we extend the length of our private rental past 5 hours?
Upon management approval, you may extend your rental period for an additional charge.

Can we rent just the Front Lawn for a private vow exchange?
Depending upon the timing and size of your vow exchange ceremony, arrangements can be made through the Social & Private Events Manager to rent just the Front Lawn, with the Four Seasons sculptures, for your ceremony. The pricing would depend on the size of the event, duration, and availability.

Are private renters required to provide a Certificate of Liability Insurance to rent the property?
All private renters must provide a 'Certificate of Liability Insurance' in the amount of $1M listing the Stamford Museum & Nature Center as 'Additional Insured' for the date of their event. If your event runs past midnight, you are required to provide a two-day policy, which covers the duration of your event. Most SM&NC Preferred Vendors will be able to provide this.

Are there any fees in addition to the basic rental fee?
  • There is a $40.00 per hour fee per staff member for (1) SM&NC security/property maintenance staff who will be present from start to finish.
  • There is also a $750.00 refundable security deposit due 30 days prior to your event.
What is your policy on serving alcohol at private events?
Serving alcoholic beverages is permitted at adult parties, receptions, and events. Sale of such beverages by the Rental User and/or Caterer is not permitted unless approved by the Executive Director. The serving of all alcoholic beverages must conform to all State of Connecticut regulations. This includes providing liquor liability insurance.

Is the renter responsible for the post event cleanup?
The Rental User/Caterer is responsible for the setup and cleanup of tables, chairs, and any food preparation following your event. The Mansion must be left in the condition in which it was found or your $750.00 security deposit may be withheld to cover additional cleaning costs.

Do you provide tours of the rental venues?
Site visits may be arranged by emailing Jeanette Gromko, the SM&NC's Social & Private Events Manager, at

Are there any noise restrictions?
The SM&NC has no policy restricting noise.

Do you provide in-house catering?
No we do not however we work closely with our Preferred Vendors to assure that menu needs can be met.

Can we use a non-Preferred caterer?
We are no longer accepting outside vendors

Can our family pet be present at our event?
Pets are not allowed in any SM&NC building or on the grounds unless they are documented service animals.

What time can we set up for a private rental?
Private event set-up may begin after 3:00 pm, earlier times must be requested and approved in advance by the SM&NC.

Can rental items be delivered in advance of the event?
Depending on our events schedule and availability, arrangements may be made with management to have your rentals delivered the day before your event. Please be advised that the SM&NC will not be responsible for signing for and/or checking your rental order for accuracy. The SM&NC is not responsible for any items left at the property.

What about use of candles?
Enclosed votive candles are permitted as long as the glass container extends a minimum of 2 inches above the flame.

Are we allowed to decorate?
Since we are a Museum, no items/decorations may be affixed to the walls or floors at any time. Freestanding decorations are permitted.

What is your policy on balloons?
  • Balloons of any sort or type are not allowed outdoors on the property. Helium balloons may be blown up inside the Bendel Mansion and must be popped before exiting the building.
  • Rice, paper, or metallic confetti, paper or flower petals, glitter, and birdseed are not allowed on the grounds of the SM&NC.
Is smoking allowed in the Bendel Mansion?
Smoking is not permitted in any building on the SM&NC property. There are designated areas outside.

Are we allowed to tent outside areas?
Tents are allowed with the permission of the SM&NC and must be placed in approved locations only. All tents must be removed from the SM&NC grounds no later than noon of the day following the event unless other arrangements have been agreed upon.

What if the kitchen needs to be koshered in advance of an event?
A kitchen rental fee of $250.00 per day will be applied to your contract should your event require that the kitchen be koshered on a day other than your contracted rental date. Additional details may be worked out through the Social & Private Events Manager.

Are there any additional SM&NC sites available for private rentals?
Yes. The SM&NC has a variety of other venues, including:
  • The Meadow (with tents)
  • The Indian Room on the second floor of the Bendel Mansion (no red wine allowed in the space)
  • The Terrace space outside the Museum galleries
  • Heckscher Barn (capacity 45 guests with tables and chairs provided)
  • The Wheels in the Woods Picnic Area
  • The Otter Bridge
  • The Stamford Observatory
Hourly rates for each of these venues are determined by guest count and length of rental.

How do I confirm my booking?
Once we receive the completed form and notify you that your desired date is open, we will draft a contract for you. In order to reserve the date, we require a signed contract along with a 50% deposit for your rental. The remaining balance is due 30 days prior to your event along with the $750.00 refundable security deposit.

When can we expect the security deposit returned?
The security deposit will be returned within fifteen (15) calendar days after the rental use date provided no damages have occurred. In the event of damages, a detailed list of those damages will accompany any security deposit return.

What is your cancellation policy?
The initial deposit is non-refundable. If the SM&NC is able to rebook the date for at least the same fee, then one half of the rental deposit will be refunded. The remaining balance of the rental deposit will be retained by the SM&NC.

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