Calendar of Events

For the most up-to-date information about particular events, please contact 540.672.2728.

 

Exhibits

A Young Nation Stands: James Madison & the War of 1812

A special exhibit at James Madison’s Montpelier will tell the story of James Madison’s Presidency and wartime struggle. Read more...

 

2014 Events

April 13: Working Woods Walk
Venture deep into the Montpelier Demonstration Forest on a two-hour hike with Montpelier Horticulturalist, Sandy Mudrinich.  Learn from experts about conservation and cultivation strategies that mutually benefit man and nature, both in the Madisons' time and today. $5 with purchase of mansion tour/$10 for Working Woods Walk alone. Begins at 2:00 at Visitor Center. 

April 19: Civil War Trail & Gilmore Farm Walking Tour
Walk in the footsteps of McGowan's Brigade on Montpelier's Civil War Trail, carving a path through archaeological remains of this Confederate winter camp to a reconstructed camp street. Conclude at the cabin and farm of George Gilmore, born into slavery at Montpelier in 1810 and turned farmer and landowner after Emancipation, on the site of an abandoned Confederate hut. Free. Begins at 2:00 p.m. in the parking lot across from the Montpelier Station Train Depot on Route 20.  

May 2: Civil War Trail & Gilmore Farm Walking Tour
Walk in the footsteps of McGowan's Brigade on Montpelier's Civil War Trail, carving a path through archaeological remains of this Confederate winter camp to a reconstructed camp street. Conclude at the cabin and farm of George Gilmore, born into slavery at Montpelier in 1810 and turned farmer and landowner after Emancipation, on the site of an abandoned Confederate hut. Free. Begins at 11:00 a.m. in the parking lot across from the Montpelier Station Train Depot on Route 20.  

April 26-May 3: Historic Garden Week in Virginia
Make Montpelier a part of your visit when more than 250 of Virginia's finest homes, gardens, and landmarks celebrate Historic Garden Week in Virginia, described as "America's Largest Open House." The Annie duPont Formal Garden boasts a multitude of peonies, irises, daylily varieties beloved by Montpelier's 20th century owners. 

May 3-4: Montpelier Spring Wine Festival
Gather round friends and family for this premier spring event held annually on the grounds of Montpelier, the lifelong home of James Madison, fourth President of the United States and Father of the Constitution. This festival showcases distinctive arts and crafts, specialty food vendors, live music, children's entertainment, and - you guessed it - tastings all day long! Take advantage of the reduced rate for advance ticket orders. *Advanced online ticket sales end at midnight, Wednesday, May 1. Adults/$15 in advance, $25 at the gate. Designated Drivers/$5. Ages 12 to 20/$5. Children under 12/Free. Follow Montpelier Wine Festival news on social media at #montpelierwinefest. Read more...

June 16-20: Mud Camp (Rising 3rd & 4th graders)
Here learning is fun! Your child will learn about the natural world around them first hand from Montpelier's experienced Education Staff. Daily hikes, outdoor games and activities, and wilderness exploration will help your young camper understand conservation as well as the animals and habitats of the Virginia Piedmont. Mud Camp is a day camp and is held rain or shine!

June 23-27: Mud Camp (Rising 5th & 6th graders)
In this hands-on camp, your child will experience the natural world around us and learn by discovering, understand by observing, and appreciate by doing. Daily hikes, outdoor games and activities, and wilderness exploration in the fields, forests, and streams of Montpelier make this an experience your young campers will not soon forget! Mud Camp is a day camp and is held rain or shine!

July 13: Big Woods Walk
Hike through Montpelier’s Landmark Forest—a rare hardwood old growth forest consisting of towering poplars, stately oaks, and sprawling beeches. Learn about ecology, conservation, and Madison's role as an early environmentalist. The trail is a gentle 1-mile loop. $5 with purchase of mansion tour/$10 for Big Woods Walk alone. Begins at 2:00 at Visitor Center.

July 18-20: Montpelier Seminar "The Presidency and the Constitution"
Benjamin A. Kleinerman, Ph.D., and Lynn Uzzell, Ph.D., lead a discussion about the idea of the presidency under the Constitution, the important early controversies over the powers of the presidency, and how the office has evolved over time.  Special attention is placed on early understandings of the presidency and how they differ, sometimes in rather dramatic fashion, from more contemporary ideas regarding the office and the occupant.

July 20: Working Woods Walk
Venture deep into the Montpelier Demonstration Forest on a two-hour hike.  Learn from experts about conservation and cultivation strategies that generate mutual benefit to man and nature, both in the Madisons'  time and today. $5 with purchase of mansion tour/$10 for Working Woods Walk alone. Begins at 2:00 at Visitor Center. 

July 23-25: Montpelier Seminar "Suffrage in America"
Explore the history of the right to vote in the United States, from the absence of an affirmative right to vote in the Constitution to current debates about election procedures and voter suppression. Lead by Alexander Keyssar, Ph.D., of Harvard Kennedy School.

September 3-4: "America Under Fire: Mr. Madison's War & the Burning of Washington City"
Learn about the leadership of James and Dolley Madison during the War of 1812 and how the war helped forge American identity at this two-day bicentennial symposium hosted by The Montpelier Foundation in collaboration with The White House Historical Association and The United States Capitol Historical Society at historic Decatur House in Washington. Leading scholars from across the nation will share their insights and research. 

September 17: State of the Constitution, National Archives, Washington, D.C.
Celebrate America's most impactful founding document with us on Constitution Day in Washington D.C. at the annual State of the Constitution lecture, sponsored by the Claude Moore Foundation. Dr. Akhil Reed Amar will join us to discuss America's continuing evolution living as a constitutional democracy.

September 20: Constitution Day Celebration

October 3-5: Montpelier Seminar "The Federal Judiciary: Idea to Institution"
Examine the role of "the judiciary" as one of the three branches of American government with former Oregon Supreme Court Justice Susan M. Leeson and historian Scott Casper, Ph.D. A handful of the core issues covered in this seminar include: creation of the judicial branch and its constitutional ties to the other branches of government; the relationship between the federal judiciary and state judicial systems; the relationship between the Supreme Court and its co-equal branches in the national government; the doctrine of judicial review; and contemporary issues involving the role of federal courts in the American political system.

October 4-5: 27th Annual Fall Fiber Festival and Montpelier Sheep Dog Trails
Love wool? Join us for the Fall Fiber Festival, held opposite the main entrance of Montpelier and the Montpelier Train Depot on VA-Route 20. This family-fun event showcases fiber animals, sheep shearing demos, hands-on crafts demos and workshops for children and adults, sheep dog trials, craft vendors, food, and music. For more information, please visit our website at fallfiberfestival.org.

October 19: Big Woods Walk
Hike through Montpelier’s Landmark Forest—a rare hardwood old growth forest consisting of towering poplars, stately oaks, and sprawling beeches. Learn about ecology, conservation, and Madison's role as an early environmentalist. The trail is a gentle 1-mile loop. $5 with purchase of mansion tour/$10 for Big Woods Walk alone. Begins at 2:00 at Visitor Center.

October 26: Working Woods Walk
Venture deep into the Montpelier Demonstration Forest on a two-hour hike.  Learn from experts about conservation and cultivation strategies that generate mutual benefit to man and nature, both in the Madisons'  time and today. $5 with purchase of mansion tour/$10 for Working Woods Walk alone. Begins at 2:00 at Visitor Center. 

November 1: Montpelier Hunt Races

November 14-16: Montpelier Seminar "Slavery and the Constitution: From Colonial Slave Codes to the 15th Amendment"
Explore one of the most paradoxical periods in American history through the lens of the U.S. Constitution with J. Holt Merchant, Ph.D., of Washington & Lee University. Participants will examine slave clauses in the Constitution, the federal government's involvement (or lack thereof) with the controversial institution, and how the Constitution at first hindered and then finally enabled a speedy resolution to the problem of slavery. Special emphasis will be given to Lincoln's efforts to limit slavery in a manner that was constitutionally permissible, as well as adoption of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments.