Student Field Trips


Field Trips

What's a field trip to Montpelier like? All students receive a guided tour of the Madisons' beloved home led by one of our specially trained educators. House tours are tailored to fit any grade-level and cover many historical topics. 

Teachers can also add up to three educational programs to their field trip at no additional charge. These programs allow for greater exploration of topics ranging from Madison's upbringing to Montpelier's ongoing archaeology, from the enslaved community to the Constitutional Convention.

Group leaders, allow at least 90 minutes for a basic mansion visit; allow another hour for each additional program (see below).

Educational Programs

Following is a list of our school programs for the 2014-2015 school year. Programs are hands-on, interdisciplinary, and complement the Virginia History and Social Science Standards of Learning.

Colonial Games (K-2)
Play the same outdoor games James Madison did as a child.

Madison at Home (2-6)
Learn about James and Dolley Madison and their 18th-century world by portraying family and friends.

Dearest Dolley (2-6)
Learn about the woman who inspired the title "First Lady," Dolley Madison. Students discover "artifacts" that weave the story of Dolley's life.

In Service to Madison (3-6)
Discover the stories of Montpelier's enslaved community — from fugitives to freedmen.

No Press Allowed! (3-7)
Students portray delegates to the 1787 convention and learn how our democratic government was created.

America's MVP (5-8)
Madison was more than just the Father of the Constitution. Learn about Madison's integral role in the founding of the nation and in the early years of the republic.

Farming Forests (5-12)
Walk Montpelier's Demonstration Forest and discover responsible management techniques.

Treasures in the Attic (5-12)
Work in small groups to use and compare primary and secondary documents and artifacts to learn about the life of Dolley Madison.

These Walls Can Talk (5-12)
Examine artifacts found during Montpelier's restoration and reveal the stories of those who lived and worked here to your classmates.

Trails to Trees (K-12)
Discover Montpelier's Big Woods, the James Madison National Landmark Forest, on a guided ecological exploration.

Digging Up the Past (4-7) - Seasonal
Learn about archaeology at Montpelier and take part in the process of "digging up the past."

All Other Persons (7-12)
An advanced discussion about Madison, slavery, and the Constitution.

The Pendulum of Politics (7-12)
Groups debate the issues of the Early Republic and discover Madison's skills in moderation and compromise.

Enemies Foreign and Domestic (7-12)
Students assume the roles of competing national interests in the lead-up to the War of 1812 to discover how and why “Mr. Madison’s War” began.

Conviction and Conscience (10-College)
Tour the Montpelier home while discussing James Madison’s role in establishing the American tradition of religious liberty.

The Gilmore Farm (4-12) April - October
At the restored Gilmore Cabin, students will learn how George Gilmore, an emancipated Montpelier slave, used the remains of a Confederate winter camp to build the home that he and his family could now own. Recreating the daily activities of the Gilmore family, students will learn about the challenges faced by Freedmen, as well as what rural life was like during the Reconstruction period. Daily activities will vary, but may include gardening, fencing, cooking, or whitewashing. Open April through October.

You Design It!
There are 2,650 acres of pastures, streams, woodlands and meadows just waiting for exploration. If you have an idea for a program, please give us a call. We are more than happy to try something new.


Rates, Reservations, Contact

Reservations are required for all school programs, which are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations must be placed in advance and require a minimum of 15 students.

Admission is $10/student. For every ten students, one adult is admitted at the $10 rate. There is one complimentary ticket for the lead teacher. All other adults are $16 each. 


Contact Kyle Stetz with questions or to make a reservation: or (540) 672-2728 x402.