Families and Kids


Montpelier is fun for all ages!

Its 2,650 acres give kids a chance to run, play and enjoy the country. The young ones enjoy seeing the horses in the fields, and watching the train go by under the bridge. For restless children under six, the mansion hosts a “Children’s Getaway” with educational toys, books, and a rocker for mom and dad. The Courtyard Café has high chairs so the whole family can enjoy a bite to eat. All of our tours are family-friendly!

Daily kid-specific activities include:

  • Dolley’s Cellar: Interactive, touchable exhibits help children learn how food was prepared, stored, and cooked for Dolley's backyard BBQs and stately dinners without the help of present day appliances.
  • Kid-Sized Archaeology: At the archaeology lab, children are invited to dig for treasure like a real archaeologists! Explore the drawers of discovered artifacts and use the touch screen to learn how archaeologists work to understand and contextualize the artifacts they find in the field.
  • Nature Trails: Did you know that James Madison was one of America's first environmentalists? Make him proud by taking your kids on an adventure through Montpelier's old-growth forest. Trail signage helps children learn about Virginia's native flora and conservation techniques both in Madison's time and today.  

Offered April through October:

  • Cooking Demonstrations: (April-May: Saturday-Sunday; June-August: Thursday-Sunday; September-October: Saturday-Sunday) Children may observe the culinary traditions and the work of Montpelier’s enslaved community who prepared meals for the Madisons and their many guests. This demonstration area is located on the north side of the mansion.
  • Hands-On Demonstrations: (April-May: Saturday-Sunday; June-August: Thursday-Sunday; September-October: Saturday-Sunday) Montpelier was once home to many skilled enslaved craftspeople. Come see the tools of their trade, learn how they built barns, houses, and furniture, and test your own handiwork! These demonstrations take place at the Stable Quarter, a reconstructed slave home. 
  • Gilmore Cabin: (Saturday & Sunday) This restored freedman's cabin teaches children about the arc of African American citizenship from slavery to emancipation and reconstruction, and offers hands-on activities that reflect this time period. Don't miss the vegetable garden and pigs out back!

Addtional kid-friendly events include:

Family Archaeology Programs (August 2014) 
Take your family on a week-long 
archaeology adventure--come to Montpelier and experience life at the dig site. 

Homeschool Day at Montpelier (April 6, 2015) 
Hands-on activities, games, guided lessons for families with children. Admission covers house tours and full access to Montpelier grounds and regular offerings.

Constitution Day Celebration (September 19, 2015) 
Each year, Montpelier celebrates the signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787. Families are invited to gather round for music, balloon rides, children's activities, and fireworks.

Mud Camp (June 2015)
Available for grades 3-6, Mud Camp offers children a chance to explore Montpelier's vast acreage of woods, fields, and streams in this week-long day camp. Campers hike, play outdoor games, do crafts, learn about local ecology and - you guessed it - get muddy!

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