Gunston Hall

Fieldtrips & Outreach

At Gunston Hall, the past offers exciting adventures in learning and hands-on discovery. Students consider the ideas of Founding Father George Mason and find out what life was like for his family, slaves, and servants over 225 years ago. Their experience is coordinated with the Virginia Standards for Learning for the teaching of social studies in elementary and secondary schools. The past offers exciting adventures in learning & hands-on inquiry.

Field Trip to Gunston Hall

George Mason's Plantation World Tour

Grades K-12

Learn about George Mason—American patriot, brilliant author, husband and father, slave owner and successful planter. Discover how Mason’s Virginia Declaration of Rights and his contributions to The Constitution of the United States shaped American government.

Examine the magnificent rooms of Mason’s home, and explore the lives of the Mason family, indentured servants, and enslaved workers who lived at Gunston Hall in the 18th century. Enjoy lively, interactive tours of the Mansion, schoolhouse, kitchen yard, grounds, Touch Museum, and the Visitors Center galleries.

Tours for younger students will emphasize the differences between life in the 18th century and children’s lives today. 


Field Trip to Gunston Hall

Extraordinary Tours

Extraordinary tours are for groups of 40-100 students and are available on a limited basis throughout the school year. Tours will feature conversations with storytellers or characters from the past, hearth-cooking demonstrations, 18th-century games, penmanship, and deportment lessons. Allow two and one-half hours for this deluxe tour experience.

On a very limited basis, Gunston Hall can accommodate up to 120 students. These station tours need the approval of the Education Department prior to confirmation of the booking. Allow two and one-half hours for this deluxe tour experience.

Meet George Mason Outreach Program

Grades 4, 5, and 6

Gunston Hall docents bring the 18th century into your classroom with this outreach program that presents George Mason as author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, as a principal contributor to the U.S. Constitution, and as a planter, businessman, and slave owner. Using hands-on objects and visuals, students explore the day-to-day life of planter families, indentured servants, and slaves.

This program is offered to public and private schools in Arlington, Fairfax and eastern Prince William counties and the City of Alexandria. Program: 1 1/2 hours. Please schedule this visit no earlier than 10:00 a.m. Please book this program at least 30 days in advance.

Recommended Group Size: Up to 30 students. Fee: $35 per group. This program is offered free of charge for Title I schools.

Colonial Days

Special Events

Grades 4-6

HANDS-ON COLONIAL DAYS: At Home with George Mason

Our Spring Colonial Days are fully booked!  Please check back in the fall for our SY2018-2019 dates.

Students are immersed in the people and activities of an 18th century Virginia plantation. Students carry out plantation jobs in the kitchen yard; interact with characters from George Mason’s time; and play colonial games on the plantation lawns. The schedule includes daily life demonstrations and hands-on opportunities. Student-friendly tours of the mansion, archaeology, deportment and penmanship, and a storytelling program are special features of the day. 

Reservations taken for 10:00 and 10:30 a.m. Program: 2 1/4 hours. Group Size: Open One chaperone required per 12 to 15 students.

Home schoolers are welcome in groups of at least 12 4th - 6th graders only (no young students). One home school parent per group of 12 students is admitted free of charge; others must pay the chaperone rate.

Educator's Tour: An Introduction to Gunston Hall

Teachers, you are invited for a special complimentary educator’s tour on weekdays during the summer months. The tour is conducted by a member of the education department or a docent and will follow the route of a George Mason’s Plantation World school tour. If you have never visited Gunston Hall and are considering bringing classes on a field trip, this would be a perfect first step. Bring other members of your department or team and share an enjoyable visit to the 18th century.

This tour is free of charge, but is available by reservation only. Call 703-550-9220 or email School and Youth Programs Coordinator Anne Barlow at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; or Education Manager Lacey Villiva at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Reserving Your Tour


George Mason’s Plantation World Tour $5.00
Extraordinary History Tours $7.00
Colonial Day $10.00

George Mason Plantation World Tour $7.00
Extraordinary History Torus $7.00
Colonial Day $10.00

Teachers and Bus Drivers:
Teachers and Bus Drivers receive complimentary admission

One Chaperone is required for each twelve students.
One home school parent per group of twelve students is admitted free of charge.
Additional adults pay the chaperone rate.
Reservations are required for all programs.
Telephone for reservations Monday-Friday between 9:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. at 703-550-9220. Student tours are welcomed throughout the year, including the summer months.


Gunston Hall Writing Workshop

During the day-long Gunston Hall Writing Workshop, students have the opportunity to try out different forms of writing.  A focus for the writing will be key events in George Mason's life. The program, held in the spring, is open to current 4th and 5th graders throughout the region. All sessions, materials, and snacks are included. Reservations are required and space is limited.

To register online, please visit our Registration Page.  If you would like to register over the phone, please call 703-550-9220.

For more information, please call 703-550-9220, or email Anne Barlow,  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Gunston Hall Writing Award

In concert with the Writing Workshop, Gunston Hall also offers an annual writing contest, which all 4th grade students are welcome to participate in.

Students must answer the following:

In the Virginia Declaration of Rights, George Mason wrote about the right to vote. Why do you think he believed voting was important? Is voting still important today?

Essays are due by 5 p.m. on March 28, 2018, with a completed entry form, available here.

Prize: The winning student will receive $75, and complimentary entry to the Writing Workshop on May 6th.  The student’s teacher will receive a Complimentary class field trip or outreach Session for the 2018-2019 school year.


Photos by Frank N. Barker



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