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.

SOLs: 3.10; 3.11 a, b, d; 3.12; VS1; VS4 a-e; VS5 a, b; VS6 a, b; USI. 1; USI. 5 b, d; USI. 6 b, d; USI. 7 a, b; VUS. 1; VUS. 4, b, c; VUS. 5 a-c; GOVT. 1; GOVT. 2 e, f; GOVT. 11 a, c-e

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

SOLs: K 1a; K2; K3; K6; K8; 1.1; 1.10 a, d, f; 1.12 a, c; 2.3; 2.7; 2.8; 2.10; 2.12

We can tailor your tour. Gunston Hall’s education staff will work with teachers to customize your on-site or outreach experience to address a particular curricular interest, such as George Mason as Patriot, the tobacco economy, slavery, or day-to-day life on a Virginia plantation.

For all tours, allow at least 2 hours on-site which will include organization time and travel to each station on your tour. Tours will be appropriately shorter for K-2 students.

Field Trip to Gunston Hall

Extraordinary Tours

Grades 3-12

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.

SOLs: VS1; VS4 a- e; VS5 a, b; VS6 a, b; USI. 1; USI. 5; USII.1

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
April 20, 2017 (Fully Booked)
April 24, 2017

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. 

SOLs: 3.10; 3.11 a, b, d; 3.12; VS1; VS4 a-e; VS5 a, b; VS6 a, b; USI. 1; USI. 5 b, d; USI. 6 b, d; USI. 7 a, b; VUS. 1; VUS. 4, b, c; VUS. 5 a-c; GOVT. 1; GOVT. 2 e, f; GOVT. 11 a, c-e

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 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.


GunstonHall EduKits

Very popular for teachers taking field trips to Gunston Hall! A sampler of fun and educational take-home items for students provides a wise solution for time-constrained school tours. Must be pre-ordered and picked up on the day of your field trip. Choice of 'George Mason' or 'Patriot' kit. $5 each. Pre-order by calling 703-550-9220 and asking for the Museum Shop and we will have your kits all ready to go after your tour.


Write About It

During the day-long Gunston Hall Writing Workshop, students have the opportunity to try out different forms of writing, including non-fiction, historical fiction, journalism, and poetry. They also will learn how an author can be his or her own illustrator. 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 in a modest fee. Reservations are required and space is limited.

The annual Gunston Hall Writing Award will be selected each spring. The competition, which involves writing an essay in the classroom on George Mason, is open to 4th graders who experience Gunston Hall on a class field trip or in an outreach program. A check for $100 will be awarded to the author of the winning essay. Details on the initiative will be provided to teachers reserving a school tour or outreach program.

From the Writing Workshop in June, submitted by Wan Ying Li, now a fifth grade student at Lorton Station School.


Hope is like the air.
We need them both everyday.
It passes through your hair and helps you breath.

Hope is like a warm fireplace.
It feels good when you are cold.

Hope is like a pretty flower.
It smells good when you hold it close to you.

Hope is like a sunset.
When you look at it, it is beautiful.

Hope is like a song.
When you hear it,
you will always remember it.

Hope is everywhere.

     Wan Ying Li [2012]

Photos by Frank N. Barker


You are here: Home Education Fieldtrips & Outreach