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Insider Tips for Visiting with Kids

by Kristie Smeltzer As spring settles in, more and more visitors are making their way to Monticello.  With...More »

Visiting With Kids

At the Griffin Discovery Room, a boy operates a model of Jefferson's WheelcipherMake the most of your family visit.

Family Friendly Tours
Seasonal tours with hands-on objects geared toward children ages 6-11 and their families. More »

Griffin Discovery Room
A hands-on space located on the lower level of the Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center and Smith Education Center that offers a variety of ways for young people to connect with Thomas Jefferson and the members of the larger Monticello community. More »

Mountaintop Hands-on Activity Center
Write with a quill pen; play 18th century games; and many more fun, family-oriented hands-on activities. More » 

Exploring Monticello Booklet
Before your visit, download, read, and bring along Exploring Monticello: A Guide for Young Learners (pdf).

Monticello Museum Shop
Monticello's Museum Shop offers wide selection of books, clothing, games, toys, and souvenirs that make a last impression of any visit. More »

While visiting the house and grounds:

  • Encourage your child to ask questions when prompted by your guide.
  • Look for themes in the house, such as "gadgets," clocks, or portraits (notice the different types of portraits). Look for the natural history specimens, the Native American artifacts, the art, or other objects.
  • See if you can find the portraits, paintings, views of the house that appear on the U.S. Nickel and the $2 bill.
  • In the gardens look for plants with unusual shapes, lovely scents, and even surprising behavior (hint)

Before your visit:

  • Tour before you visit using the Monticello Explorer, where you can 'walk through' 3-D models of Monticello's interior, read about the house's furnishings, view special animated features, see an interactive map of the plantation, and much more. 
  • Check out the Monticello Classroom, which has lots of information for kids ages 8-14.
  • Try the Build Your Own House activity and e-mail your creation to a friend or relative.
  • Help Thomas Jefferson see the modern world! Print, color, and photograph Travelin' TJ at a location near you. You can e-mail us the image for our Flickr group. Or bring Travelin' TJ with you on your visit where you can hang him on our Travelin' TJ Wall in our Smith Education Center.

Also check out our post about logistical details to help you: Insider Tips for Visiting with Kids.

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