Update on the Griffin Discovery Room | March 13, 2020

Over the past week we have significantly increased health and safety protocols across Monticello. This has included additional cleaning and sanitizing tactics in the Griffin Discovery Room, our hands-on activity space for children and families. Out of an abundance of caution, we have decided to temporarily close this space, effective immediately. 

Monticello remains open to the public, and tours continue uninterrupted.


Write on a polygraph machine, touch a mastodon's jawbone, create secret codes on a wheel cipher based on Jefferson's design, play games popular in Jefferson's era, and engage in other self-directed activities.

Monticello visitors—especially those ages 6 to 12—can literally get in touch with American history in the Griffin Discovery Room through hands-on activities. The space features reproduction elements from both the Monticello house, such as Jefferson's alcove bed and Houdon's bust of Jefferson, and the plantation, including the nail-making shop and a slave dwelling.

This educational environment provides a variety of ways for young people to connect with Thomas Jefferson, the members of the larger Monticello community, and learn what life was like for children in the early 1800s.

Located on the lower level of the Smith Education Center, the Griffin Discovery Room is open daily.