Monticello will be lit with candlelight for visitors this December
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Tuesday, December 14, 2010
Media Contact: Lisa Stites, 434-984-7529
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA.—  Candlelight tours of Monticello will be held through Thursday, December 30, 2010. Visitors have the opportunity to experience Monticello by candlelight and get an intimate look at how the winter holiday season was observed during Jefferson’s era through Holiday Evening Tours.

Each extended, small-group tour features a guided excursion through the rooms on the main floor of the house, which will be decked with local greenery, and a visit to the third-floor Dome Room. The tour will focus on the atmosphere of family and fellowship that was at the center of the holiday season at Monticello.

“In Jefferson’s time, Christmas was not just a day, it was a season, running from Dec. 25 to Jan. 6, the traditional 12 days of Christmas,” noted Linnea Grim, Monticello’s Hunter J. Smith Director of Education and Visitor Programs. “Gatherings with friends and family were the focal points rather than lavish gifts.”

Today visitors can experience the subtle, yet magical ambiance of Monticello by candlelight.   Holiday Evenings Tours begin at 5:45 p.m. and at 6:00 p.m. Tickets are available for the following dates:

Friday, December 10 – Wednesday, December 15, Friday, December 17 – Wednesday, December 22 and Saturday, December 26 – Thursday, December 30, 2010.

Tickets are $45; no discounts apply. Reserved tickets are required and can be purchased with a credit card through the Web site or by calling (434) 984-9880.

Because the upper floors of Monticello can be reached only by steep, narrow stairs, this tour is not handicapped-accessible and is not recommended for individuals who may have difficulty climbing or descending as many as 75 stairs unassisted. Children must be able to climb and descend stairs unassisted by an adult. These tours are recommended for adults and children 7 and older.

For information including parking and directions, visit


The Thomas Jefferson Foundation owns and operates Monticello, the mountaintop home of Thomas Jefferson. As a private, nonprofit organization, the Foundation receives no regular federal or state budget support for its twofold mission of preservation and education.  About 450,000 people visit Monticello each year. For information, visit