Outdoor activities

 

What procedures does Monticello have in place to minimize the spread of illness?
We are following rigorous protocols for continuous cleaning and disinfecting, and hand-sanitizing stations are readily available for guests and staff. Additionally, we’ve reduced our daily capacity and reconfigured the way guests move around the house and outdoors.

We are implementing signage and related protocols to maintain physical distancing. 

We are offering live and previously recorded online programming content like “Live Virtual Tours” for guests who wish to learn about Monticello from the comfort of their own homes. 

What are you doing to ensure cleanliness?
Monticello staff will be regularly cleaning and sanitizing public spaces throughout the day. 

Will you be checking temperatures before entry?
No, we will not be checking temperatures. No one with a fever or symptoms of COVID-19 or known exposure to a COVID-19 case in the prior 14 days, is permitted onsite. 

Do I have to wear a face covering? What about when I’m outdoors?
Face coverings are required for all visitors over the age of 10. They must be worn at all times when inside buildings, on shuttlebuses, and outside when within 6’ of other people. This requirement is in adherence to the guidelines established by the Commonwealth of Virginia. 

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Are there exceptions to the clear-bag policy? 
Clear plastic bags (not exceeding 12” x 6” x 12”) are required and all bags will be inspected. A one-gallon clear plastic storage bag is acceptable. Clear bags are available for purchase at The Shop at Monticello. Exceptions to these policies will be made for all medically necessary items after proper inspection.
 
Can I get a guided tour?
Yes, Monticello is offering two types of private, guided tours: The Private Behind the Scenes tour and the Monticello Private Guide tour.  The Private Behind the Scenes tour takes guests through the first floor of Monticello and up the narrow staircase to explore the private quarters on the second and third floors, including the iconic Dome Room.  The Monticello Private Guide tour includes not only the portions of the house but the gardens and grounds as well.

What outdoor offerings are available? 
Outdoor activities are available every single day. There are four outdoor stations where you can meet Thomas Jefferson, or ask staff questions about the gardens, slavery, and other topics!

There are hundreds of acres to explore on the Mountaintop and trail. You can walk along Mulberry Row and learn about the enslaved people who lived and labored on the plantation. You can also explore the flower and vegetable gardens and take a scenic hike on the Saunders-Monticello Trail, which begins at the bottom of Route 53 and extends all the way up to Jefferson’s home.

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Is the shuttle the only option for traveling from the David M. Rubenstein Visitor Center to the mountaintop?
No, it is not. Many guests enjoy taking the trail the relatively short distance (roughly half a mile) from the David M. Rubenstein Visitor Center parking area to the house. Be sure to purchase your ticket(s) online first; a Monticello ticket is required to walk up this trail. 

Will hand sanitizer be available?
Yes, hand sanitizer stations are conveniently located in all visitor areas. 

What is the largest group that’s permissible?
We are currently welcoming families and individuals.  At this time, we are currently not hosting large groups of more than 15 on our site.  We will continuously monitor guest usage and adjust guest services and polices as needed to ensure compliance with the guidance provided by Virginia Department of Health and the CDC.

What food is available and what measures are being taken to ensure safety?
A grab and go menu is available from our café, Monticello Farm Table, and includes sandwiches, salads, and snacks. See the full menu. To ensure safety, indoor capacity is limited.

Is contactless checkout available for all food and retail purchases?
Yes, contactless checkout is available.

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What happens if I can’t make my reservation? 
If you have a fever, are symptomatic or feel ill, please stay home and reschedule your visit. We are happy to reschedule your visit to another day.  You may also request a refund prior to your scheduled event. 

What are the station names and locations?

  • Slavery at Monticello (Kitchen Yard)
  • Gardens of Monticello (Under Maple tree, between Fish Pond and end of the West Lawn)
  • Family Station (East Front Lawn, off the North Terrace)
  • Meet Thomas Jefferson / Ask an Expert (back of the West Lawn)

When will stations be offered and how long will they last?

  • Slavery at Monticello, Gardens of Monticello, and Family Station:
    • Daily, on the hour and half-hour from 11:00 am-4:30 pm
    • Duration: 20 minutes

  • Gardens of Monticello, and Family Station:
    • Daily, on the half-hour from 11:3 am-4:30 pm
    • Duration: 20 minutes
  • Family Station:
    • Daily, on half-hour from 11:30 pm-4:30 pm
    • Duration: 20 minutes

  • Meet Thomas Jefferson:
    • Tuesday through Saturday at 11:00 am, 2:00 pm, 3:00 pm
    • Duration: approximately 30 minutes

  • Ask an Expert (archaeologists, historians, restoration specialists, curators, etc)
    • Monday through Friday at 12:00 noon
    • Duration: approximately 30 minutes

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What is the format?
At these outdoor stations, guests can gather comfortably in physically distanced seating areas to engage with Monticello’s friendly and knowledgeable staff. The format is a brief presentation followed by Q&A and is a great opportunity for guests to deepen their connection to Monticello’s history. At the Family Station, children and their families will learn stories of the people who lived at Monticello, both free and enslaved. At the “Ask an Expert” station, guests will hear from Monticello’s behind-the-scenes experts -- archaeologists, curators, restoration specialists, and historians -- about their most recent projects and exciting discoveries.

What is the capacity at each station?
Approximately 28 people

What is the cost?
The outdoor stations are included in your ticket price.

What safety measures will be in place at these stations?

  • To facilitate physical distancing, guests will be seated with their traveling party at benches placed six feet apart
  • Guests will be asked to wear face coverings while at the stations
  • Staff will disinfect benches between presentations
  • There will be no hands-on components to these stations

Will we be offering Slavery at Monticello Tours, Garden Tours, Family Friendly Tours, or the Mountaintop Activity Center? 
No. These stations replace our guided outdoor tours and our Family Friendly Tours/Mountaintop Activity Center.

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Self-guided exploration
There are many ways for guests to enjoy self-guided exploration of the North and South Wings, Cellars, Mulberry Row, and the gardens

  • Guests can utilize existing text panels and reader rails.
  • Many smaller spaces, such as the Hemmings Cabin, Storehouse for Iron, Cook’s Room, etc. will be stanchioned off. Guests can peek inside and use their smartphones to read QR codes that will direct them to dynamic content about these spaces, including videos and interviews.
  • Please note that The Life of Sally Hemings multi-media film will be moved to the lower level Smith Gallery at the Visitor Center.

Why is the new tour experience great for families?
The new tour experience is self-guided, which means you can move at your own pace. Your family will enter the house as your own group and explore the rooms with the help of a mobile guide accessed on your smart phone. In each room, the mobile guide will point out an object of particular interest to kids. You are welcome to take photos, and if you have any questions, you can text one of our staff members for an answer!

Coming soon!

  • Digital scavenger hunt for families: By June 22, we will be testing a digital scavenger hunt with guests. Geared to families with children ages 5-9, the scavenger hunt will provide an enjoyable, engaging, self-guided way for families to explore the mountaintop through trivia questions, “find it!” challenges, and opportunities to stop and reflect.
  • New interpretive signage about Monticello’s gardens

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