Local historic homes are (virtually) opening up their doors for family-friendly, at-home exploration and learning.
With summer just a few weeks away, this is usually the time that many historic homes in Virginia are filled with families and students from around the region. Now that schools and museums are closed, many of these historic homes are bringing their tours online, where there are no long lines and no rush. Take advantage of the lack of crowds and learn some commonwealth history with these six virtual tours of historic Virginia homes.
George Washington’s Mount Vernon
Mount Vernon may be closed for the time being, but the interactive tours are continuing online. This digital tour allows viewers to enjoy everything the historic mansion has to offer, from the garden to the cupola, providing interesting facts along the way. // free
Transport yourself back to the 18th century with the virtual tour of Colonial Williamsburg. See how royalty used to live as you tour the Governor’s Palace, and after touring the governor’s living quarters, take a virtual stroll through three of the museum’s art galleries. // free
Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello
Tuesday-Sunday, 2 p.m. & 3:30 p.m.
Skip the 360-degree videos and take a live virtual tour of Monticello. The hour-long Zoom tour gives viewers an in-depth view of Thomas Jefferson’s home as the guide discusses the president’s role in building the nation and the history behind the plantation. // $10
Lee-Fendall House Museum and Garden
Explore almost 200 years of history at Arlington’s Lee-Fendall House. The museum offers a variety of family-friendly virtual activities, from virtual tours of the home and garden to storytime and bingo for the kids. // free
James Madison’s Montpelier
James Madison’s Montpelier is offering a unique look inside the home of the fourth president. Guests can unlock this virtual tour with a $10 donation and in return the museum will unlock 1 square foot on the interactive map. Each unlocked room provides viewers with videos, pictures and uncovered archaeological finds. // free
Morven Park’s Davis Mansion
Travel to Leesburg’s Morven Park for a look inside the Davis Mansion. These short video tours give a detailed view of the grounds and some never-before-seen sneak peeks of spots in the mansion, including the south stairwell. // free
For more at-home entertainment, subscribe to our Things to Do newsletter.