Visit Dumbarton House with Your School

School Groups

Dumbarton House offers educational field trips for public school, private school, and homeschool students from Kindergarten through 8th Grade. Our field trips are tailored to meet the Common Core School Standards as well as DC and Virginia school standards. At the moment, only groups of 20 or fewer people can be accommodated in person. Larger groups can schedule virtual tours.

Virtual Programs

  • To register for a virtual field trip, please complete a field trip request form.
  • Virtual programs last about 1 hour and come with supplementary activity PDFs.
  • Virtual programs are a flat rate for private groups: $50, $75 or $100; pay as you are able. A $25 deposit is required upon booking and counts toward the total cost. The full balance is due 3 days prior to the program.
  • DC Public Schools and DC Public Charter Schools are always free. 
  • Virtual groups must have a minimum of 5 students and a maximum of 40 students unless otherwise agreed upon.
  • Virtual programs are available Monday through Friday.

In-Person Trips

  • To register for an in-person field trip to Dumbarton House, please complete a field trip request form.
  • In-person programs last about 2 hours and include a craft activity and snack. 
  • In-person programs cost $7 per student and $5 per chaperone (the first chaperone is free and one chaperone is required for every 10 students). A $25 deposit is required upon booking and counts toward the total cost. The full balance is due 1 week (7 days) prior to the program.
  • DC Public Schools and DC Public Charter Schools are always free. 
  • In-person school programs are available Tuesday through Friday.
  • Groups must have a minimum of 5 students and a maximum of 40 students can be accommodated. If you have a larger group, please contact the Education Department to discuss available options.

Program Descriptions

Time Travels: Students grades K-2 travel back in time and experience life as a child living in the Capital’s earliest days! Students explore what it was like living 200 years ago using their five senses, make a special period craft, play early American games, and enjoy a light snack. Grades K-2.

Capital Quest: Students become history detectives on this quest through Washington D.C.’s past. By spying for clues, examining primary sources, and strengthening map skills, students will uncover the rich history of the nation’s capital. Discover why Washington D.C. was chosen as the capital city and explore the lives and ideals of early Americans who shaped the nation. In addition to an interactive tour, a supplemental activity packet is provided. Grades 3-5. 

Parthenon to Portico: What does America have in common with Ancient Greece? Students learn how America was influenced by this great civilization by comparing Classical Greek and American ideals of government, art, and architecture. Using a supplemental activity packet and elements of Classical Greek architecture and their own imagination, students can design a public structure. Grades 3-8. 

Changing City: Tobacco, Transportation, and Georgetown: Delve into the founding of Washington DC through the port of Georgetown and its undeniable ties to the tobacco industry. Using primary sources, uncover the links between the tobacco trade, money, city growth and enslavement in this urban setting. Learn about the people who lived and worked in Georgetown and depended on trade from the perspective of three historic sites: Tudor Place, Dumbarton House and Georgetown Heritage. Grades 3-5.

Farm to Table:* Students learn how food travels from the farm to their kitchen table on this interactive tour of the herb garden and historic period rooms. After the tour, the students plant a seed to take home!  This program integrates science, social studies, and nutrition to teach students about food production, healthy eating, and reducing our carbon footprint. Grades 3-8. 

*Offered spring/early fall

Homeschool Groups and Learning Pods

We are thrilled to bring back homeschool groups in person for the 2021-2022 season. See our full schedule below: 

  • September 22: School and Fun – What would your school and social life been like if you lived during the Federal Period? Students will learn about their homeschool routine 200 years ago, as well as what they would have done for fun outside of their lessons.
  • October 20: Art at Dumbarton – A picture is worth a thousand words so during this program students will read art pieces in the house to better understand artistic tools, mediums, and techniques. Students will also be challenged to create their own still life drawings using different artistic mediums.
  • December 1: Winter Warmth – Students will compare and contrast their experience of winter weather and the Christmas holiday with that of the Nourse family. End by making your very own gingerbread house to take home! 
  • February 9: Love Letter – Celebrate love and family as you learn more about the Nourse family! Learn how the family communicated across long distances 200 years ago and use a quill pen to create your own love letter. 
  • April 20: Bygone Games – With a scavenger hunt, students will tour the museum to learn what life would have been like for children. Afterwards it’s time to learn and play period games! Make your own toy to take home.

Dumbarton House offers a number of additional homeschool programs if requested two weeks in advance. These programs cover various seasonal topics about life in the early capital city. Programs include:

  • School and Fun: What was life like for children in the Federal period?
  • Harvest Time: What did people eat and where did they get food 200 years ago?
  • Patriotism and Presidents: Learn about American history and symbolism.
  • Time Travelers: Explore what life was like 200 years ago by using all your senses.
  • Winter Warmth: Learn about how people stayed warm before central heating.
  • Parthenon to Portico: Discover the Classical Greek and Roman influences on Dumbarton House and other buildings.
  • Communication Through Time: Practice the art of letter writing and learn about the postal system.
  • Art at Dumbarton: Use close-looking skills to learn about artistic techniques using the art in our collection.

Pricing
For homeschool programs, pricing is $7 per participating child and $5 per adult. There is a $40 minimum to schedule a private homeschool program (e.g. 5 children, 1 adult.) A non-refundable $25 deposit is required to hold a requested date, which will count towards the final payment (due 48 hours before the program). 

Maximum capacity: 40 children

Accessibility

The Museum’s programs are available to all students as the hands-on programs are developed to connect with all learning styles. Given enough notice, Museum Educators can adapt programs to fit the specific needs of your students. The museum is wheelchair accessible.

Explore Early American History From New Perspectives

From art to cooking to technology, there's something for everyone at Dumbarton House.