In order to make Thomas Jefferson’s former home, plantation and grounds accessible to more guests during this challenging time, Monticello is waiving admission for kids, adding social-distanced programming and more.
New family-friendly initiatives include self-guided tours, outdoor educational stations and a mobile scavenger hunt, all offered in-tandem with digital tours and livestreams. Guests can walk along Mulberry Row and learn about the enslaved community on the property, explore the flower and vegetable gardens, hike along the Saunders-Monticello Trail and dine in the Farm Table, an onsite cafe serving dishes with garden-grown produce. And for the first time in the property’s history, photography is permitted inside the house.
“Our socially distanced on-site programming was designed to educate students and families while allowing them to remain safe and healthy,” said Rachel Baum, manager of family programs at Monticello, in a statement. “Thanks to the hard work of our on-site team, families and students can now enjoy a flexible, educational experience.”
Monticello reopened in June, adding rigorous health and safety protocols including frequent cleaning and disinfecting; these latest measures reimagine the guest experience, keeping families in mind.
The Family Scavenger Hunt uses your smartphone to complete unique challenges, snap photos, test your knowledge and share thoughts of your experience. Self-Guided Tours let guests go at their own pace via web guides on your smartphone or guidebooks purchased in the gift shop. And Meet with Thomas Jefferson stars Bill Barker in a nuanced portrayal as our third President, meeting with visitors and answering questions Tuesday through Saturday at 11am, 12pm, 2pm and 3pm.
In addition, Monticello’s ongoing virtual resources allow many more visitors to experience this historical site, including live virtual tours, 360-degree panoramic presentations, virtual field trips and educational live streams offered through Monticello’s website, Facebook Live page and YouTube channel. .
Admission for kids age 11 and under is now free, with those aged 12 to 18 is $10; families are encouraged to book their trip in advance as capacity has been significantly reduced to allow for physical distancing.
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