School & Group Visits

“The tours have a tremendous effect on the children. The students are able to ‘touch’ history. They love the stories that we tell, especially those dealing with early American children their age.”  - Joyce Joynes, Lemon Hill Guide and Former Occupant

Transient

Tours of the Charms encourage visitors to imagine life as it was lived 200 years ago.  Visitors of all ages can consider the art and architecture, history and horticulture of late 18th and early 19th century Philadelphia.   

We warmly welcome adult and school groups to plan a visit during the year.   The Charms can be visited as a tour of multiple sites or at individual homes. All group visits must be booked in advance at a particular house and may be customized for the needs of a group.

Tours of the houses provide an excellent experience for a variety of social, civic and community groups of all ages.  We welcome historical societies, garden clubs, book clubs, church groups, architecture groups, seniors and more --- any organization whose members are interested in learning about Philadelphia history.  Come explore the Charms of Fairmount Park!

Fairmount Park Bus Tours

If you would like to book a group tour of 15 or more people and you have your own transportation please contact the Group Sales Department at the Philadelphia Museum of Art at 215-684-7863 or gsales@philamuseum.org for information on the Fairmount Park Bus Tours. 

Offered year-round, Museum-trained guides join you on your bus and will take you on a journey through Fairmount Park which has been called “one of the largest urban parks in the country”. You will pass all seven of the historic homes and will learn about the history of the park including information about the 1876 World’s Fair held in Philadelphia.  $8 per person per house or bus tour.

Groups arrive at the Philadelphia Museum of Art to begin their tour. Museum-trained step-on guides will meet you at the West Entrance and direct your motorcoach through the park while providing information and history about Fairmount Park. Restroom facilities are available for use inside the Museum before you depart for your tour. Please note that the restrooms at the houses are not handicap accessible and are not able to accommodate groups.

If you do not have your own transportation and would like a group tour of 15 or more with a private trolley to see the park houses, please contact the Philadelphia Trolley Works at 215- 389-1776 who will design a customize tour to fit your group needs.


School Group Tours
Education programs at the houses provide students with “hands-on” and engaging experiences of life in this time period in Philadelphia.  These programs are designed to inspire an interest and excitement about American history and content supports the Common Core Standards in social studies, history, literacy, visual arts and more. 

Bringing new generations to the houses communicates the value of our

shared history and encourages students to think about preserving the past.  Intr

oduce your students to our unique resources.


Below is a brief overview of the educational content available to school groups at each of the houses - talk to us about your interests and needs:

Cedar Grove:  Discover what life was like in colonial days through the interactive program Colonial Life at Cedar Grove, designed for elementary students, grades 3–6. Students experience both work and leisure activities of the 18th century as

they tour the house and garden.   This school tour can be scheduled via the Philadelphia Museum of Art Education Department: School & Teacher Programs.  Contact them by phone at (215) 684-7580, fax at (215) 236-4063, or by e-mail at educate@philamuseum.org.

Laurel Hill:  Students tour in small groups with an expert guide providing the human stories to illuminate history (definitely mor

e engaging than a textbook!). Tours may include age-appropriate hands-on activities like playing with replicas of toys, crafts and games of the 1800s as well as activity sheets and suggested follow-up activities.  Appropriate, and adaptable, for grades K-12.

Lemon Hill: After enjoying small group tours with a guide and learning about the home, students receive activity sheets and information to assist them in processing and applying information from the house, guided by teachers to support the curriculum. Tours may also include lunch on the porch and free play in the garden. Appropriate, and adaptable, for grades K-12

PACKAGE TOUR of Lemon Hill + Laurel Hill: Lemon Hill and Laurel Hill have jointly developed a school group program to coordinate a bundled visit to these two sites.  Students spend the morning visiting and touring both houses and then enjoy lunch at one of the sites. Afterward, students write letters about their tours that show how much they’ve learned from their experience.  As Alma Jacobs, president of Women for Greater Philadelphia, the group that stewards Laurel Hill, says, “We are amazed at how much information students retain from their visits.” Appropriate, and adaptable, for grades K-12. 

Mount Pleasant: Discover Classical Architecture provides students with the opportunity to review the basic classical orders, observe craftsmen tools, and learn about creating and designing a grand country home. Each student creates his or her own design for the "missing" mantelpiece in the upstairs parlor.  This tour is best for middle and secondary level students.  This school tour can be scheduled via the Philadelphia Museum of Art Education Department: School & Teacher Programs.  Contact them by phone at (215) 684-7580, fax at (215) 236-4063, or by e-mail at educate@philamuseum.org.

For groups of 15 or more, please call Group Sales at 215-684-7863.
For individuals and groups smaller than 15, please contact Education at 215-684-7580.
For school groups please contact School and Teacher Programs at 215-684-7580 .
All appointments should be requested with at least 2 weeks prior notice.
Visit philamuseum.org/parkhouses for more information.

Strawberry Mansion: Students tour in small groups with an expert guide, and hands-on activities are included.  Students respond in particular to the collection of antique toys and dolls to connect to life in the past.  This tour is best suited for students in grades 1 - 8. 

Sweetbriar: Students tour in small groups with an expert guide, and hands-on activities are included.  This tour is best suited for students in grades 1 - 8. 

Transient

Woodford: Woodford features the outstanding Naomi Wood collection, and these objects convey life in the past in an engaging way. In addition to engaging and dramatic stories, tours may include hands-on activities like playing with replicas of toys, crafts and games of the 1800s.  Tours appropriate, and adaptable, for grades K-12.


Adult Groups

Tours of the houses provide an excellent experience for a variety of social, civic and community groups of all ages.  We welcome historical societies, garden clubs, book clubs, church groups, architecture groups, seniors and more --- any organization whose members are interested in learning about Philadelphia history.  Come explore the Charms of Fairmount Park!

Please us the contact each house directly about scheduling and making tour arrangements for your group.