Sully Historic Site

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Visitor Center Hours through December open 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. Closed Tuesdays. January - February 11 a.m. - 3 p.m.

TTY 711

3650 Historic Sully Way
Chantilly, Virginia

Carol McDonnell,

Sully Historic Site Field Trips/Outreach

Step by Step Instructions to Request a Field Trip Date:

  1. Click the “Request a Reservation” link.
  2. In the Facility Reservation Portal, choose your desired location using the search box or click the site’s icon on the interactive map.
  3. Select your chosen park’s “Reserve” button.
  4. On your chosen park’s page, click the “Reserve” or “Check Availability” button in the School Field Trips box to see the availability calendar.
  5. Use the calendar to identify which days are available. Available dates are green.
  6. Click on your desired day.
  7. Navigate through the calendar using the Calendar Date field.
  8. Click 'Reserve Unit' in the pop up window.
  9. Log in with an existing ParkTakes account, or create a new one.
  10. In the Booking Details screen, fill in all applicable boxes in the ‘Extra Information section.  All fields with an asterisk are required.
  11. Click ‘Book Site’.
  12. Review your cart and check out. There are no fees charged for a reservation request. Payment is due on the day of the program.
  13. After your reservation is complete, a window will open with confirmation of your request. 
  14. You will receive an email that confirms receipt of your request. Staff will be in touch to finalize your booking and any additional details.

If you are requesting a date less than two weeks in advance, please call the park for availability.

Please note that sites limit the total number of students per day. Larger groups may be accommodated over multiple days.

Download Detailed Instructions


Learning Centers in an authentic, historic setting and designed for your students

Sully's buildings and collections provide vivid contrasts between today's life in Northern Virginia and the everyday realities of life in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Tours and learning center activities focus on the food, clothing, slave life, and schooling of Sully's residents.
For those studying the colonial and federal periods in history, Sully's Museum Education Program brings a hands-on, personalized look at life during the Richard Bland Lee family's residency at Sully from 1794 to 1811. Tours and centers give students an experience that brings to life the textbook study of events and people of the past.

Learning centers and tours highlight aspects of the federal period:
• The beginning of the federal government and establishment of Washington D.C. as the nation's capital
• Life during the time of Presidents George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison
• Contributions of enslaved African Americans
• Cooking techniques in an original, open hearth kitchen
• Workings of a large gentry farm
• Education
• Textiles production
• Family life for the Lee family

The museum education programs are offered weekdays from 10 a.m.-noon between October and the winter break, and from March through the end of the school year. A docent leads students through learning center activities and a tour of the main house. Sully's indoor learning centers are available for winter school groups.


Sully offers four hands-on learning centers designed for second through fifth grades:

Students discover the sights and smells of our original 18th century kitchen as they assist with making beaten biscuits.
Compare and contrast life at Sully with today through discussion of the enslaved cook Thornton's role, utensils, methods and available food sources. Make an herb garni to take home and use in the kitchen.
Students do tasks that some of the enslaved community performed at Sully 200 years ago. Activities in the outbuildings, main house and representative slave quarter help students discover the interdependence between the Lees and the valuable contributions of the enslaved African-Americans who lived and worked on this farm.
At the quarter, students develop their knowledge of African-American culture during the years of slavery. Students make a seed packet to take home for planting in addition to doing chores such as hoeing the garden and sweeping the cabin.
Students go back in time and take part in school activities of the mid-19th century. Reading from McGuffey Readers, signing names with quill pens, sealing letters and ciphering on slates bring to life the schoolroom of yesteryear. Students take home a sealed letter and humdinger toy to remember the work and recess of the typical 19th century student.
Students compare homespun to factory-made cloth and card wool. They weave on a loom and discover the intricacies of textile processes during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Students make a potpourri sachet for home to encourage the care of textiles and emphasize their importance.


• Admission is collected when you arrive at Sully's Visitor Center and Squirrel’s Nest Museum Gift Shop.
• Teachers are free.
• $8/Fairfax County school students
• $9/Out-of-county students
• Payment methods accepted: cash, check, MasterCard or Visa. Make checks payable to F.C.P.A - Sully.

We request one adult per 10 children or one to two adults per learning center. Sully can accommodate up to two chaperones per center.
• $8/Fairfax County school chaperones
• $9/Out-of-county chaperones


Learning Centers are offered based upon staffing availability.
Learning Center Schedule
  • Monday: One or two centers. Maximum 30 students. Please arrange classes into equal groups of no more than 15 students per center.
  • Wednesday, Thursday and Friday: One to four centers, depending upon the number of students. Maximum 60 students. Please arrange classes into four equal groups of no more than 15 students per center.
  • Small groups scheduled on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday may be combined with other groups. Schools will be notified if this occurs.
On the day of your visit, if the number of students falls below the minimum required for an additional center, Sully may reduce the number of centers offered.
Inclement Weather:
When Fairfax County Public Schools delay openings or close schools, all field trips are canceled. Rescheduling is dependent upon available dates.

Classroom Materials

Download Sully Learning Packet

Examine and share the Learning Packet with your students and fellow teachers. The packet contains letters, an inventory, and worksheets designed to be used both before and after classroom activities. Touchable items representing each of the learning centers will be sent to you prior to your visit.
All materials may be reproduced.

Programs at Sully:

  • Meet many of the Virginia SOLs
  • Compare and contrast everyday life in the late 18th and early 19th centuries with everyday life today
  • Allow each student to participate in a hands-on activity that was part of everyday life in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Hints for Chaperones

  • Help maintain order and behavior of students.
  • Assist docents in preventing students from handling collection items.
  • Help the docent upon request or when necessary during hands-on activities.
  • Stay with assigned group.
  • Refrain from excessive talking during the program.
  • Remember, the museum education program is designed for students.

"Don't Forget" Checklist

  • Check Tour Confirmation Sheet for accuracy
  • Call with any changes in group size or cancellations
  • Provide name tags for students
  • Divide groups into equal sizes according to centers offered
  • Arrange and instruct chaperones
  • Provide directions for the bus driver
  • Clean picnic area after use


Want to visit Sully but can't make the trip?

A historical interpreter can come to your school, group, or senior center. There are five great programs available, or a program can be designed just for you. Each program lasts approximately one hour and includes displays and presentations tailored to your group's participants and ages.
Call 703-437-1794 to schedule or for information.

Outreach Programs:

Virtually Sully:
Take a virtual tour of Richard Bland Lee's 1794 house and grounds. Learn about Northern Virginia's first congressman while glimpsing the everyday lives of early Americans. 

Slave Life at Sully
The Lees owned between 20 and 40 slaves who worked the Lees’ fields, cooked their food, and washed their laundry. Learn how the enslaved lived and how they worked on the Lees' plantation.

From the Past to the Present... And Back Again
After Richard Bland Lee sold Sully, several other families made Sully their home. Who were they, and how did they change the house to suit their needs and desires? In the 1970s, how did Fairfax County officials restore the house and grounds to the Lee residence? Finally, what are historians and archeologists still looking for on the property?

Sully's Stuff
It takes more than four walls and a roof to make a home. The items that fill the house are just as important as the house. So how did the Lees furnish their home? Learn about the furniture, the dishes, and even Richard's eyeglasses.