Sully Historic Site

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION:

703-437-1794
TTY 711

3650 Historic Sully Way
Chantilly, Virginia

Carol McDonnell,
Manager

Sully Historic Site Field Trips/Outreach

Step by Step Instructions on How to Book Field Trips

Download Detailed Instructions

See the OUTREACH section on this page to learn how Sully can bring museum education to your students. 

 

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, 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
• 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:

OPEN HEARTH COOKING
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.
19TH CENTURY SCHOOL DAYS
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.
TEXTILES: HOMESPUN TO FACTORY
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.

FEES

• 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, Discover or Visa. Make checks payable to F.C.P.A - Sully.

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

POLICIES

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.

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

Outreach

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.
 
Fairfax Virtual Assistant