Sully Historic Site

CONTACT INFORMATION: Visitor Center Open Hours: Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Ticketed tours available at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The park grounds are open from dawn through dusk.
703-437-1794 TTY 711
3650 Historic Sully Way
Chantilly, Virginia
Julie Gurnee
Acting Site Manager

Department Resources

Related Resources

Sully Historic Site Field Trips/Outreach

Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Book Field Trips


Sully Historic Site will not be offering field trips in the spring of 2024. Please check back soon for updates.

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 and who were the enslaved community that supported the Lee family at Sully
• Education
• Textiles production
• Family life for the Lee family and the enslaved families that are documented

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 three 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 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. Were all children taught to read and write? 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. Find out about the enslaved people who assisted with textile production and sewing 200 years ago. 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, Discover 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.

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 - Please call for pricing


Sully on the Go

Experience Richard Bland Lee's 1794 house and grounds through a guided presentation of photos. Learn about Northern Virginia's first congressman while glimpsing the everyday lives of early Americans. 

Who They Were?

Sully was home to over 30 enslaved people, including Ludwell, Nancy, and their children. Discover what we know about their lives at Sully and their roles and contributions in day-to-day life. Learn also about the slave quarter cabin and what archaeology can tell us about the past.

Sully’s Stuff

It takes more than four walls and a roof to make a home. The items that fill the house tell an important story about its residents. Learn how the Lees furnished their home, from the fine furniture and fancy dishes, down to the everyday items such as Richard's eyeglasses.

Sully’s Changes

Over its long history, Sully was home to several families other than the Lees. Learn who they were and how they changed the house to suit their needs. In the 1970s, much of the house and grounds were restored to the original Lee period. Learn what historians and archaeologists are still searching for on the property.

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