James Madison’s Montpelier offers visitors an experience in history, with a variety of guided tours, art exhibitions and galleries, over 8 miles of walking trails to explore and award-winning food at the Exchange Café. Learn more below about upcoming events at Montpelier and plan your visit.


James Madison’s Birthday/Wreath Laying Ceremony

March 16 at 1:30 p.m.

Commemorate the 267th birthday of James Madison, Father of the Constitution and fourth president of the U.S., featuring the U.S. Marine Corps’ Quantico Band, Honor Guard, Color Guard and Firing detail. The Band will begin its performance at 1:10 p.m. at the Madison Family Cemetery, and the official wreath-laying ceremony commences at 1:30 p.m.

Remarks will be made by The Honorable Schuyler VanValkenburg, Virginia House of Delegates, 72nd District. Mr. Madison will accept birthday wishes at the House all day. A special in-depth tour highlighting Madison’s role as Father of the Constitution will be offered at 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Signature tours will be offered every 30 minutes between 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.  

The ceremony is free; adult tickets for all tours are half-price. To purchase tickets for any tour, visit here.


Architecture Tour

March 24 at 1 p.m.

Montpelier’s new walking tours offer a fascinating behind-the-scenes examination of how our architectural historians restore and reconstruct significant structures. On March 24, “The Montpelier Restoration” will be an architecturally-focused tour of the House, emphasizing the five-year, $24 million groundbreaking restoration. 

$10/adults, $4/kids 6–14. To purchase tickets, visit here.


Homeschool Day

March 26 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

Enjoy a day at Montpelier designed specially for homeschooling families, or any family seeking a fun day out. Take a guided hike of our old growth forest; sit in on the Constitutional Convention; read from James’ bookshelf; play colonial games and more! Master Gardeners will be in the Annie duPont Formal Garden, talking about how and why wildflowers are pollinated. Make a wildflower seed bomb to take home, with activities at 11:30 a.m., 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. Enjoy guided tours of the House; the archaeology lab; the Gilmore Cabin and 1910 Train Depot; and the exhibitions. 

Homeschool Day is held rain-or-shine. No advance tickets or reservations required. For more information, visit here or contact Kyle Stetz, manager of Family and Student Programs, at edteam@montpelier.org or 540-672-2728 x402. $10/adult, $5/children ages 6-14, Free/children under 6.


Journey from Slavery to Freedom Tour

March 31 and April 7, 14, 21 and 28 at 2:30 p.m.

Experience the African American transition from slavery to freedom. Visit sites that bring to life generations of enslaved individuals who lived at Montpelier, and learn how citizenship evolved from slavery to Emancipation through Jim Crow to the present. 

This free walking and driving tour begins at 2:30 p.m. at the David M. Rubenstein Visitor Center and will encompass sites of enslavement near the House, as well as the Gilmore Cabin and the 1910 Train Depot.


Big Woods Walk

April 1 at 2 p.m.

Join Montpelier Horticulturist Sandy Mudrinich for a hike through Montpelier’s Landmark Forest—a rare hardwood old growth forest consisting of towering poplars, stately oaks and sprawling beeches.

Begins at 2 p.m. at the David M. Rubenstein Visitor Center. $5/person. Dogs on leashes are welcome. To purchase tickets, visit here.


Historic Landscape Tour

April 7 at 1 p.m.

Peel back 250 years of landscaping, one layer at a time, to learn how the grounds of Montpelier became a trove of champion trees and unique plantings, cultivated with great care and attention over generations of care and preservation. 

Free. Begins at 1 p.m. at the David M. Rubenstein Visitor Center.


Working Woods Walk

April 8 at 2 p.m.

Venture into the Montpelier Demonstration Forest on a two-hour hike with experts in forest conservation. Learn about conservation and cultivation strategies that generate mutual benefit to man and nature.

Begins at 2 p.m. at the David M. Rubenstein Visitor Center. $5/person. Dogs on leashes are welcome. To purchase tickets, visit here.


Guided Property Walk

April 14 at 9:30 a.m.

Join us for an interpreter-led, two-hour trail walk on the 3.55 mile Montpelier Loop Trail, learning about Madison’s role as an early environmentalist, managing Montpelier today, tree identification, the duPonts and more. The Montpelier Loop Trail is designed for walkers and hikers who want to experience the full range of landscapes Montpelier has to offer. The trail runs past the Annie duPont Formal Garden, through the James Madison Landmark Forest and the Demonstration Forest, along horse pastures and wildflower meadows. Highlights include 150-year-old white oak and tulip trees, unobstructed views of the Blue Ridge, lovely vistas of the Montpelier House and access to the Montpelier slave cemetery and the Madison family cemetery. 

Begins at the David M. Rubenstein Visitor Center. Dogs on leashes are welcome. $5/person. To purchase tickets, visit here.


Dig It! Archaeology Tour at James Madison’s Montpelier

April 21 at 1 p.m.

The Montpelier Archaeology Department is holding a series of monthly tours that highlight the many different components of the archaeological discovery process, including Locating, Excavating, Analyzing and Reconstructing archaeological sites on the property. On these tours, you will see sites that have been located by the archaeology department, and explore the ongoing excavations and analysis being conducted by our staff! 

April 21: Hands-on tour at the lab. $10/adults; $4/kids 6-14. To purchase tickets, visit here.


James Madison’s Montpelier is located at 11350 Constitution Highway, Montpelier Station. Visit Montpelier.org to learn more and plan your visit.

Written By

Savor Virginia

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