School, Youth & Home School Tours

Book a School Tour

Student Tours

Our student tours are designed to make meaningful connections to the Connecticut Curriculum Content Standards through inquiry-based, active learning. Trained professional museum guides engage students in observation and discussion, helping to develop analytical and critical-thinking skills in students of all ages, from pre-school to college and beyond.

  • Generous grant funding from the SBM Charitable Foundation provides FREE fieldtrips and outreach for schools (k-12) in East Hartford, Manchester, and Rockville/Vernon (subject to availability).
  • Other scholarships and discounts may be available.  We work with every teacher to determine the best program and corresponding value for each school group.
  • See Scheduling, Pricing & Logistics for Educators for details
  • Learn how a tour might inspire creativity in your students, see Goodwin School’s Thank You (PDF).
  • For a selection of art created by students at Hill-Stead see Student Artwork.

Available Tours

“Students are exposed to some of the most important Impressionist paintings in the world [providing] an invaluable experience to discover unique qualities, which may not be apparent in reproductions …. stimulating improved critical thinking and language skills as well as increasing motivation in studio work. The museum presented our students with a wide-ranging docent-lead tour and art-making experience that incorporated aesthetics, art history, and conversations evaluating artwork that met National Core Arts Standards. This experience made a powerful and lasting impression on our students and helped to expand their perception of art.”
– Joseph Vernali, Bowers Elementary, Manchester


Themed Tours

hallwayHILL-STEAD HIGHLIGHTS

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  • One-hour tour recommended for Pre-K through Grade 12 and beyond
  • Hill-Stead Highlights will transport you and your students to an era of horses and carriages, gas lamps, and the Impressionists.

Engage your students in the exploration of history, art, and architecture as they tour the 1901 Colonial Revival home of the Pope and Riddle families. Learn about the family as industrialists, world-travelers, art collectors and philanthropists. Hear the stories of their late-1880’s Grand Tour of Europe. Discover the Pope family’s collection of art treasures, most notably the works of Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Mary Cassatt, James McNeill Whistler, the bronze sculptures of Antoine-Louis Barye, and the many decorative arts that grace this expansive home. Theodate Pope Riddle was one of America’s pioneering women architects; this tour presents a memorable look at one of her greatest accomplishments – her family home.

This tour is designed to align with a range of national learning standards including the Common Core State Standards and the National Core Arts Standards.


 School-Grouip-with-DegasAT HOME WITH THE IMPRESSIONISTS

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  • One-hour tour recommended for Pre-K through Grade 12 and beyond
  • Meet Monet and friends at Hill-Stead.

Take a close, critical, and unhurried look at some of the most significant paintings in the history of art: works by Impressionist masters. See the art as the family that traveled the world to find them did. Discover Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Mary Cassatt, and the works of American artist James McNeill Whistler, all collected by Alfred Atmore Pope for the enjoyment of his family, friends, and guests—like you! Study the Popes’ collection of 18th- to 19th-century Japanese woodblock prints. Learn from family correspondence about the friendships the Pope family made with the leading artists of the day, including Monet, Whistler, and Cassatt. Tour the home, and consider how life in a genteel drawing room of the early 20th-century compares to today’s world.

This tour is designed to align with a range of national learning standards including the Common Core State Standards and the National Core Arts Standards.


MW-in-Green-RoomBIENVENUE AU MUSÉE HILL-STEAD

  • 1-hour tour recommended for Grade 6 and through Grade 12 and beyond
  • Les Peintures! Les Sculptures! Les Estampes! Students will find France in Farmington!
  • Give your students even more of France with a 15-minute trip to Hill-Stead’s archive to view rarely seen artifacts from our archival collection.

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Hear the stories of the Popes’ travels in France, during their 1888-89 Grand Tour, and their fervent collecting of objects from France that followed. View Monet’s en plein air paintings of the Giverny countryside, Degas’ jockeys and ballerinas, Manet’s scenes from bohemian life, and Eugène Carrière’s woman with a red flower. Tour Hill-Stead, the Pope family’s 1901 Farmington home, the lavish showcase for their extraordinary collection.

While the tour is conducted in English, it includes French vocabulary and introduces World Language students to important aspects of French culture.  French-speaking guides are available by request pending guide availability.

This tour is designed to align with a range of national learning standards including the Common Core State Standards, the National Core Arts Standards, and the Connecticut World Language Curriculum Framework


TOUR ADD-ON OPTIONS

Plein Air SketchingCREATE A MASTERPIECE EN PLEIN AIR

After a tour of Hill-Stead Museum, students will feel inspired to create a masterpiece of their very own. Museum teachers lead this activity outdoors, where students can create “plein air” sketches like the Impressionist painters. Afterward, students head to the Education Station to add watercolor paint and finishing touches. Teachers can follow-up with a classroom exhibition of the student work!


Archives-for-web

VISIT THE ARCHIVES

Hill-Stead’s archives are a rich repository of primary resource documents. Items stored here include letters, photographs, limited edition prints, mementos, and postcards not normally on display in the house. A custom-designed visit to the archives will greatly enhance the museum experience. An activity may be included  to take back to the classroom or complete at Hill-Stead.


poetry-in-a-pouch

ART & POETRY

Following their tour of the Museum, students will further explore the idea of inspiration as they work collaboratively to create art and/or poetry projects connected to painting and poems in the Hill-Stead collection. Students work independently and contribute to a group project that is satisfying and rewarding to all artistic levels.


Jockey

 

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

After a tour of the museum, students will further explore artistic creation in both the visual arts, by creating group collage projects, and the language arts, by composing Cinquain-styled poetry. This activity is recommended for students in grades 6-12 and is particularly well-suited for French students and students with varying levels of artistic skill.


Customized Tours

In addition to themed tours, our educators enjoy working with teachers to develop tours based on specific interests, or that connect to individual classroom curriculum or align with specific grade levels. To discuss these customized tours, please contact Kate Ebner, Director of Educational Programs, at 860.677.4787 ext. 142 or ebnerk@hillstead.org.