Historic Tours & Programs


Tours and Educational Programs

Private guided tours for adult groups and educational programs for students or scouts are available for a fee. All tours are tailored for group needs, educational standards, and interests. Tours require advanced reservations. To arrange educational programs or tours of city-owned historic buildings email Susan.gray@fairfaxva.gov or call 703-385-8415.


Docents from Historic Fairfax City, Inc. will lead walking tours of Old Town Fairfax on Saturdays, May 7, June 4, July 2, August 6, September 3, and October 1.

Tours lasting approximately 90 minutes will begin at 10 a.m. in front of the Historic Fairfax County Courthouse, corner of Chain Bridge Road and Main Street, and include a short tour of the Ratcliffe-Allison House, 10386 Main Street. 

Cost:  $10/adults; $5/youth, ages 6-12, children 6 and under are free. Family rate (three or more) $25. For reservations, call: Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center at 703-385-8414.

All proceeds benefit the preservation of the City of Fairfax’s public historic properties.

Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center "Second Sunday" Program

Programs are held at 2 p.m. on the second Sunday of each month. Unless otherwise noted, programs are held at the Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center, 10209 Main Street. Free (unless noted). Check back to find out about additional programs planned throughout the year. Information: 703-385-8414.


Sunday, July 10

Lipstick Brigade: The Untold Story of Washington’s World War II Government Girls—Join historian and author Cindy Gueli for the personal stories of some 100,000 young women recruited from across the nation to staff wartime government positions. Book sale/signing will follow the talk.

Sunday August 14 

 Book Talk with David Guillaudeu, co-author of The Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Revisited


Sunday, September 11 – Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center

Susan Kelly as “The Yankee Schoolmarm”--Enjoy a preview of the new exhibition,Chalkboards to Smartboards: Education in Fairfax County.” Learn about school days in the nineteenth century.


Sunday, October 9 – Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center

“The Mystery of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Postage Stamp Quilt”--Kyra E. Hicks, author and historian of African-American quilting traditions, will tell the story of Indiana quilter Estella Weaver Nuke and her gift to President Roosevelt.


 Sunday, November 13 – Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center

“Discovering Colchester’s History”--Christopher Sperling, Senior Archaeologist with Fairfax County Park Authority, will share discoveries from his work at Colchester, a bustling port on the Occoquan River in 1700s. 


Sunday, December 11—Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center

“American Holiday Postcards, 1905-1915:  Imagery and Context

Book talk and signing with Daniel Gifford from George Mason University, who will discuss the uses and meanings of holiday cards in the early twentieth century. 


Civil War Interpretive Center at Historic Blenheim

Information: 703-591-0560.  Historic Blenheim Civil War Interpretive Center Program Series Programs are free and held at 2 p.m. on Saturdays (unless otherwise noted) at the Civil War Interpretive Center at Historic Blenheim, 3610 Old Lee Highway.  For home page please click here .


 Saturday, July 23, 2 p.m.

"The Civil War and the Two Fairfax Courthouses"-- Katrina Krempasky and Heather Bollinger of the Fairfax Circuit Court Historic Records Division, will share the stories of the physical building in present day City of Fairfax abandoned during the war and the continuation of the Court held in the West End at Bruins House and Jail under the Restored Government of Virginia. 

Saturday August 27, 2p.m.

"PTSD and the Civil War"--Join Beth White, president of the Lynchburg Civil War Round Table as she examines the psychological burdens felt by Civil War soldiers long past the end of the war.  She uses example from the 11th Virginia Infantry, C.S.A'

 Saturday, September 24, 2p.m.  --Fall for the Book

"The Battle of Bristoe Station ,'Myths and Memory'”  Authors Rob Orrison and Bill Backus, with the Prince William County Historic Preservation Division, will discuss the many myths surrounding the Battle of Bristoe Station. The Battle of Bristoe Station was the last major battle of the Civil War in Prince William County. Backus’  recent book and Orrison's “A Want of Vigilance” will also be for sale.

 Saturday, October 22, 2 p.m.  -- Historic Blenheim –

"Tournaments in Fairfax County and Fairfax Court House." Historian Jeanne Niccolls will present her research on jousting tournaments, a dominant form of chivalric entertainment, in the antebellum and post-Civil War periods. 

Saturday, November 19, 2 p.m.—Historic Blenheim

"Clashing Dynasties: Charles Francis Adams and James Murray Mason in the Fiery Cauldron of Civil War"-- Book talk and signing by Gerard Gawalt.  “Clashing Dynasties” is the epic story of two grandson of two founders of the American Republic who followed two very different roads in life to arrive at the same critical crossroad of the Civil War.

 Sunday, December 4, 2016,  Noon-4p.m. SPECIAL DATE and TIME

"Christmas in Camp"

Other Information of Interest

Volunteers and docents are sought for the city's historic buildings: Ratcliffe-Allison House, Historic Blenheim and the Civil War Interpretive Center and Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center. Additionally, volunteers may be interested in assisting with walking tours and special events. For information email or call 703-385-8415.

The city has published a free self-guided walking tour brochure that provides a brief history of the city and noteworthy buildings in the Old Town Fairfax Historic District. This brochure is available from the Fairfax Museum and Visitor Center, 10209 Main Street, or call 703-385-8414.

Select historic buildings are open during city special events, including the Chocolate Lovers Festival, Civil War Weekend, Independence Day Celebration, Fall Festival and Festival of Lights and Carols. To arrange group tours of city-owned historic buildings email or call 703-385-8414.