Frequently Asked Questions
Thank you for choosing to visit one of our historic properties. Historic Hudson Valley’s (HHV) educational programs are designed to meet your curriculum needs, support national learning standards, and take full advantage of the resources of our properties. Each of our sites has a story to tell and serves as a primary source for learning history.
We look forward to sharing these stories with you and your students.
Below you can find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions:
How do I get to the museum?
Address for GPS: 381 N Broadway, Sleepy Hollow, NY 10591
Van Cortlandt Manor
Address for GPS: 525 S Riverside, Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520
Washington Irving’s Sunnyside
Address for GPS: 3 W Sunnyside Lane, Irvington, NY 10533
Union Church of Pocantico Hills
Address for GPS: 555 Bedford Road, Pocantico Hills, NY 10591
Where can I find details about my program(s) or the museum?
All program descriptions and materials are available online at www.hudsonvalley.org/education/programs
More information about the sites can be found online at www.hudsonvalley.org/historic-sites
What if I need to change my reservation or discuss or make a payment?
All payment and reservation questions should be directed to Iris Cohen, our school programs reservationist, at 914.366.6988 or firstname.lastname@example.org
How should my students dress?
Dress for the outdoors! Programs are held rain, snow, or shine. Students, teachers, and chaperones should dress for the weather and wear appropriate footwear. Programs involve walking outdoors on unpaved and/or uneven surfaces.
What should I do when we arrive?
Please arrive 15 minutes before the start of your program. If you arrive late, your program will be shortened accordingly.
When you arrive at the site, students should wait on the bus while one teacher enters the Visitor Center or meets with the Education Program Associate. Please report the exact number of students and adults in the group. Outstanding fees, as well as fees for additional students and adults, will be due at this time.
We’re running a little late, what should I do?
If you anticipate a delay or if you must cancel on the day of the trip, please call our Education Hotline at 914.366.6913. This number is for day-of-use only.
The weather looks terrible. How do I know if you’re open?
Chances are if your school is open, so are we. If you’re unsure, please call our main office (914.631.8200) and listen to the greeting. Any site closures or delayed openings will be noted.
Can we eat lunch at the museum?
Philipsburg and Van Cortlandt: You are welcome to use the picnic tables on either site, which are available on a first-come, first-served basis. We regret that there is no indoor eating space. Food is not allowed in the historic core.
Sunnyside: You are welcome to use the picnic tables, which are available on a first-come, first-served basis. There is also an indoor eating option (max capacity 50 students) available on some days. Please ask for availability when making your reservation.
Other eating notes: If you plan to picnic before your program, please have students return non-disposable lunch items to the bus before starting the tour. If you plan to picnic after the tour, ask students to leave their lunches on the bus until after the tour.
The always important…restrooms?
Restrooms are available in each site’s Visitor Center. We do not have restrooms in the historic buildings, so please make sure students use the facilities either at School or in the Visitor Center before their tour begins.
If students need to use the facilities, they must be accompanied by an adult.
Will students visit all the buildings and all the rooms during their tour?
Each of our programs has specific educational objectives that require the use of different areas of our properties. Your students may not see all the buildings or every room on the site, but there will be lots that they will see and explore!
For the 2014-15 school year, all programs have been refreshed and updated to ensure that they align with the Common Core and with state learning standards. There may be some changes from how programs have been run in the past, but these changes are all based on ensuring a solid educational experience, while still maintaining the hands-on history approach that our visitors enjoy. We have also made some adaptations to encourage return visits in subsequent years, so students who visit our sites several times throughout their education will encounter something new each time.
What hands-on activities or demonstrations will we participate in?
Hands-on activities at Philipsburg Manor vary from season to season, in keeping with the farming community interpreted at this historic site. While your tour may include stops at the water mill, the farm, and the activity center, the specific activities will rotate through the year.
For the programs at Van Cortlandt Manor, you may discuss the activity options with our reservationist at the time you book your visit. Activities vary based on availability.In Through Young Eyes (K-2), students will make butter and work with textiles.
The Sunnyside programs include domestic activities that children would have participated in during the 18th century, including games, writing, storytelling. Please review the program descriptions to learn more about which activities are included in the different programs.
Will the entire group tour the site together?
Most of our historic buildings were not built for large groups of people! Unless you are a very small group (10-12 or less) you will be divided into groups.
Each group MUST have at least one chaperone with them.
Philipsburg Manor: Before you arrive, please assign your students to evenly divided groups according to the following formula: 15 or less students, one group; 16-30 students, two groups; 31-45, three groups; 46-60, four groups.
Sunnyside: Please assign your students to evenly divided groups of 10 or less.
Van Cortlandt Manor: An HHV staff member will contact you prior to your trip, and let you know how many groups your students will need to be divided into.
Union Church: One group, regardless of class size.
We have students with special needs, food allergies, or mobility concerns. Is there someone I should contact?
Yes. To discuss your upcoming program, please email Tina Trimble, Education Associate, at email@example.com. In your email, please indicate whether you wish to be contacted by email or by phone. If you wish to be contacted by phone, be sure to give your work, cell, or home phone number and indicate a time when you can be contacted.
For the protection of the houses and their artifacts, please note the following:
- No food or beverages (other than water) are allowed on the historic site.
- Water bottles must be closed when inside historic buildings.
- Gum is not allowed anywhere (removing gum from centuries-old furniture is our least favorite activity!)
- Video and still photography are not permitted inside the Manor House and may be restricted in other areas. Please ask to be sure.
- Students must be accompanied by a chaperone at all times.
For the enjoyment and learning environment of the tour, please note the following:
Cell phones: All visitors are strongly encouraged to silence cell phones and refrain from their use while on the historic site. If you or a chaperone must take a call please make sure that you are not within earshot of the students to prevent a disruption.
Texting: Students and adults are asked to refrain from texting during tours. We have found that students are easily distracted when they see their chaperones or teachers texting during a tour.
What are the roles of the chaperones?
We value our chaperones here at HHV. Without them, we cannot hold these programs. Chaperones can help us best when they are active observers of the program, helping with group movements, transitions, and observing the students for behavior and for understanding. If chaperones see that something needs to be clarified for students, they should feel free to ask the guide for further explanation or to repeat some information or a direction. We ask that chaperones with questions themselves hold their questions until after the guide is finished answering student questions in a space.
Is there a gift shop?
Philipsburg Manor and Sunnyside each have a Museum Shop, open May through December. Students must be chaperoned and in small groups when visiting the Museum Shop.
Goody Bags, each with an assortment of items, can be ordered ahead of time, at $5, $10, $20, or $30 a bag. More about Goody Bags (PDF). Please call Ginny Brentano in our gift shop at 914.631.3992, ext. 18, to arrange for goody bags.
Please be aware that the millpond bridge is temporarily closed to all foot traffic.