Educational Experiences at the Read House & Gardens

The Read House & Gardens is located in the heart of historic New Castle, Delaware’s colonial capital. The National Historic Landmark Read House, built between 1801 and 1803 for George Read, II (son of George Read I, the signer of the Declaration of Independence and framer of the Constitution), stands as a living history teaching tool to encourage students to compare and contrast their daily lives with life in the past.

All Read House School programs enhance and reinforce the Common Core Curriculum Standards and the Delaware State Content and Framework Standards.

Enrich your field trip experience by booking the New Castle Adventure tour. Students will cross over cobblestone streets, walk to and learn about historic town sites, visit the New Castle Court House Museum, the Dutch House, and Amstel House for a full day of adventure.

To schedule a school tour, please call (302) 295-3284 or email 


Introducing the Read House

Step back in time to the nineteenth century! Students will compare and contrast daily life two hundred years ago to today’s modern life-styles on a tour of Mr. Read’s grand twenty-two room mansion. Students will explore period rooms through objects to learn how the Read family and servants worked and lived in the early 1800s.

$2.50 per student, 1 hour, Grades K-6

Common Core Curriculum Standards: SL.K-5th.1a-d, 2, 3



Servants' Lives at the Read House (Grades K-3)

Many servants worked for the Read family to maintain their wealthy lifestyle and impressive home. In the working section at the back of the mansion, interpreters will lead students through hands-on activities in the wash house and kitchen to discover what life was like for those who worked for the Read family.

$3.50 per student, 90 minutes (tour & activity)

History Standard 1, 2, 3, 4 Economics Standard 1, 2, Visual Arts Standard 3; Common Core Curriculum Standards: L.1st.1e, 2nd 1d/SL.K-5th.1a-d, 2, 3


Servants' Lives at the Read House (Grades 4-6)

What is the difference between an indentured servant and an enslaved person? What types of work did different servants do?  How much did it cost for the cook to prepare a meal for the family?  Students answer these questions through hands-on activities using primary source documents from the DHS collections, including the Read family account book.

$3.50 per student, 90 minutes.

History Standard 1, 2, 3, 4, Economics Standard 1, 2, Mathematics Standard 1, 7; Common Core Curriculum Standards: SL. 4th-5th 1a-2, 2, 3, 4/RI 4th -6th 1, 2, 3, 5,7.



Family and Childhood in the 1800s

Students compare and contrast families today with those in the 1800s as they experience the life of a Read child. Students will participate in hands-on activities in the front parlor, where families gathered together, as well as the nursery, where babies and young children lived, learned, played, and ate over 200 years ago. Students will take home and decorate a Reward of Merit, just as well-behaved school children did back in Mr. Read’s time.

$3.50 per student, 
90 minutes (tour & activity), Grades K-3

History Standard Two K-3, Three K-3a, Four K-3, Civics Standard One K-3b, Visual Arts Standard 3; Common Core Curriculum Standards: L.1st.1e 2nd 1d/SL.K-5th.1a-d, 2,



Read House History Detectives

Students step into the role of museum curators as they investigate the artifacts and primary source documents of the Read House. Using their new-found detective skills, students will uncover the story of three families and their servants who lived and worked in the house since 1803 and tour the home exploring change over time in technology. Add an optional activity to explore servant life at the Read House.

$4.00 per student, 2.5 hours, Grades 4-6.

History Standard 1, 2, 3, 4, Economics 1, 2, Mathematics Standard 7; Common Core Curriculum Standards: RI.4th-5th.1, 2, 3, 7, 9/SL.3rd-5th.1a-d, 2, 3


New Castle Adventure

Four history museums combine for a unique learning experience!  Discover adventure in our colonial capital's history. Explore the Read House, Court House, Dutch and Amstel Houses (optional walking tour).

2- 4 hours depending on teacher selections, Grades K-6, $2.50 - $7.00 per student



Walking Tours

Take a stroll along the historic cobblestone streets and brick alleys surrounding the Read House & Gardens to discover daily life from the 1600s to the 1800s in New Castle.
Common Core Curriculum Standards: SL.K-5th.1a-d, 2, 3

Walking Tour: The Strand

Explore life and business on George Read’s street; learn about transportation, the Delaware River, and Delaware’s first horse-drawn railroad. Discover the curiosities of fire plaques, busybodies, and boot scrapers!
30 minutes, Grades K-6, $1.00 per student 

Walking Tour: The Town

Explore town life along the Green and cobblestoned Market Street, surveying the town’s historic buildings and landmarks to imagine life in a bustling commercial town in the 1800s.
1 hour, Grades 3-6, $1.50 per student

To schedule a school tour, please call (302) 295-3284 or email


Delaware History Museum   |  Mitchell Center for African American Heritage   |   Old Town Hall   |   Research Library   |   Willingtown Square    |   Read House & Gardens  

(302) 655-7161
505 N. Market Street, Wilmington, DE 19801
copyright 2019

The Delaware Historical Society is the statewide, non-profit organization that explores, preserves, shares, and promotes Delaware history, heritage, and culture to strengthen our community.