Educational Programs

 School Programs 

Our school programs allow students to experience the past in a historic house setting that complements the students’ classroom learning by encouraging curiosity and critical thinking. Our tours, conducted by trained museum interpreters, align with the New York State Education Teaching Standards.

Family Life Tour: Learn about 18th and 19th Century Community and Family Life, Be Your Own Family Historian!

Grades 2-3 or for Grades 4-5

1 and one half  hours

Students tour the historic house with costumed experienced docents, and are immersed in the customs and everyday life of people living on Long Island in the Victorian and Colonial periods. Raynham Hall is a museum dedicated to the history of the Townsend family who lived here for almost 200 years. Your visit is in two parts: 1) students will tour period rooms, observe curious, beautiful objects,  and learn family stories relating to them. They will participate in hands-on examination of period objects.  They will think about changes over the centuries in the technology of everyday things, like lighting, transportation and communications. 2) The students will attend a workshop on family trees and learn how to build their own tree from scratch. Students will learn how to collect and save family memorabilia to create a family “collection,” just like a museum! The museum will provide the students with a template of a genealogical tree and teach them how to fill it in. They will come away with some idea of how things have changed over a long period of time. The objective is to develop student’s historic sensibility by thinking about their own family history and community. This is a perspective on history that few children have, but is valuable for real understanding and critical thinking.

$7 per student, teachers and four chaperones are free. Scholarships are available for schools in need, as long as funding permits.

The Colonial & Revolutionary War Era – 1740-1790

Grades 4-5

2 hours

Costumed, experienced docents lead students through the historic house and gardens. They learn the exciting role the Townsend family played during the American Revolution, especially that of Robert Townsend, a spy for General Washington known as “Culper Jr.” Consider family life, gender roles, childhood, transportation, and leisure activities as they existed in Colonial America. Students are given the opportunity to explore the museum inside and out and ask questions. Learn the Culper Code, the system used by the Spy Ring in invisible ink! Become a spy for George Washington by learning the techniques of spy craft, reporting on troop and vessel movements in Long Island Sound! Students examine hands-on colonial and reproduction artifacts and learn how they worked in every day life.

$7 per student, teachers and four chaperones are free. Scholarships are available for schools in need , as long as funding permits.

 Custom Tours

All ages

We look forward to tailoring your experience at Raynham Hall to meet the needs of your group, be it a book club, a senior tour or a an alumni association. Raynham Hall offers specialized tours featuring original documents and artifacts, using historical resources to reinforce and enrich student learning.

School for Spies 

We offer a tour lead by a colonial costumed interpreter which explores the spycraft of the Culper Spy Ring. Visitors will learn the trade and techniques of 18th century espionage, including making messages in invisible ink using the original Culper Code.

Children’s and Boy and Girl Scout Programs

Raynham Hall is the perfect venue for Scouts and other children’s groups wishing to work on specific badges or other interests throughout the year, including during the summer. We offer specialized workshops in Children’s Etiquette, Victorian and Colonial Home Life, including soap-making, candle-making, corn husk dolls, herb gardening, stitchery and of course, our School for Spies. A minimum of 10 participants is required.

Adults Programs

Author Lecture Series: Spymasters -The Use of Intelligence in a Dangerous World, Wednesday, September 23

We offer an author lecture series throughout the year, featuring three distinguished, well known authors as speakers. Our 2014 series, “The Uses of Espionage in a Dangerous World,” included authors Nelson DeMille, Brian Kilmeade and Evan Thomas. Our 2015 lecture has presented The Honorable Charles E. Allen in collaboration with the Masters Series at the Union Club in New York. On Wednesday, September 23 , again in collaboration with the Union Club, we are pleased to present Joseph Kanon, best-selling author of Leaving Berlin, (2015) a post-World War II thriller set in spy-infested Germany. This event includes a cocktail reception. Tickets are $25. Please call the museum for reservations as seats are limited. 516-922-6808

Colonial Day! Sunday, September 27, Noon- 4pm

Step into the past at our second annual Colonial Day! Join us for a family-friendly afternoon for history lovers as Raynham Hall is filled with costumed adult and child re-enactors who bring the 18th century to life with period music played on historic instruments, colonial cooking demonstrations and musket firings! The Order of the Ancient and Honorable Huntington Militia, founded in 1653, will encamp on the grounds of the museum, immersing visitors in the life and military world of our Revolutionary forebears. The historic house will be the setting for a theatrical confrontation between Patriots and Loyalists in secret spy and colonial merchant Robert Townsend’s store. FREE and open to the public. Lemonade will be served. RAIN DATE: October 4th.

The Victorian Artist Club

Raynham Hall offers a study/support group devoted to historic methods of painting and drawing. The idea that anyone who wants to do art CAN do it if they are patient and willing to follow the methods of the past. Instructor Michael Goudket ( B.F.A., M.A.), is an accomplished watercolorist specializing in historic techniques. Membership in the Club includes participation in five distinct classes using historic techniques a year. Classes are held at the museum, using the garden in season. Materials are available at every class. 

For more information on all programs, please call or email Alex Sutherland, Director of Education, at 516-922-6808 or for more information