Hunter House goes to New Orleans!

Last week, our Museum Experience Coordinator and Director ventured to the 2019 American Alliance of Museums Conference in New Orleans. It was hot! And rainy. But, it was such a great experience and they learned so much from the many presentations they attended.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, outdoor and closeup

Our Director, Jackie Spainhour, was there to present a talk on her upcoming book Museums and Millennials: Engaging the Coveted Patron Generation. The room was packed- people even sat on the floor! Everyone was excited to see what museums are doing to get those working adults involved in their facilities- and how we can do better.

Image may contain: 1 person, standing and indoor

When not learning about how to be more inclusive, do better programs, and create awesome exhibits, they hit the town! There were so many fun places and museums in New Orleans- and the people were so friendly.

Image may contain: house and outdoor
Image may contain: outdoor and text
Image may contain: plant and outdoor
Image may contain: sky, cloud, house and outdoor
Image may contain: cloud, sky and outdoor

It was such a fun time! Thanks for following along with us!

Museum Director Named 2019 VAM Fellow

We would like you to join us in congratulating our Museum Director, Jackie Spainhour, in being one of two museum professionals chosen to receive the Virginia Association of Museum’s 2019 Leadership and Advocacy Fellowship. This is such an honor!

unnamed (1)

Jackie will be focusing her research on improving accessibility for children and adults on the autism spectrum at museums across the state. Her son was recently diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, so this topic is near and dear to her heart. Please send her your good wishes when you see her at the museum!

If you have any input on this topic, she would love to hear it! You can email her at to provide input.

Take your kids to museums!

As a mother and museum enthusiast, our Director decided to make her goal for 2018 simple: make the museum a fun place little ones. In January, the museum began offering a children’s membership program to accomplish this goal. The children range in age from toddlers to preteens and are able to enjoy one event each month as part of their membership. The annual fee is $30 per child, or $50 for up to four children in one family, and the fee covers the entire year’s worth of activities. It really is a deal!

Some of the events the museum has offered this year include parlor games, valentines, story times, an egg hunt, afternoon teas, and a fairyland day. We still have fun programs planned for the rest of the year- a teddy bear sleepover, a paper doll tea, fall festival, making thank you cards, and a morning with Mrs. Claus. We are really looking forward to spending the rest of the year with your little ones.

If you are interested in joining us, the rate is prorated after June 1, 2018 to $15 per child or $30 for up to four children and will include participation for the remainder of the events. Simply visit our membership page, download the form, and send it in to us. The information can be found here:

Here is a sneak peek at the Blue Willow Tea we held in June. The children were given an afternoon tea with sandwiches and sweets, read a story about the Blue Willow china pattern, and created their own Blue Willow designs on paper plates. It was a delightful afternoon in our garden!


Privacy is very important to us. These images are used with the permission of the parents of these two adorable little girls. Thank you!

And don’t forget! Our free story time with the Governess will take place on Thursdays at 11 am through the end of August. No reservations required!


Wedding Dresses on Parade

Visit us any time between June 1st and July 27th to view our special summer exhibit:

“Bid Adieu to Girlish Days: Wedding Gowns of a Bygone Era”

This exhibit features turn-of-the-century wedding dresses that have been donated to the museum. Of particular note is the wedding suite donated by the Baldwin family featuring items from the 1912 wedding between the Couper and Baldwin families. This suite includes the wedding gown, engraved invitation plate, guest book, wedding accessories, and more. We are grateful to be the caretakers of such an important piece of Norfolkian history.

Many of the gowns on display are accompanied by photographs of the bride. Additionally, there is a discussion of the importance of preservation and conservation, as well as fabric swatches for visitors to touch as an interactive portion of the exhibit.

We hope you will come visit us! The exhibit will last only a few months, and is included in your regular tour admission.

New: Visit our Victorian Kitchen Garden!

NEW FOR 2018:

The museum is delighted to announce the completion of a new permanent outdoor exhibit featuring vegetables, herbs, and flowers typical of a Victorian kitchen garden. This project is the culmination of work completed by Ava Gonzalez, a museum volunteer, for her Girl Scout Gold Award. We are honored to have been able to work with Ms. Gonzalez and are thrilled to share her efforts with you.

Self-Guided Tour brochures are available in our garden under the exhibit’s welcome sign beginning June 2018. If you would like to schedule a more detailed tour of this section of the museum for a group, please contact the museum at 623-9814.

Download the self-guided tour brochure here: Garden Pamphlet Final

Read more about Ava and her efforts here:

Watch an interview with Ava here: