How To Enter The Ford MansionPark visitors may enter the Ford Mansion, which served as Washington's Headquarters, by joining a guided tour of the building. Tours are offered by the National Park Service and volunteers on days that the park buildings are open to the public. There is also an accessibilty book available online and at the museum visitor services desk for those unable to join the tour in person. The book features photos and descriptions of all rooms used on the tour.
Joining A Tour
When you arrive to the Washington's Headquarters area of the park, proceed to the Museum Front Desk and ask about Ford Mansion tours. Tours are limited, and you may not be able to take the next available tour. If there is space available, you will be issued a free tour ticket for each member of your group.
Tour tickets enable you to enter the Ford Mansion with a guided tour, and are available at the front desk of the Headquarters Museum. Tickets are free of charge, limited in number, and issued only at the museum desk on the day of the tour. Tickets are issued on a first come, first served basis to those inquiring in person at the museum desk. Tickets may not be held or reserved, whether by telephone or online. If you are holding a ticket, and no longer wish to join the tour, please return it to the front desk so it may be issued to another guest as soon as possible. Tickets are required for every individual in your party that will enter the mansion - even the very youngest!
Beginning The Tour
Once it is time for your tour to begin, the tour group assembles in the front lobby of the museum by the bust of General Washington. The tour leader will introduce themselves and conduct the tour out of the museum and toward the Ford Mansion. Tour tickets will not be collected at this point, though it is a good time to check if you have them.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Ford Mansion Tour
May I enter the Mansion by myself?
No. You must be part of a guided tour in order to enter the Ford Mansion.
When are tours available?
Tours are available every day that the Museum building is open to the public, with rare exceptions made for special circumstances. You may always check our website's Alerts and Conditions page, or call the museum front desk (973-539-2016, x210) for the latest information.
Can I leave the tour early?
Yes. Please inform your guide that you would like to exit the mansion. Under most circumstances, you will not be able to rejoin a tour in progress. If you are still holding a tour ticket, please return it to park staff at your earliest convenience.
I have a ticket, but arrived in the museum lobby after my tour time and the group left. Can I still join the tour?
You may easily join the tour group at any point before the tour enters the Ford Mansion. There is often a five to ten minute window where the group is outside between the Museum entrance and the front door of the Ford Mansion.
Entering the Ford Mansion
There is a pathway between the Museum entrance and the front door of the Ford Mansion. Tour groups follow the guide along this path, occasionally stopping to hear more about the Ford family, the mansion, and Washington's stay. Once at the front door, guests ascend a short stair to the front door before entering the mansion. At this point, tour guides collect tickets, so be sure you have your tour ticket handy. Guests without tickets are free to listen to the guide while they are outside on the grounds, but may not be permitted to enter the mansion's interior without a ticket.
Inside the Mansion
Groups move from the first floor to the second and back again through the hallways of the mansion, looking into the rooms through open doorways. The house is furnished to appear as it did during General Washington's stay during the Hard Winter of 1779. Please remain with your group during the tour - do not wander off or lag behind when the group moves on. Follow your tour guide's instructions to ensure a smooth and orderly tour, for your group and the next.
Photography is permitted inside the mansion, though guests are cautioned to be mindful of their fellow group members, remain aware of their surroundings, and that they may not enter the rooms.
During your tour, the group ascends and descends historic stairways, which may be more narrow and steep than stairs used today. Use caution, move slowly, and make use of the handrails. As always, if you need assistance, please let your guide know.
There are several chairs placed in the major hallways of the mansion. These chairs may be used by guests to sit during the tour.
After the Tour
Guests exit the house through the front door and down the short stair located there. Once the tour concludes, you may not reenter the mansion, unless as part of another tour, which would require another ticket. You are encouraged to explore the grounds and museum if they are still open.
Last updated: September 18, 2022