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Children's books, slavery tours and chocolate mark February holidays

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This February, children’s books, special tours and chocolate will hold the sweet spot at Monticello to celebrate a month of holidays, including Black History Month, Valentine’s Day and Presidents Day.

Perhaps in honor of February as Black History Month, the Slavery at Monticello Tours will focus on the daily life of slaves at Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. Held on select weekend dates daily at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m., these tours are included in the general admission price to the plantation. Tour dates include: Feb. 1-2; Feb. 8-9; Feb. 15-16-17; and Feb. 22-23.

To enjoy a more detailed account of African American life at Monticello, reserve tickets ($27) for the special tour Waiting on Liberty: Slavery in Jefferson’s Great House. Two-and-a-half-hours long, these tours are held at 1:00 p.m. on the following weekend dates: Feb. 1-2; Feb. 8-9; Feb. 15-16-17; and Feb. 22-23.


  • Slavery at Monticello Tours
  • Waiting on Liberty: Slavery in Jefferson’s Great House
  • The History of Chocolate
  • Chocolate Today with Chef Dean Maupin of the C&O
  • The Grape and Bean
  • Children's Book Thomas Jefferson: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Everything
  • Toddler time with Monticello

Valentine’s Day at Monticello this year will be celebrated with a focus on chocolate, in three separate activities. The History of Chocolate will show how to make a chocolate beverage straight from the bean; Chocolate Today with Chef Dean Maupin of the C&O will demonstrate colonial methods of chocolate desert preparations in modern recipes; and Gabrielle Rausse will discuss The Grape and Bean and how to pair chocolates with Virginia wines. Ticket prices are as follows: All three sessions plus a Monticello House Tour is only $60; $45 for the Chocolate Today, House Tour, and the History of Chocolate; and only $20 for the chocolate and wine pairing course. The event will be held in the Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center on Sat., Feb. 15, from 12:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.; reservations are required.

Also on Sat., Feb. 15 from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Marie Kalman launches her new children’s book, Thomas Jefferson: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Everything at the Woodland Pavilion, of the Thomas Jefferson Visitor Center. This event is free and open to the public. Later that same day, from 2:00-4:00 p.m., Kalman will lead a children’s art activity, followed by a signing with the author.

Fridays in February (Feb. 7, 14, 21 and 28) are Toddler Time with Monticello. Specifically designed to introduce Thomas Jefferson to children from 18 months to 3 years old, these 30 minute programs include story-telling and crafts. The program begins at 9:30 a.m., in the Griffin room and tickets are $40.

Besides their regularly offered tours, Monticello offers additional events and activities on a monthly basis. Looking for the regular tours and then some? Use How to plan a trip to Monticello, near Charlottesville, Virginia , to design your next visit to Monticello.

Visit Monticello at 931 Thomas Jefferson Parkway in Charlottesville, VA 22902 or phone 434.984.9880 for more information. To plan the timing of your next visit, check out Annual Events at Thomas Jefferson's Monticello.

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