The New Castle Historical Society
offers a variety of tours for individuals, students and groups. Any
of the following tours can be arranged by contacting the New Castle
Historical Society at 302-322-2794.
NEW! Audio Tours
Historic New Castle
A perfect way for individuals to learn about New
Castle's 360+ history while exploring this National Historic
Landmark District at their own pace, the New Castle AudioWalk is
available for rent at the Amstel House Museum during regular
With over 40 stops included on the tour, visitors
can spend up to 2 hours enjoying a personal, private tour through
the Historic District.
For a shorter tour experience, we've designed a
30-minute tour using the most popular sites in New Castle - or you
can create your own experience by selecting which tour stops you are
The tour is available on a simple MP3 player. You
can use your own headphones/earbuds or we can provide you with
disposable earbuds that you can keep.
$5 per player ($4 is using your own headphones/earbuds)
NCHS Members: $1 per player (Free if
using your own headphones/earbuds)
When renting the tour, you must leave your
driver's license as collateral. MP3 players must be returned to the
Amstel House by 4 p.m. on the day of the rental to avoid being
charged a second day's rental, and to pick up your license.
Designed to meet the latest standards and curriculum requirements,
programs support New Directions Content Standards forSocial Studies
and English in Delaware.
Student tours are available
9:30-3:30, throughout the year.
Guided tours must be reserved in advance
and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Please call early for spring school
tours as they are very popular and we fill up fast!
Teachers are free and chaperones are
complimentary at a ratio of 1-8.Additional adults are $3.00.
Minimum number of students is 15 for
a group tour.School may pay for 15 students when the minimum is not reached.
Elementary Age Tours
Learn What Museums Do Tours:
Our Youngest Visitors
This program is a good introduction for
students to understand what a museum is and why museums collect
objects, for younger visitors, generally second graders.
Fee is $2.50 per student, minimum
of 15 students (or $45 for up to 15 students.)
The program is one hour with introductory
visits to the Amstel and Dutch Houses.
Students do hands-on activities in the
historic houses that demonstrate what a museum does by making
a collection, as well as learning about the Green Umbrella
(a children's book and an artifact.)
Now Tours: 2nd - 4th Graders
This program is designed for the youngest
visitors, generally second graders. Students visit the historic
houses and gardens (in season) where students compare and contrast
life in olden times with modern life.
Fee is $2.50 per student, minimum of
15 students (or $45 for up to 15 students.)
Reproduction artifacts are passed around
for the group to investigate.
Student skills that are developed:
comparing and contrasting, sharpening observation skills.
Adventure Tours: 4th – 6th Graders
This program is designed for students to step back in time as
they learn about the lives of men, women, and children living
in colonial New Castle. The tour is one hour in length, with visits
to the Amstel House and the Dutch House.
Fee is $2.50 per student, minimum of 15 students (or $45 for
up to 15 students)
Students are able to investigate reproduction artifacts.
We focus on enhancing the following: developing inquiry skills,
sharpening observation skills, making inferences, problem solving,
comparing and contrasting.
A teacher packet, Dutch Settlement in
is available from the Society’s Education Department, for
$10.00, which includes shipping and handling.
New Castle Tour of the Town Tours: 4th – 6th Graders
The program is designed for 4-6th
graders to learn about the history of Delaware's early capital
and premier colonial town.
The program includes visits to Amstel
and Dutch House, the New Castle Courthouse, and the Read House,
and is three hours in length. One call to the New Castle
Historical Society will set up this tour.
Lunch at Battery Park may be included
in the tour day, adding 30-60 minutes to the tour.
Fee is $2.50 for Amstel and Dutch Houses;
at the Read House, there is a fee. The Court House is free.
Middle and High School Tours
Be a History Detective Tours: 7th – 12th Graders
This tour gives older students a hands-on lesson about doing historical
research using primary documents. The program provides for student
detectives to weigh evidence from primary documents, analyze the
information, and explain their conclusions in a 90-minute session.
Students tour historic houses during which each student is provided
with copies of primary documents to analyze. The tour is followed
by a guide-led discussion of the materials. 1 _ hour at AH/DH, $4.
Lesson 1, How Amstel Families Lived, deals with Amstel House
families from the past.
Lesson 2, African-Americans in New Castle, discusses aspects
of African-American history in New Castle.
Lesson 3, Interpreting Photographs, provides historical photographs
for students to find clues and information about the past from
“reading” the photograph.
Lesson 4, Life in an Artisan Household in 1795, analyzes inventories
of room contents from the will of Mary Thompson, owner of the
Dutch House in the 18th century. (under development)
Lesson 5, Architecture in New Castle, studies five houses in
the vicinity of the Amstel House that are built by Van Dyke family
members, comparing the architectural features of each.
Walking Tour of Haunted New Castle: 6th-9th Graders
This tour includes ghost stories told throughout the town and at
the Amstel House. It intertwines ghost stories of historical figures
with mourning customs, grisly stories of the pillory and whipping
post in New Castle, the lives of sailors and mariners, the impact
of fire and war on townspeople, to provide a fun and informative
experience in October. 1 1/2 hr. at AH and walking tour, $6.
All Grade Levels
Holiday Houses in New Castle is a student tour which can be elaborated
for all grade levels, in which students learn about holiday customs
and traditions in colonial times, while touring the historic houses
which are decorated in December for a traditional feast during Governor
Nicholas Van Dyke’s residency at the Amstel House. At the
Dutch House, students learn about the Dutch tradition of St. Nicholas’
Eve celebration. 1 hour at AH/DH, $2.50.
Summer in New Castle is a tour for campers which can be modified
for all levels.
Other Student Tours
visit the Dutch and Amstel Houses for tours in which students
learn about the early life of colonial and revolutionary-era
Delaware as well as explore topics related to museum studies,
history, anthropology and archaeology..
Fee is $6 per student with no minimum.
school programming is available in the topics above.
Fee is $2.50
per student, with one free adult chaperone per 8 students.For additional adults on tour, fee is $3.50 per
adult. Minimum charge is $45.
available 11-3 p.m. throughout the year
Adult Group Tours
Historic House Tours
Visit two remarkable historic sites
in historic New Castle.
A tour of the Amstel House and Dutch House can be a memorable experience for your group.
See important architectural landmarks
of the region, admire beautiful and unique antiques, and learn
fascinating stories about the people who lived here.
The histories of the houses are intertwined
with prominent families, stretching from the origins of the
town in the 17th century through Revolutionary times and to
the twentieth century's important early preservationists.
A visit to the Amstel House
and Dutch House gardens provides a delightful way for
your group to enjoy gardens associated
with these two remarkable homes.
Guided tours of our gardens are available. You may choose
to tours the gardens only or combine guided garden tours
with guided tours of the Amstel & Dutch Houses.Specialized
tours for advanced gardeners are available by request. For
more information about our garden tours please see our Gardens
Hauntings In History Tours
Perfect for bus,
corporate, and other groups, our Hauntings In History tours
explore the darker side of New Castle's history through
history, folklore, legends, and ghost stories.
History tours begin with a tour of the Amstel House -
one of New Castle's most well-documented "haunted"
houses, and continue with a walking tour around the New
Castle historic area.
Tours can be scheduled during
the daytime or evening.
available throughout the year, but are particularly popular
Guided Walking Tours
tours of the New Castle Historic District are available
throughout the year.
Highlights of the
tour include the New Castle Court House, The Green, Immanuel
Church, The Arsenal, New Castle Presbyterian Church, and
Tours are either
30 or 60 minutes in length and may be combined with tours of
the Amstel and Dutch Houses. Allow 2 hours if adding both
Group Tour Pricing
Historic House Tours for both
Amstel and Dutch Houses are $8 per person. The minimum number
for a group is 10 visitors.
Garden Tours are 60 minutes
in length and are $10 per person. They may be combined with
tours of the
Amstel and Dutch Houses (2 hours total) for $16 per person. The minimum number
for a group is 10 visitors.
Hauntings In HistoryTours
are 1 hour and 15 minutes in length, and are $10 per person.
Guided Walking Tours:
30 Minute Tour - $6 per person
60 Minute Tour - $9 per person
30 Minute Tour with Amstel
& Dutch Houses - $12 per person
Group tours are available throughout
the year and may be combined with visits to the New Castle Courthouse
and Read House & Gardens, by request.
Other tours of New Castle, which
include additional historic sites, are available on request
and are priced accordingly.
Group Tour Information
Buses drop off visitors at the bus-unloading
zone on Second Street, across from the Arsenal at Old New Castle
restaurant.Buses then park at the bus parking zone
at Fourth and Chestnut Street for the duration of the visit and
pick up guests at the same unloading zone at the end of the tour
Adult groups may make luncheon arrangements at Jessop's
Tavern or Nora Lee's French Quarter Bistro, which
may be available for hosting group luncheons.
Make HistoricNew Castle your first
stop in Delaware! Spend the day experiencing the town's
history, and then consider extending your stay in Delaware to visit
locale. For an overview of all Delaware has to offer,
view the Delaware Loves Buses video produced by the Delaware
Tourism Office (below.)
As an added incentive, the Delaware Tourism office offers
participation in their Motorcoach Rewards program, rewarding
groups for visiting any attraction in Delaware. See their site