The New Castle Historical Society
offers a variety of tours for individuals, students and groups. Any
of the following tours can be arranged by completing our online field trip reservation request form or by contacting the New Castle
Historical Society Office at 302-322-2794.
NEW! Audio Tours Historic New Castle
Click here to download a .pdf map to guide you through our AudioWalk.
Click here to download our 2015 Complete AudioWalk Tour .mp3 file for your personal device
please click the link above and listen with your pre-installed MP3 player LISTEN ONLINE: SAVE FILE TO YOUR DEVICE: To save the .MP3 file to your computer and transfer to your device, RIGHT-CLICK the above link and choose "Save Target As" and save the file to a folder / location on your computer.
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 download from our website.
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 online as a simple MP3 file. You
can use your own device and headphones/earbuds to enjoy this tour while you're in Historic New Castle.
School Tours NCHS announces new hands-on field trip activities for 4th-6th graders! NEW!
Introducing new hands-on student tours at the Amstel House and Dutch House: , which compares social networking in colonial times to the social media of our time. Students participate in the ritual of "taking tea" socially, as hosted by Governor Van Dyke's wife, explore civility and manners and delve into the world of servants. At the Amstel House, you'll experience "Social Networking" in Colonial New Castle introduces students to three generations of one family of craftsmen, the Silsbee family, who were blacksmiths and carpenters. Students will explore the house, discovering objects made by hand and then handle the carpenter tools up close, identifying jobs that each performed. 1 1/2 hours, $3.00 per student. Can be combined with a tour of other sites in New Castle. Addl. fees for other sites may apply. At the Dutch House, "At The Artisan's Home"
Your students will be engaged by the hands-on interactivity of this new program! In addition, you can combine the Amstel House & Dutch House programs
WITH a guided walking tour of Historic New Castle for a full history of our town. 2 hours, $4.50 per student.
Encounter the authentic setting of a historic town on the lovely Delaware River.
Learn on a walking tour around the town green and view its civic buildings: the 1799 Academy, 1809 Arsenal, 1703 Immanuel Church on the Green, the Sheriff's Office and Court House.
Explore the alleys and experience the allure of early cobblestone streetscapes.
Examine how the early settlers in the New World lived at this diminutive Dutch House.
Learn about the early period of settlement when this craftsman's house was young.
Imagine the lifestyle and traditions from early America.
Also available is our standard tour of four museums in New Castle (see below New Castle Tour of the Town). The student activities, Social Networking in Colonial New Castle and At The Artisan's Home, are also included in this on-going tour.
Our school tours are designed to meet the latest standards and curriculum requirements,
p rograms support New Directions Content Standards for
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 $3.00 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 $3.00 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 $3.00 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 4-6 th
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 $3.00 for Amstel and Dutch Houses;
Fee also charged by the Read House; 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
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 1/2 hours at AH/DH, $3.00.
Holiday Houses in New Castle
is a tour for campers which can be modified
for all levels.
Summer in New Castle
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 $7 per student with no minimum.
school programming is available in the topics above.
Fee is $3.00
per student, with one free adult chaperone per 8 students.
For additional adults on tour, fee is $3.00 per
adult. Minimum charge is $45.
T ours are
available 11-3 p.m. throughout the year
Adult Group 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.
tours for advanced gardeners are available by request. For
more information about our garden tours please see our
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
Group Tour Information
Buses drop off visitors at the bus-unloading
zone on Second Street, across from the Arsenal, just past the New Castle Presbyterian Church. Drop-off zone signs are posted.
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
Tavern, Nora Lee's French Quarter Bistro or Traders Cove at Penns Place which
may be available for hosting group luncheons.
New Castle your first
stop in Delaware! Spend the day experiencing the town's
history, and then consider extending your stay in Delaware to visit
. 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