One of the city's few remaining pre-Revolutionary buildings, the Morris-Jumel Mansion served as George Washington's headquarters for the Continental Army and the American "war room" for the Battle of Harlem Heights. In the early 1800s, Stephen Jumel bought and restored the mansion, hence its hyphenated name. Today, the mansion showcases furniture and artifacts-including an 18th-century bed, two chairs believed to have been owned by Napoleon and a Colonial kitchen. The house has been a museum since 1904 and hosts historical exhibitions, music concerts and family workshops.
The mansion offers a potpourri of family-oriented events throughout the year: August's annual Jazz Festival, the Halloween Storytelling Event, and the Welcome Mat Workshops on subjects relating to the mansion and the neighborhood. Craft-based activities explore subjects ranging from jazz history to weaving. There is a Holiday Open House at Christmastime and a summer Family Day with tours, games, crafts and more.
Age-appropriate guided tours focus on American history and various aspects of the mansion's design. Children in Pre-Kindergarten through grade 2 learn about the shapes used in the mansion's architecture and design. Older children can see maps from George Washington's time. Other programs are offered to students of all ages or grades in combination, including a Washington Heights walking tour, a hands-on experience of domestic life, an exploration of the surrounding architecture and a general tour focusing on daily life in the 18th and 19th centuries. The Education Department can custom-design programs to meet the educational needs of teachers.