What will my tour experience be?

You will be greeted by a guide dressed in early 1900's attire and be personally-guided on an in-depth excursion through 200 years of men’s and women’s hats. You will leave this experience armed with enough information to speak confidently with others on the subject of hats. This nearly 2000-piece, diverse assemblage of hats has something for all visitors: historical hats dating as far back as 1820; hats from all eras; hats from Hollywood movies and famous designers; and hats made from a variety of materials, including cork, horsehair, mushrooms, feathers, silk, and intricately spun straw.

You will hear a series of vibrant, interesting stories that take them on a chronological tour throughout history. You will gain knowledge of how history and hats have gone hand-in-hand, why dramatic changes in the style and function of hats have occurred, and reasons for the decline of hat-wearing. You will also learn of the massive industries that have come and gone with the evolution of hats, and that that evolution includes interesting and obscure facts (ie: a few women developing a way to prevent hats from causing the extinction of birds and leading to the establishment of the Audubon Society.)

Are there any restrictions or special instructions?

  • Minimum age of 12

  • Many flights of stairs and the group must stay together

  • Standing for 30-40 minutes at a time

  • No food or drink inside the museum

  • No photography, as many of these millinery gems cannot be exposed to accidental flashes of light

  • Only street parking is available

  • Please arrive 10 minutes prior to your tour time, as all tours start promptly. There is seating on the porch.

  • Prepare to be wowed by the plethora of interesting, historical information and gorgeous examples of hats! Warning: People have been known to swoon!