Picture of First State Heritage Park

First State Heritage Park


Find Your Adventure at First State Heritage Park

Walking tour at First State Heritage Park

Take a Walking Tour

Join historical interpreters in 18th-century clothing as you walk through Dover’s historic Green and learn about the lives and times of the people who lived here across three centuries.

Legislative Hall in downtown Dover, Delaware

Visit Legislative Hall, the State Capitol

Tour the grand, Georgian-style building that has been home to Delaware’s General Assembly since 1933. Guided tours are offered most days throughout the year.

The Old State House at First State Heritage State Park

Stamp your National Park Service Passport

The Old State House is part of the First State National Historical Park. Visit the Old State House—Delaware’s first permanent capital building—to receive your National Park passport stamp.

Lantern Tour at First State Heritage State Park

Superintendent’s Pick: Take A Lantern Tour

Experience Dover with only your lantern to light the way. Hear true stories of historic Dover in generations past. These reservation-only tours are offered on select Thursday and Friday nights in the spring, summer, and fall.

About the Park

Delaware’s first urban park without boundaries, First State Heritage Park explores the stories of remarkable Delawareans and innovative governance in the First State. Interpreters clothed head-to-toe in Revolutionary garb await to lead visitors in signature thematic walking tours, seasonal lantern-lit programs, craft workshops, and special events highlighting bygone eras. Oriented around the Dover Green, where Revolutionary soldiers marched, the US Constitution was ratified, Freedom Seekers escaped slavery, and crusading suffragists expanded equality, there is so much to discover in this historic half-acre! Visitors begin their experience at the John Bell House before visiting other sites in walking distance, including the Old State House, Legislative Hall, The Biggs Museum of American Art, the Delaware Public Archives, and Johnson Victrola Museum. Take a step back in time or relax in soft grass beneath the towering trees that have shaded visitors for 150 years, all at First State Heritage Park.

First Saturdays in the First State

On the First Saturday of each month, we want to welcome citizens and guests of Dover with a series of thematic programs and events. There is something new every month! Programs at all First State Heritage Park sites. Check the calendar for details. While the major park attractions are open throughout the week, a variety of special programs and events are developed at each site for the first Saturday of each month, some buildings, like Governor's House at Woodburn and Courtroom# 1 at the Kent County Courthouse, are only open to the public on this day or by appointment.

Market Fair

Man in colonial costume talks to his horse at Market Fair takes place each November

First State Heritage Park's 18th Century Market Fair brings the past to life each November, with woodworkers and weavers, horners, blacksmiths and brewers, charlatans and shepherds, soldiers, seamstresses, soapmakers and more displaying their skills and their wares on Dover's historic Green. Learn more here

First State Heritage Park Sites

The Welcome Center is located within the Delaware Public Archives building.

Welcome Center & Galleries

121 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd.

The Welcome Center offers free parking, information about First State Heritage Park programs and events, a gallery of changing exhibits on Delaware history and a rotating display of Delaware's founding documents.

The Welcome Center is open Monday - Friday: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and exhibits are open to the public

Visit the Welcome Center

Family Fun Nights

Biggs Museum of American Art

406 Federal Street

This independent, non-profit museum boasts an outstanding collection of 18th- through 21st-century Delaware and American fine and decorative arts.

Wednesday - Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

$10 General Admission. Free for all members.

Call (302)674-2111 for other rates and discounts

Visit Biggs Museum

View the upcoming calendar of events

wodburn building exterior

Woodburn and Hall House

151 Kings Highway

Woodburn, the home of Delaware's governors since 1965, was built around 1798. Next door is the Victorian-era Hall House, which serves as the Governor's guest house.

Open First Saturday of the month from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., or by appointment

Visit Woodburn

constitution of the state of delaware title

Delaware Public Archives

121 Martin Luther King J. Blvd. North

Delaware's Public Archives, one of the oldest archives in the country, contain materials from the 17th century to today.

Mabel Lloyd Ridgely Research Center

Monday - Friday, by appointment only

Visit Delaware Public Archives

colonial dressed tour guides and group on sidewalk in front of John Bell house

John Bell House

43 The Green

Open Thursday to Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., walking tours on the hour 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Any questions, call (302) 739-9194 or email TourFSHP@delaware.gov

exterior view of Johnson Victrola museum. It's a large 2 story building with a red roof and red front door

Johnson Victrola Museum

375 S. New Street

Self-guided tours Wednesday to Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (masks and rsvp no longer required)

Visit Johnson Victrola Museum

view from above looking down on raised seats in front of legislative hall

Legislative Hall

411 Legislative Avenue

A Georgian-style structure that has been home to Delaware's General Assembly since 1933.

Guided tours Thursday to Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and First Saturday of the month from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

For group tours, please call (302) 739-9194.
Visit Legislative Hall

exterior view of state house

Old State House

25 The Green

Delaware's first permanent capitol building completed in 1791 on Dover's historic Green. The State House was the home of Delaware's General Assembly until 1933.

Guided tours available Wednesday-Saturday at 10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m. Reservations are required.

Visit State House Museum

View the upcoming calendar of events

Upcoming Events

Daily Walking Tours and Programs

Saturday, February 4, 2023

9:00 AM

The Dover Green has been the heart of this capital since its 18th-century founding. Led by a knowledgeable interpreter, experience the stories of the sites and people that have defined the First State experience. There's always something new to discover each time you visit First State Heritage Park! Walking tours are offered hourly from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. We encourage guests to wear comfortable shoes and bring water for all walking tours. Be advised that they frequently cover uneven ground and historic cobblestones. FREE

Add to Calendar 2/4/2023 9:00:00 AM 2/4/2023 4:30:00 PM America/New_York Daily Walking Tours and Programs The Dover Green has been the heart of this capital since its 18th-century founding. Led by a knowledgeable interpreter, experience the stories of the sites and people that have defined the First State experience. There's always something new to discover each time you visit First State Heritage Park! Walking tours are offered hourly from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. We encourage guests to wear comfortable shoes and bring water for all walking tours. Be advised that they frequently cover uneven ground and historic cobblestones. FREE First State Heritage Park

First Saturday: Edward Loper & the W.P.A.

Saturday, February 4, 2023

9:00 AM

Edward Loper, Sr. is counted among Delaware's most celebrated artistic talents of the 20th Century. Born in humble circumstance in Wilmington, DE, and hobbled by the repressive atmosphere of pre-Civil Rights America, he nonetheless found success, making his first impressions during his employment in the Federal Works Projects Administration (W.P.A.) from 1936-41. A sweeping program to put young Americans back to work during the Great Depression, young Loper seized the opportunity and the rest...is history.Join with an interpreter at the John Bell House Interpretive Center (43 The Green) today during public hours to explore the W.P.A. experience of Edward Loper, Sr. and discover his formative works and legacy. FSHP is also offering its Hidden Lives: Slavery, Freedom, and The Green walking tours hourly from 10:00-3:00 today from the John Bell House Interpretive Center as well as guided tours of Legislative Hall (10:00-3:00) and Woodburn, the Governor's Residence (10:00-1:00). Other local sites await you too, including the Biggs Museum of American Art (11:00-4:00), Old State House (10 & 11 a.m., 1, 2 & 3 p.m.), and the Johnson Victrola Museum (9:30-4:00). This program is FREE to the public.

Add to Calendar 2/4/2023 9:00:00 AM 2/4/2023 4:30:00 PM America/New_York First Saturday: Edward Loper & the W.P.A. Edward Loper, Sr. is counted among Delaware's most celebrated artistic talents of the 20th Century. Born in humble circumstance in Wilmington, DE, and hobbled by the repressive atmosphere of pre-Civil Rights America, he nonetheless found success, making his first impressions during his employment in the Federal Works Projects Administration (W.P.A.) from 1936-41. A sweeping program to put young Americans back to work during the Great Depression, young Loper seized the opportunity and the rest...is history.Join with an interpreter at the John Bell House Interpretive Center (43 The Green) today during public hours to explore the W.P.A. experience of Edward Loper, Sr. and discover his formative works and legacy. FSHP is also offering its Hidden Lives: Slavery, Freedom, and The Green walking tours hourly from 10:00-3:00 today from the John Bell House Interpretive Center as well as guided tours of Legislative Hall (10:00-3:00) and Woodburn, the Governor's Residence (10:00-1:00). Other local sites await you too, including the Biggs Museum of American Art (11:00-4:00), Old State House (10 & 11 a.m., 1, 2 & 3 p.m.), and the Johnson Victrola Museum (9:30-4:00). This program is FREE to the public. First State Heritage Park

Daily Walking Tours and Programs

Thursday, February 9, 2023

9:00 AM

The Dover Green has been the heart of this capital since its 18th-century founding. Led by a knowledgeable interpreter, experience the stories of the sites and people that have defined the First State experience. There's always something new to discover each time you visit First State Heritage Park! Walking tours are offered hourly from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. We encourage guests to wear comfortable shoes and bring water for all walking tours. Be advised that they frequently cover uneven ground and historic cobblestones. FREE

Add to Calendar 2/9/2023 9:00:00 AM 2/9/2023 4:30:00 PM America/New_York Daily Walking Tours and Programs The Dover Green has been the heart of this capital since its 18th-century founding. Led by a knowledgeable interpreter, experience the stories of the sites and people that have defined the First State experience. There's always something new to discover each time you visit First State Heritage Park! Walking tours are offered hourly from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. We encourage guests to wear comfortable shoes and bring water for all walking tours. Be advised that they frequently cover uneven ground and historic cobblestones. FREE First State Heritage Park

Daily Walking Tours and Programs

Friday, February 10, 2023

9:00 AM

The Dover Green has been the heart of this capital since its 18th-century founding. Led by a knowledgeable interpreter, experience the stories of the sites and people that have defined the First State experience. There's always something new to discover each time you visit First State Heritage Park! Walking tours are offered hourly from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. We encourage guests to wear comfortable shoes and bring water for all walking tours. Be advised that they frequently cover uneven ground and historic cobblestones. FREE

Add to Calendar 2/10/2023 9:00:00 AM 2/10/2023 4:30:00 PM America/New_York Daily Walking Tours and Programs The Dover Green has been the heart of this capital since its 18th-century founding. Led by a knowledgeable interpreter, experience the stories of the sites and people that have defined the First State experience. There's always something new to discover each time you visit First State Heritage Park! Walking tours are offered hourly from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. We encourage guests to wear comfortable shoes and bring water for all walking tours. Be advised that they frequently cover uneven ground and historic cobblestones. FREE First State Heritage Park

Daily Walking Tours and Programs

Saturday, February 11, 2023

9:00 AM

The Dover Green has been the heart of this capital since its 18th-century founding. Led by a knowledgeable interpreter, experience the stories of the sites and people that have defined the First State experience. There's always something new to discover each time you visit First State Heritage Park! Walking tours are offered hourly from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. We encourage guests to wear comfortable shoes and bring water for all walking tours. Be advised that they frequently cover uneven ground and historic cobblestones. FREE

Add to Calendar 2/11/2023 9:00:00 AM 2/11/2023 4:30:00 PM America/New_York Daily Walking Tours and Programs The Dover Green has been the heart of this capital since its 18th-century founding. Led by a knowledgeable interpreter, experience the stories of the sites and people that have defined the First State experience. There's always something new to discover each time you visit First State Heritage Park! Walking tours are offered hourly from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. We encourage guests to wear comfortable shoes and bring water for all walking tours. Be advised that they frequently cover uneven ground and historic cobblestones. FREE First State Heritage Park

Winter Workshop: Heart-Shaped Bandboxes

Saturday, February 11, 2023

10:00 AM

The petticoat of the 18th century was a remarkably versatile garment - fashionably pleated and fully adjustable! Now, you can make one yourself, the foundation of your very own colonial wardrobe. This workshop will break for participants to lunch on their own. $40 per person, register online. Moderate: Some previous sewing experience is recommended for this workshop.

Register Online

Add to Calendar 2/11/2023 10:00:00 AM 2/11/2023 4:00:00 PM America/New_York Winter Workshop: Heart-Shaped Bandboxes The petticoat of the 18th century was a remarkably versatile garment - fashionably pleated and fully adjustable! Now, you can make one yourself, the foundation of your very own colonial wardrobe. This workshop will break for participants to lunch on their own. $40 per person, register online. Moderate: Some previous sewing experience is recommended for this workshop. First State Heritage Park

Daily Walking Tours and Programs

Thursday, February 16, 2023

9:00 AM

The Dover Green has been the heart of this capital since its 18th-century founding. Led by a knowledgeable interpreter, experience the stories of the sites and people that have defined the First State experience. There's always something new to discover each time you visit First State Heritage Park! Walking tours are offered hourly from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. We encourage guests to wear comfortable shoes and bring water for all walking tours. Be advised that they frequently cover uneven ground and historic cobblestones. FREE

Add to Calendar 2/16/2023 9:00:00 AM 2/16/2023 4:30:00 PM America/New_York Daily Walking Tours and Programs The Dover Green has been the heart of this capital since its 18th-century founding. Led by a knowledgeable interpreter, experience the stories of the sites and people that have defined the First State experience. There's always something new to discover each time you visit First State Heritage Park! Walking tours are offered hourly from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. We encourage guests to wear comfortable shoes and bring water for all walking tours. Be advised that they frequently cover uneven ground and historic cobblestones. FREE First State Heritage Park

Daily Walking Tours and Programs

Friday, February 17, 2023

9:00 AM

The Dover Green has been the heart of this capital since its 18th-century founding. Led by a knowledgeable interpreter, experience the stories of the sites and people that have defined the First State experience. There's always something new to discover each time you visit First State Heritage Park! Walking tours are offered hourly from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. We encourage guests to wear comfortable shoes and bring water for all walking tours. Be advised that they frequently cover uneven ground and historic cobblestones. FREE

Add to Calendar 2/17/2023 9:00:00 AM 2/17/2023 4:30:00 PM America/New_York Daily Walking Tours and Programs The Dover Green has been the heart of this capital since its 18th-century founding. Led by a knowledgeable interpreter, experience the stories of the sites and people that have defined the First State experience. There's always something new to discover each time you visit First State Heritage Park! Walking tours are offered hourly from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. We encourage guests to wear comfortable shoes and bring water for all walking tours. Be advised that they frequently cover uneven ground and historic cobblestones. FREE First State Heritage Park

Daily Walking Tours and Programs

Saturday, February 18, 2023

9:00 AM

The Dover Green has been the heart of this capital since its 18th-century founding. Led by a knowledgeable interpreter, experience the stories of the sites and people that have defined the First State experience. There's always something new to discover each time you visit First State Heritage Park! Walking tours are offered hourly from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. We encourage guests to wear comfortable shoes and bring water for all walking tours. Be advised that they frequently cover uneven ground and historic cobblestones. FREE

Add to Calendar 2/18/2023 9:00:00 AM 2/18/2023 4:30:00 PM America/New_York Daily Walking Tours and Programs The Dover Green has been the heart of this capital since its 18th-century founding. Led by a knowledgeable interpreter, experience the stories of the sites and people that have defined the First State experience. There's always something new to discover each time you visit First State Heritage Park! Walking tours are offered hourly from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. We encourage guests to wear comfortable shoes and bring water for all walking tours. Be advised that they frequently cover uneven ground and historic cobblestones. FREE First State Heritage Park

Daily Walking Tours and Programs

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

9:00 AM

The Dover Green has been the heart of this capital since its 18th-century founding. Led by a knowledgeable interpreter, experience the stories of the sites and people that have defined the First State experience. There's always something new to discover each time you visit First State Heritage Park! Walking tours are offered hourly from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. We encourage guests to wear comfortable shoes and bring water for all walking tours. Be advised that they frequently cover uneven ground and historic cobblestones. FREE

Add to Calendar 2/22/2023 9:00:00 AM 2/22/2023 4:30:00 PM America/New_York Daily Walking Tours and Programs The Dover Green has been the heart of this capital since its 18th-century founding. Led by a knowledgeable interpreter, experience the stories of the sites and people that have defined the First State experience. There's always something new to discover each time you visit First State Heritage Park! Walking tours are offered hourly from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. We encourage guests to wear comfortable shoes and bring water for all walking tours. Be advised that they frequently cover uneven ground and historic cobblestones. FREE First State Heritage Park

Daily Walking Tours and Programs

Thursday, February 23, 2023

9:00 AM

The Dover Green has been the heart of this capital since its 18th-century founding. Led by a knowledgeable interpreter, experience the stories of the sites and people that have defined the First State experience. There's always something new to discover each time you visit First State Heritage Park! Walking tours are offered hourly from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. We encourage guests to wear comfortable shoes and bring water for all walking tours. Be advised that they frequently cover uneven ground and historic cobblestones. FREE

Add to Calendar 2/23/2023 9:00:00 AM 2/23/2023 4:30:00 PM America/New_York Daily Walking Tours and Programs The Dover Green has been the heart of this capital since its 18th-century founding. Led by a knowledgeable interpreter, experience the stories of the sites and people that have defined the First State experience. There's always something new to discover each time you visit First State Heritage Park! Walking tours are offered hourly from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. We encourage guests to wear comfortable shoes and bring water for all walking tours. Be advised that they frequently cover uneven ground and historic cobblestones. FREE First State Heritage Park

Daily Walking Tours and Programs

Friday, February 24, 2023

9:00 AM

The Dover Green has been the heart of this capital since its 18th-century founding. Led by a knowledgeable interpreter, experience the stories of the sites and people that have defined the First State experience. There's always something new to discover each time you visit First State Heritage Park! Walking tours are offered hourly from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. We encourage guests to wear comfortable shoes and bring water for all walking tours. Be advised that they frequently cover uneven ground and historic cobblestones. FREE

Add to Calendar 2/24/2023 9:00:00 AM 2/24/2023 4:30:00 PM America/New_York Daily Walking Tours and Programs The Dover Green has been the heart of this capital since its 18th-century founding. Led by a knowledgeable interpreter, experience the stories of the sites and people that have defined the First State experience. There's always something new to discover each time you visit First State Heritage Park! Walking tours are offered hourly from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. We encourage guests to wear comfortable shoes and bring water for all walking tours. Be advised that they frequently cover uneven ground and historic cobblestones. FREE First State Heritage Park

First Saturday: A Fine Suit of Millinery...and More!

Saturday, March 4, 2023

9:00 AM

Milliners and Mantua-makers were among America's first female entrepreneurs! Visit with a historical interpreter and discover how these ladies made their living in a society that often pressured women like them to stay in the home. Then, join our milliner in crafting a little keepsake of your visit! This program is offered at the John Bell House Interpretive Center (43 The Green). Also departing from this location hourly on this date from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. is The Suffragists walking tour, illustrating the role Dover played in the crusade for women's right to vote. Other local sites await you on this date: the Biggs Museum of American Art (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.), the Governor's Residence at Woodburn (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.), Legislative Hall (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) as well as the Old State House (1 p.m. to 3 p.m.) and Johnson Victrola Museum (9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.) are all FREE for the day!

Add to Calendar 3/4/2023 9:00:00 AM 3/4/2023 4:30:00 PM America/New_York First Saturday: A Fine Suit of Millinery...and More! Milliners and Mantua-makers were among America's first female entrepreneurs! Visit with a historical interpreter and discover how these ladies made their living in a society that often pressured women like them to stay in the home. Then, join our milliner in crafting a little keepsake of your visit! This program is offered at the John Bell House Interpretive Center (43 The Green). Also departing from this location hourly on this date from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. is The Suffragists walking tour, illustrating the role Dover played in the crusade for women's right to vote. Other local sites await you on this date: the Biggs Museum of American Art (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.), the Governor's Residence at Woodburn (10 a.m. to 1 p.m.), Legislative Hall (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) as well as the Old State House (1 p.m. to 3 p.m.) and Johnson Victrola Museum (9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.) are all FREE for the day! First State Heritage Park

Winter Workshop: Toy Soldiers

Saturday, March 18, 2023

10:00 AM

18th-Century armies were riots of color, but FSHP's ranks of toy soldiers need some help...from you! Visit the John Bell House from 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. and paint a reproduction toy soldier, just like kids would have played with in colonial times, while supplies last. This program is free, even if you paint a toy soldier! The $5 fee is only required if you want to take your little soldier home with you. Otherwise, it will join the site's battalions. Pre-registration only required if keeping the painted toy soldier.

Register Online

Add to Calendar 3/18/2023 10:00:00 AM 3/18/2023 3:00:00 PM America/New_York Winter Workshop: Toy Soldiers 18th-Century armies were riots of color, but FSHP's ranks of toy soldiers need some help...from you! Visit the John Bell House from 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. and paint a reproduction toy soldier, just like kids would have played with in colonial times, while supplies last. This program is free, even if you paint a toy soldier! The $5 fee is only required if you want to take your little soldier home with you. Otherwise, it will join the site's battalions. Pre-registration only required if keeping the painted toy soldier. First State Heritage Park

Map and Directions