Arrange a Group Visit

The Thomas Cole National Historic Site welcomes groups to visit the historic home, studios, and grounds of Thomas Cole in Catskill, New York. Group tours are welcome by advance appointment during the open season (May – October), Tuesday – Sunday. Please call us for more information and to book your tour as early as possible to secure your date of choice. In addition to tours of the Main House and studio, groups may enjoy the gardens, a picnic on the lawn, or a visit to related sites nearby such as the Hudson River School Art Trail; Olana, the home of Cole’s pupil Frederic Church; Thomas Cole’s gravesite; the historic Main Street in the Village of Catskill, or the Bronck Museum.

Smaller groups (ten or fewer people) are also welcome to visit the Main House during regular hours of operation without appointment. We recommend that you buy your tickets in advance using our online ticketing page. Groups of more than ten people should make advance arrangements using the phone number or email below.

To make a reservation, or request more information, contact Heather Paroubek at hparoubek@thomascole.org. Please supply the following information:

  • The number of people in your group
  • Tell us about your group. Any particular interests?
  • The preferred date and time of your visit
  • A contact name
  • A contact postal address, phone number, and email address

Group Tour Rates

Group tour tickets are $14 per person for all visitors over the age of 15. When you reserve and visit as a group, we do not charge any additional fee for the educators that we hire to greet and facilitate your group; however we do not offer discounted admission, such as the senior discount, because of the additional cost of our staff. For groups of students and/or children, please see our special rates for school groups. Admission to the grounds is always free of charge.

About Your Visit

A visit to the Thomas Cole National Historic Site provides entry into the world of the man who became the father of American landscape painting and founder of the Hudson River School of art. Visitors gather in the visitor center where they can view a 15-minute film about Thomas Cole and his creative process. Your guide will then meet you up on the porch of the Main House, where one of the most perfect views of the Catskill Mountain range can be enjoyed. Your tour will enter the 1815 Federal yellow-brick Main House and visit the historic rooms where the Cole family lived, including the West Parlor where Thomas Cole was married, and the upstairs rooms where his children were born and where Cole died in 1848. The Main House also includes gallery rooms, where exhibitions of art from the Hudson River School and beyond are on display. The tour continues into the “Old Studio” where Cole painted many of his best known works, and which still contains Cole’s original easels and art-making materials. At the conclusion of the tour, visitors can learn even more by exploring a database of Thomas Cole paintings online at our “learning portal”. At their leisure they may browse the museum shop where a variety of items related to Thomas Cole and landscape painting are available for purchase, and read the educational panels and displays before they depart.

Bus Tour Logistics

Bus parking is available in the adjacent parking lot that is shared with Temple Israel, accessible from Spring Street. Please drive all the way into the lot and park in the upper portion. From the parking lot, visitors can proceed to the visitor center (the white barn) and gather there for the commencement of their tour. It is recommended to allow at least one hour for your visit. However, shorter or longer visits can be arranged to accommodate your schedule.

Other Sites For Your Itinerary

Hudson River School Art Trail
Walk into a 19th-century landscape painting! The Hudson River School Art Trail takes you to the sites that inspired America’s first great landscape painters — Thomas Cole, Frederic Church, Asher B. Durand, Jasper Cropsey, Sanford Gifford and other pioneering American artists — and to see the landscapes that launched the Hudson River School of art. Visit the Art Trail website for more information: Hudson River School Art Trail.

Olana State Historic Site
Just across the river from Cedar Grove, Olana was the home of Frederic Edwin Church (1826-1900), a major figure in the Hudson River School of landscape painting and the pupil of Thomas Cole. Built high on a hill near Hudson, New York between 1870 and 1891, Olana offers magnificent sweeping vistas of the Catskill Mountains, the Hudson River and the Taconic Hills. Called by Church “the Center of the World,” Olana’s Persian style house and 250 acres of picturesque grounds are a personal vision of harmony between people and the American landscape.

The Bronck Museum
More than 300 Years of Hudson Valley History are reflected in the cluster of architecturally significant buildings that comprise the Bronck Museum, including the Hudson Valley’s oldest home, built in 1663. After eight generations of Broncks had maintained the homestead as a working farm, it came to the Greene County Historical Society, which maintains the Bronck Homestead as its headquarters and as a museum to house valuable historical collections which reflect the region’s history.

Catskill’s Historic Main Street
Enjoy great shopping, a wide variety of wonderful cafes and restaurants, coffee shops, and more. Catskill’s Main Street welcomes you with its 19th-century architecture and charm.

rootArrange a Group Visit