Self-Guided Tours

Whether you visit the Workhouse Arts Center during our monthly (and free) Second Saturday Art Walk or any other time that we’re open, you’re welcome to pick up a Campus Map in the lobby of building W-16 to begin a self-guided tour. The Campus Map provides brief descriptions of key areas of the Workhouse and will enable you to craft your own Workhouse tour experience. Explore the campus, studios, and exhibits at your own pace, and stay as long as you’d like (though a typical self-guided tour lasts about 45 minutes to an hour).


Guided Tours

A guided tour of the Workhouse Arts Center is the perfect way to discover the amazing history of the 55-acre campus, included in the National Register of Historic Places.

Our guides will lead you on a personalized tour of our artist studios and galleries, theater, classrooms, and assorted interesting nooks and crannies. Along the way, they’ll also share stories of the history of the Workhouse, including its life as the DC Correctional Complex at Lorton, its role in the Women’s Suffrage Movement of the early 1900s, and of the site’s eventual transformation from prison to regionally-recognized visual and performing arts center.

Guided tours are ideal for groups of eight or more searching for an intimate look at our campus. All guided tours are free but must be booked at least two weeks in advance. Please note that if you are interested in visiting the Workhouse Prison Museum, docents are available only during limited hours.

For more information about guided tours, please call us at (703) 584-2900.



The Workhouse Arts Center is an exciting and popular destination for school, civic, and community groups located throughout the National Capitol Region. We’re home to nearly 100 artists who create and exhibit works of art, produce live theatre and musical performances, host thought-provoking and emotionally-engaging art exhibitions, and teach more than 800 arts classes each year.

The Workhouse and its education faculty are excellent partners who will work with your group to plan immersive, multi-sensory activities for your students that uniquely blend creativity, imagination, history, and the arts into unforgettable, life-changing experiences.

Students can roll up their sleeves and try their hands at ceramic sculpture, take brush in hand to experiment with abstract painting, or improve their high-tech skills in our new digital computing lab, where students are exposed to Photoshop, 3-D printing, and video game design. These fee-based workshops are taught by professional artists and educators with a passion for working with children and young adults.

Download the Field Trip Request Packet to reserve your dates or to learn more about the opportunities available to your students during a visit to the Workhouse Arts Center.

For more information about field trips, please contact us by e-mailing, or by phone at (703) 584-2934.


Discover how our mission comes to life at our Second Saturday Art Walk.
The second Saturday of every month, from 6p-9p. Fine art galleries, artists, live music, wine + craft beer, and so much more!

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