House Tours

Take a fascinating glimpse into a transformational time in history and hear stories that bring this 1891 house to life.

Tour options depend on the time of year:

Woman sitting at large pipe organ with people looking up at the pipes

Guided House Tour

January – November
Wednesday – Sunday

Learn about James J. Hill’s influence on the region and about his network of family members, servants, workers, and guests.

Marvel at the impressive house details such as chandeliers, stained glass, and hand-carved woodwork sprawled throughout the 36,000-square-foot home. Discover original mechanical systems that provided heat, light, water, ventilation, and security.

Tours are designed for people of all ages.

  • Tours are 75 minutes, starting every half-hour based on availability
  • Last tour begins at 3:30 pm
  • $6‑10; MNHS members and children ages 4 & under free
Tour guide dressed as maid leading group through large paneled room

Nooks & Crannies Tour

Tuesdays, June 5 – August 28, 2018

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the back staircases, dust chutes, silver vault, and more. Visitors will see the top-floor attic with original theater, take the back stairs to the basement, view storage areas not on the regular tour, and take a peek inside the gatehouse overlooking Summit Avenue. Guides will also discuss the technological innovations present in the house at the time of its construction in the late 19th century and the difficulties of preserving such a building today.

  • Tours are 90 minutes and leave at 6:00, 6:30, 7:00, and 7:30 pm
  • The 6 pm and 7:30 pm tours are led by a costumed interpreter portraying a construction worker or house servant
  • $14-$18 adults, MNHS members save 20%
Man sitting between two women

Spark! Tours for People with Memory Loss

First Tuesday of every month, 10-11 am

Take a sensory-based tour designed for people with memory loss and their caregiver. Each themed tour highlights three rooms in the James J. Hill House.

  • Free, but reservations are required
  • Call 651-259-3015 to make a reservation or register online
  • Private memory loss tours are available by appointment on Mondays and Tuesdays from 10-11 am; call 651-259-3015 or email
Woman dressed as maid standing on main staircase in front of tour group

Christmas Traditions Guided House Tour

2018 dates TBA

In the 1890s, St. Paul’s Summit Avenue was a holiday destination where friends and neighbors would gather together to celebrate the Christmas season and welcome the New Year. On this holiday tour, discover holiday celebrations of the past through the stories of those who lived and worked on Summit Avenue, including excerpts from Hill family letters and journals and rare historic photographs of the neighborhood.

  • Tours are 60 minutes, starting every half-hour based on availability
  • Last tour begins at 3:30 pm
  • $8-12; children 4 & under free; MNHS members receive $2 discount

Group tours

All themed tours can also be reserved for private group tours.