The Victorian era was named for Queen Victoria who reigned in Great Britain from 1837 to 1901. During Victorian Days at the Old Courthouse, discover what life was like in the 1800s through craft activities and a Victorian tea.

A boy and a girl make a hat craft at Victorian Days at the San Mateo County History Museum

Enjoy Victorian activities:

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A Victorian Tea

Anna Maria Russell, Duchess of Bedford is credited with creating afternoon tea sometime around 1840, to alleviate afternoon hunger as the upper classes commonly had their dinner late. Afternoon tea became a popular social occasion during the Victorian period, both in Great Britain and the United States.

Following proper tea etiquette was very important, as you would not want to make a bad impression in front of your host and other guests. There is a long list of etiquette covering how to pour the tea, how to hold your teacup and how to eat the food. Watch the Etiquette of Tea for more helpful advice.

A tea set

A Victorian Fashion Show

Watch a pre-recorded fashion show featuring Victorian and Edwardian outfits from the Millie Collection, an education collection of vintage clothing at the History Museum. As 2020 marks the centennial of the ratification of the 19th amendment giving women the vote, the fashion show concludes with a salute to the women’s suffrage movement.

Victorian Days Walking Tours (Online)

Get a taste of local history through online walking tours. These 10 to 15-minute videos give an introduction to some of the historic places and themes throughout San Mateo County. New online tours released in July and August.