Experience Stepping Stones
As Stepping Stones prepares for reopening, we will contact all who submit a Tour Request Form with the current status and availability.
Indoor Tours of Home & Studio
When open, all building entry is by guided tour with advance reservations. Use the Tour Request Form to check availability. Tours can be scheduled for 1 p.m. Eastern Monday through Saturday, and last 60-90 minutes. The buildings are closed to visitors on Sundays, Thanksgiving, Christmas (December 25), and New Year’s Day (January 1). Tour check-in is between 12 noon and 12:30 p.m. Eastern at the Welcome Center (two-car garage) where you can enjoy the display and gift shop before exploring the gardens, and grounds.
Outdoor / Grounds Visit
Individuals who do not wish to enter the buildings may explore the grounds Monday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern.
Groups must make reservations to enter the grounds or tour. See our group visit guide.
These and other site rules must be honored by all visitors.
There is no charge for making a tour reservation, but a suggested donation of at least $10 per person to the Stepping Stones Foundation (a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization) is encouraged to support the operations and preservation of Stepping Stones, including maintaining the buildings, artifacts, archives, and grounds.
Groups are encouraged to collect donations in advance. We suggest having a sign-up list (and, if necessary, a waiting list) or issuing a limited number of tickets, to track anticipated attendance and to stay within your reservation limit.
Donations can be made with cash, credit or debit card, or check or money order (payable to “Stepping Stones Foundation”) upon arrival at the Welcome Center (the converted two-car garage) or gifts can be made online. For tax and acknowledgement purposes, provide donors’ contact information along with the contribution.
To cancel a tour reservation, please call and e-mail as far in advance as possible to open opportunities for others to visit and as a courtesy to our volunteer tour guides.
To ensure availability, we urge travelers and groups to please submit their Tour Request Form to check availability well in advance of planning a trip. Availability can be limited.
Entry inside the historic home and studio is by advance reservation only. All access is by guided tour. To check availability to schedule your Monday through Saturday 1 p.m. tour., submit the Tour Request Form.
The Tour Request Form will ask for visitor names, transportation plans, place of residence, phone numbers, and dates to check for availability. Please indicate if this is your first visit.
Questions? Email email@example.com or call 914-232-4822 weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Groups must make reservations in advance to ensure availability and to learn about any planning, parking, carpooling, and transportation requirements. Some groups secure their reservations with us several months or years in advance to guarantee their date.
Before a group can be confirmed, we require completion of the group section of the Tour Request Form and may require a transportation form.
Tying in visits to see other places that are significant in the history of 12-Step recovery can enrich your travels. A selection of sites follows. For a longer list, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We suggest contacting all facilities for restrictions, hours, and reservation requirements.
To find meetings of 12-Step fellowship's in the area, see our list of 12-Step meeting finder websites, which is not comprehensive and may not be up-to-date due to the pandemic.
About an hour from Stepping Stones in New York City is the office of A.A. World Services (A.A.W.S.) (A.A. headquarters for North America). About four hours by car is The Wilson House (Bill W.'s birthplace) in East Dorset, Vermont, and about eight hours drive is Dr. Bob's Home in Akron, Ohio.
Alcoholics Anonymous Headquarters 1992-Present
Alcoholic Anonymous World Services Office (A.A.W.S.), 475 Riverside Drive (between 119th & 120th Streets), Manhattan, New York, NY. Call A.A. directly for hours and tour availability for their offices and archive at (212) 840-3400. www.aa.org
A visit to A.A.W.S. is popular for Alcoholics Anonymous members. It is a chance to see the offices, learn about staff roles, and see an archival display. Offices occupy the 11th floor, with the A.A. Grapevine magazine offices on the 10th floor. John D. Rockefeller made the entire block of land available for the structure, which houses many church groups, interdenominational agencies, and nonprofit organizations. The A.A.W.S. office is about one hour south of Stepping Stones if travelling by car in normal traffic and about two to two and a half hours by public transportation. The A.A.W.S. neighborhood is in upper Manhattan near Columbia University. Street parking is limited; paid parking garages are nearby. The basement has a cafeteria-style café with limited hours.
For a list of earlier headquarters in New York City (from 1970-1992, 1960-1970, 1950-1960, 1944-1950, 1940-1944 and 1938-1940) email email@example.com
Other Homes of the Cofounders
Bill and Lois Wilson considered Stepping Stones to be their “first home of their own.” It is where they lived for the longest stretch of their lives–from 1941 until 1971 for Bill and 1941 until 1988 for Lois–and where they left their personal effects and papers. Information about their prior residences as well as the home of A.A. cofounder, Dr. Bob, follows.
The Burnham Family Home – Lois’ Birthplace and Bill and Lois Former Residence
182 Clinton Street, Brooklyn Heights, New York, NY
Now a private residence, many people interested in the 12-Steps of recovery like to view the façade and take a photo of this brownstone.
Dr. Bob’s Home and Related Sites in Akron, 855 Ardmore Ave, Akron, OH 44302, 330-864-1935, https://drbobshome.com/
Akron has many sites making it a great 2-3 day trip. For a list, click here.
The Wilson House of East Dorset and Related Nearby Sites, P.O. Box 46, East Dorset, VT 05253
(802) 362-5524, www.wilsonhouse.org
There are many sites to see in the Manchester / East Dorset area, see the Wilson House website's list.
The 12 Steps of recovery that Bill W. first wrote for Alcoholics Anonymous have been adapted as a program of recovery by Al-Anon Family Groups and many other organizations. Bill W.’s own A.A. “home group” no longer exists, but he and Lois were known to attend some of the current, long-running local A.A. and Al-Anon groups. As a courtesy to visitors interested in attending a local meeting of their 12-Step fellowship, a selection of the larger organizations’ links is provided but not meant to be comprehensive. Schedules and locations may be subject to change due to the pandemic.
If a meeting finder allows searching by zip code, use Stepping Stones’ zip code 10536 or the nearby 10507. Some meeting finder websites allow search by county or town. To search by county, try Westchester County or the nearby Putnam County. To search by a specific location within 20 minutes of Stepping Stones, try the following:
In New York State - Bedford, Bedford Hills, Katonah, Mount Kisco, Chappaqua, Armonk, Yorktown, Yorktown Heights, Somers, Mahopac, South Salem, Pound Ridge, and Brewster.
In Connecticut - Ridgefield, Wilton, and Danbury.
Beyond what you can learn by exploring this website, some biographies and books and recordings about the Wilsons and their circle of friends and associates can be found in our online store by clicking here.
A selection of voice recordings of Bill and Lois Wilson and their associates is available from our online store by clicking here.
As you consider making a visit, we offer this detailed description of the site and tour logistics.
Accessible Parking & Drop Off
Stepping Stones has one paved accessible parking space for people with disabilities in its main parking lot, along with a paved pathway to the paved driveway that leads to the Welcome Center.
Visitors with mobility and other impairments may also park or be dropped off at the Welcome Center (the Wilsons' converted two-car garage) in front of which two cars can be accommodated.
For accessible parking on-site for the Annual Picnic in June, picnic ticket holders must request an accessible parking pass in advance (email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 914-232-4822.)
Note: RVs, campers, buses, or items in tow (other than mobility equipment) are not permitted to enter the neighborhood. Carpooling with 4 people per car is encouraged.
During tours, please advise your tour guide if you would like a folding metal chair and if none is available.
The Welcome Center (two-car garage) has two accessible restrooms. During larger event days, including the Annual Picnic in June, additional accessible portable toilets are available.
The tour begins on the ground-level in the one-story Welcome Center, which features a display based on Stepping Stones’ extensive archive. A large print copy of the display can be requested for free. A two-minute video may be shown at the start of the tour.
The tour continues down a sloped, blacktop walkway to the back porch of the house, which is one step up. From the porch, there is one step up to access the living room and kitchen. To enter three guest rooms, each has one or two steps up and down.
Access to the second floor is via a narrow, carpeted staircase with a handrail. It has approximately 20 steps with a sharp turn halfway up the staircase. The second floor features Bill and Lois Wilsons’ bedroom and the “Gallery,” of memorabilia and the birthplace of Al-Anon Family Groups. The tour returns down the staircase and exits the first floor via one step down to the porch and then another from the porch to the paved walkway.
The tour then moves back up the paved, sloped path to the Welcome Center area and then continues uphill approximately 200 yards over gravel, dirt, and grass to the writing studio. The studio has one step up to enter and one step down to exit. The group concludes the tour by heading back downhill to the Welcome Center and then returns to their vehicles, accordingly.
Stepping Stones continues to work toward improving accessibility of the site. Donations can be directed for this purpose.
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