Festive Christmas Events at George Washington’s Mount Vernon
Christmas past meets Christmas present at George Washington’s estate. From November 23 through December 31, visitors of all ages can tour the Mansion, watch 18th-century demonstrations, and hear stories of Christmases past from costumed characters.
Mount Vernon by Candlelight
December 7 & 8, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
December 16, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
Join Mount Vernon’s residents and visitors for a festive evening tour. The experience begins in the Ford Orientation Center, where you can enjoy the sounds of the holiday season and view spectacular Christmas trees highlighting the lives of the Washingtons and their home.
When your tour begins, you will be guided into the 18th century for a lantern-lit tour of the historic area, where you will see the Slave Quarters and the Blacksmith Shop. Inside the Mansion, Martha Washington and other Mount Vernon residents will welcome you into their home and share stories of past Christmases. Tickets: $25 adult, $17 youth (ages 6-11). Additional details: mountvernon.org/candlelight
Christmas Illuminations at Mount Vernon
Friday & Saturday, December 14-15, 5:30 p.m. – 8:45 p.m.
Kick off the holidays with an evening of family-friendly fun and fireworks choreographed to holiday music, with fireworks beginning around 8:30 p.m. Take a stroll through the estate while being serenaded by local choirs, visit with re-enactors from the First Virginia Regiment, and learn 18th-century dance moves from costumed guides. George and Martha Washington will also be on site to greet Mount Vernon’s holiday guests. Tickets: $35 adult/$25 youth with Mansion tour, $30 adult/$20 youth. More details: mountvernon.org/illuminations
Tours & Programs with Additional Fee:
Holiday Time for the Washingtons Tour
Saturdays & Sundays, December 1-30, 12 p.m.
Celebrate the holidays at Mount Vernon and discover what the Washingtons, enslaved people, and hired workers ate during this season. Learn how food was grown, preserved, prepared, and served during the holiday season during this 60-minute tour. Tickets: $7 in addition to general admission. More details: mountvernon.org/christmas
Holiday Centerpiece Workshop
Sunday, December 9, 10 a.m. & 2 p.m.
Construct a homemade holiday wreath during this two-hour workshop. Mount Vernon’s greenhouse manager instructs participants how to construct the wreath using greens, preserved pomegranates, and dried seed heads from Mount Vernon’s gardens. Tickets: $75 per person. More details: mountvernon.org/christmas
Saturday, December 15, 10 a.m. & 1 p.m.
Visit the cozy greenhouse and receive a box of cookies and decorations to adorn them. Create beautiful gingerbread cookies with the guidance of a Mount Vernon staff member. Tickets: $5 per person in addition to general admission. More details: mountvernon.org/christmas
Colonial Ornament Making
Saturdays & Sundays, December 2-23, 2-4:30 p.m.
Create a beautiful and fragrant pomander with an orange, cloves, and ribbon. Tickets: $5 in addition to general admission. More details: mountvernon.org/christmas
Other Seasonal Activities – Included with General Admission:
- Howlidays at Mount Vernon Photo Station: On December 1 from11 a.m. to 2 p.m., bring your press your pet in their holiday finery and a camera for a photo with one of Mount Vernon’s costumed characters.
- Operation Gratitude: Holiday Cards for the Military: Kids can wish service members oversees a happy holidays by writing a note or making a special card. Offered Monday-Friday, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday-Sunday, 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
- Ornament-Making for Children: Mount Vernon’s young visitors create a special souvenir ornament. Offered: Monday-Friday, December 3-24, 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.
- Aladdin the Christmas Camel: In 1787, George Washington paid 18 shillings to bring a camel to Mount Vernon for the enjoyment of his guests. This season visit our Christmas camel, Aladdin, on the 12-acre field.
- Camel Talks: During this free 30-minute program, Washington’s farm manager tells stories about Washington’s interest in exotic animals and share facts about camels. Offered Friday-Sunday, 11 a.m. & 2 p.m.
- Chocolate Making: Listen to our costumed interpreters as they describe each step of the chocolate making process—from cacao seeds to chocolate mills— and learn more about the preparation of hot chocolate and chocolate tea at Mount Vernon. Demonstrations occur daily, tastings offered from 3-3:30pm.
- Pie Making: On Saturdays and Sundays in December, savor the tastes and smells of holiday pie making at Mount Vernon while hearing stories of the Washingtons’ holiday confections. Help Mount Vernon’s historic trades staff knead and shape the crust before tasting delicious pre-made pie from 1:30 p.m. – 2 p.m.
- Mate Masie: During this 60-minute program, character interpreter Brenda Parker serves as the griot, or oral historian, who shares the origins of many songs of the enslaved community and teaches visitors about their daily lives. Schedule varies.
- Revolutionary War Medicine: “Dr. Craik,” Physician General of the United States and George Washington’s doctor, discusses the medical practices of the Revolutionary War and the tools used by doctors in the 18th century in this 60-minute program. Schedule varies.
- Whiskey, Wine, and Washington: Meet Washington’s distillery manager and learn about popular alcoholic beverages in the 18th century during this hour-long program. Schedule varies.
- A-Dressing the Nation: This lighthearted 45-minute presentation features Tobias Lear, George Washington’s personal secretary, sharing details about 18th-century fashion and manners. Schedule varies.
Christmas at Mount Vernon occurs through December 31. Open daily from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. More details: mountvernon.org/christmas
For more information on Mount Vernon, visit our Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens page.
To purchase general admission tickets to Mount Vernon online, click here.
To view hotels near Mount Vernon, click here.