Dates: November 21, 2013 - January 6, 2014
Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens celebrates the holiday season with a special daytime program from Thanksgiving Day weekend through the Twelve Days of Christmas. Special festivities include themed decorations, a gingerbread Mount Vernon, historical chocolate-making demonstrations, 18th-century dancing, and even a Christmas camel just like George Washington had on the grounds during Christmas of 1787.
All programs are included in general admission: $15/adult; $7/child, free for children 5 and younger. Mount Vernon is open every day of the year, including Christmas and New Years. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. during "Christmas at Mount Vernon."
New Trolley from Old Town Alexandria
New this year, visitors can take a trolley from Old Town Alexandria to George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and back again to Old Town. The Mount Vernon Holiday Trolley will board near the Alexandria Visitors Center and Market Square at the corner of King and N. Fairfax streets on the hour from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from November 29 through December 30, 2013 Tickets include a round-trip trolley ride and admission to Mount Vernon at a cost of $25 for adults and $8 for children under 12. Tickets may be purchased online .
See Photos of Christmas at Mount Vernon
Daily Christmas Programs at Mount Vernon
See chocolate making demonstrations over an open fire. The American Heritage Chocolate Program uses an authentic colonial recipe and costumed chocolatiers to reproduce the distinct flavors of the 18th century. Samples available from 2-3 p.m., daily. Chocolate bars, sticks, and spiced drink mix are sold at The Shops at Mount Vernon.
Tour the third floor of the Mansion where Lady Washington lived after her beloved husband died. She never returned to their shared room and instead lived the rest of her years in a garret chamber, which was just refurbished three years ago. The third floor is only open during "Christmas at Mount Vernon."
Meet "Lady Washington" herself! The popular hostess presents a charming program and takes questions in the Little Theater. Schedule may vary.
See George Washington’s Christmas Camel! Washington was fond of unusual animals and plants, and he paid 18 shillings in 1787 for a camel to temporarily live at Mount Vernon for his guests during Christmas.
- Try your hand - and feet - at the Virginia reel, or just watch and enjoy the ambiance as costumed actors demonstrate dances that were popular in the 18th century. Demonstrations are offered in the greenhouse. Schedule may vary.
Christmas Decorations at Mount Vernon
- Twelve festive Christmas trees will grace Mount Vernon's Ford Orientation Center and the Donald W. Reynolds Museum & Education Center. Ranging in heights of up to 12 feet tall, the trees will be professionally decorated with themes relating to Mount Vernon, George Washington, and the 18th century.
- Former White House Pastry Chef Roland Mesnier will create from scratch a five-foot-wide and two-foot-tall gingerbread replica of the Mansion.
- Traditional boughs of hand-cut greenery will adorn doorways in the Mansion, which will be staged with an elaborate course in the formal dining room. Martha Washington's "Great Cake" will take center stage and visitors may take home her original recipe.
- Over 100 poinsettias will adorn hallways and other paths
- The Shops at Mount Vernon offer a large selection of unique decorative items including dozens of ornaments, Byers' Choice Carolers - including a George and Martha Washington! - snow globes, and wooden advent calendars.