Mount Vernon decks the halls throughout the estate with themed Christmas trees and festive holiday touches. Traditional boughs of hand-cut greenery will adorn doorways in the Mansion, which will be staged with an elaborate holiday course in the formal dining room.
Each Christmas, Mount Vernon welcomes special guests including Aladdin the Camel. In 1787 George Washington paid 18 shillings to bring a camel to Mount Vernon to delight his visitors. In recent years, Mount Vernon has also proudly displayed the National Thanksgiving Turkey after its official "presidential pardoning" at the White House.
Holiday visitors will also enjoy extra daytime treats. Tour the rarely-open third floor of the Mansion, where Martha Washington retired after her husband's death and learn how chocolate was made in the 18th century with live demonstrations.
November 29, 2013 - January 6, 2014
Special Mansion Tours (All Day)
Tour the rarely-open third floor of the Mansion and learn how the Washingtons celebrated Christmas. The Mansion will once again be decked out in historically appropriate holiday décor.
Themed Christmas Trees (All Day)
Mount Vernon decks the halls with 12 themed Christmas trees in the Orientation Center and Education Center lobbies. The EC trees are themed around the new and limited Museum exhibit, Take Note!
George Washington’s Christmas Camel (All Day)
In 1787, George Washington paid 18 shillings to bring a camel to Mount Vernon for the enjoyment of his guests. Visit Aladdin the camel (across from the Bowling Green Gate).
Presidentially Pardoned Turkeys (All Day)
Greet the lucky bird officially pardoned by President Obama, as well as his eager understudy (in the Sales Lot).
18th-Century Chocolate Making (All Day)
Watch our costumed chocolatiers produce chocolate using 18th-century techniques (in the Vaughan Lobby).
Chocolate Toast to Christmas (2:30pm - 3:30pm)
Taste our 18th-century-style chocolate drink, a Washington Family favorite (in the Vaughan Lobby).
18th-Century Entertainment (3:00pm - 3:30pm)
Costumed friends and family of the Washingtons teach dancing or tell stories about Christmas at Mount Vernon (in the Greenhouse).
Twelve Performances of Christmas (Weekends; 2:00pm)
Enjoy festive holiday performances by local musical groups (in the Education Center Lobby).
November 29, 2pm: The Madrigal Vocal Ensemble from Mount Vernon High School
November 30, 2pm: Suzuki Cello Studio of Alicia Javkhlan
December 1, 2pm: Capital Reeds (reed trio)
December 7, 2pm: Oakhill Trio
December 8, 2pm: Sound Advice (barbershop quartet)
December 14, 12pm: MG Voices from Maple Grove High School in Bemus Point, NY (they contacted us separately from this outreach, but we’re rolling them in)
December 14, 2pm: The Collaborative Choir
December 15, 2pm: Pohick Pickers
December 21, 2pm: Fort Hunt Fox Chimes from Fort Hunt Elementary School
December 22, 2pm: Treble and Lyric Choirs of the Fairfax Choral Society
Hands-on History Holiday Craft (Arts & Crafts 1:30 – 4:00 PM)
Come learn about the camel George Washington brought to Mount Vernon. Have fun learning to dance in a colonial manner and make cookie cutter ornaments or decorate a pomander with cloves for your holiday tree! (In Hands-on History; ages 5 – 10 years)
Children’s Gingerbread Creations
See a selection of gingerbread creations of Mount Vernon structures crafted by students from Fort Belvoir Elementary School. On display beginning Monday, November 25 (in the Education Center Lobby).