For Immediate Release
March 16, 2009
Digital images available
Melissa Wood (703) 799-5203
MOUNT VERNON, Va. – Historic Mount Vernon begins its summer schedule on April 1 by welcoming visitors an hour earlier, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., making it one of the few early-opening attractions in the Washington, D.C. area. For visitors looking to save a few “Washingtons” this year, Mount Vernon is offering special money-saving admission packages beginning April 1 through October 31. New this year – after years of research, archaeology, and reconstruction, Mount Vernon’s blacksmith shop is back in business! Watch as a costumed blacksmith performs special demonstrations at the grand opening ceremony on April 1 at 11:00 a.m.
In addition to extended hours, April 1 marks the seasonal opening of the George Washington: Pioneer Farmer site and George Washington’s Distillery & Gristmill. Potomac River sightseeing cruises, special walking tours on slave life and gardens, and a daily tribute at the tomb of George and Martha Washington also begin on the first of April. All activities at Mount Vernon are included in admission with the exception of the Distillery & Gristmill and sightseeing cruises, which require an additional fee. Go to Visit.MountVernon.org for more information.
Beginning April 1, blacksmithing demonstrations at Mount Vernon’s newly reconstructed blacksmith shop will take place every day through November, giving visitors a dynamic view of 18th-century smithing by creating the same household and agricultural items that were used on Washington’s plantation. The site has been reconstructed at the original location of Washington’s shop after years of research and archaeological excavations.
Three new money-saving admission packages will be available beginning April 1 through October 31: The Farmer ($21/adult, $12/youth), The General ($17/adult, $8.50/youth), and The President ($28/adult, $16/youth). Regular admission to the Estate is $15 for adults; $7 for youth ages 6-11; and free for children five and younger.
Throughout the month of April, Mount Vernon offers free wagons rides to visitors! Visit the George Washington: Pioneer Farmer site Friday, Saturday, and Sunday during the month of April from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. to ride in a wagon pulled by Mount Vernon's livestock.
Tours of slave life and gardens enrich the visitor experience by providing in-depth knowledge of these fascinating subjects during 30-minute guided walking tours. Slave Life at Mount Vernon explores the lives and contributions of the slaves who lived at Mount Vernon offered daily at 2:00 p.m. The Garden and Landscape Tour highlights Washington’s creative design for his gardens at 11:00 a.m. daily.
At George Washington’s Distillery & Gristmill, demonstrations by costumed distillers take visitors through the historic process of whiskey-making in this reconstruction of the largest 18th-century distillery in America. George Washington’s Distillery is adjacent to his reconstructed Gristmill, a water-powered mill where Colonial millers grind corn into meal and wheat into flour just as it was done more than 200 years ago. George Washington’s Whiskey Distillery & Gristmill are located three miles from the Mount Vernon Estate on Route 235. Open daily from April to October, 10:00 a.m. through 5:00 p.m. Admission to the site is $4 for adults, $2 for children ages 6-11, and free for children 5 and under. Go to Visit.MountVernon.org for more information.
Potomac River sightseeing cruises offer a refreshing opportunity to explore Mount Vernon from a different view with a 40-minute narrated excursion aboard the Spirit of Mount Vernon or Miss Christin Tuesday through Sunday at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. Tickets for sightseeing cruises are $9.00 for adults and $5.00 for children (6-11) in addition to Estate admission. Children ages 5 and under are free. Go to Visit.MountVernon.org for sightseeing cruise schedules.
At the George Washington: Pioneer Farmer site, visitors can tour the re-created 16-sided barn George Washington designed. This four-acre site features rare-breed farm animals (oxen, mules, roosters, sheep, and chickens) similar to the varieties Washington had at his farms. The cultivated area includes eight fields, and illustrates Washington's advanced farming practices and crop rotation scheme.
During Mount Vernon’s Tribute at the Tomb, visitors recite Washington’s “Prayer for his Country” and the Pledge of Allegiance as part of this daily tribute offered at the tomb of George and Martha Washington at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.