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April and May at Mount Vernon: Revolutionary War Weekend, Wine Festival, Plant and Garden Sale, Family Animal Day, Supreme Court Lecture Series, Distillery Tours, Whiskey Tastings, and Much, Much More

April and May offer visitors a multitude of experiences at the home of America’s first president, George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Two of the historic site’s most popular spring events are right around the corner, Revolutionary War Weekend and the Spring Wine Festival. Also, gardeners won’t want to miss the opportunity to purchase General Washington’s choice plants propagated from seeds or cuttings collected from the historic estate at the Spring Plant and Garden Sale. Visitors also can engage with renowned experts, authors, and historians in the coming weeks, and the George Washington Distillery and Gristmill is now open for tours.

Images related to upcoming events at Mount Vernon are available here and should be attributed to the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association.

Located just outside of Washington, D.C., on the banks of the Potomac River, upcoming spring events and activities include: 

  • George Washington’s Distillery and Gristmill is now open for the season. These fully functioning reconstructions of George Washington's Distillery and Gristmill are located just two miles from the estate’s main entrance. Tours are offered on weekends from April – October and are included with a Mount Vernon grounds pass. Learn more. Exclusive whiskey tastings will be offered on Saturdays in May and June from 2-5 pm. Learn more.
  • Shop for heirloom vegetables, herbs, annual flowers, native perennials, trees, and shrubs grown in Mount Vernon's greenhouses. Members can shop one day early, on April 26, with a reservation. Advance tickets are not required on April 27 for the general public sale. Members receive a 10 percent discount on plants. Learn more.
  • Step back in time at Mount Vernon's Revolutionary War Weekend on May 4th and 5th. Mount Vernon's serene 12-Acre Field transforms into a battleground as Continentals, Redcoats, and Hessians conduct military drills, perform cavalry demonstrations, and engage in 18th-century tacticals. Learn more.
  • Secure tickets early for the popular Mount Vernon Wine Festival on May 17th, 18th, and 19th. Bring a blanket to relax on the east lawn overlooking the Potomac River while sampling wines from Virginia wineries and enjoying the live music of Bruce Ewan and the Solid Senders. Learn more.
  • Watch the 18th-century baking process with Resident Baker Justin Cherry of Half Crown Bakehouse. Each loaf is baked in a reproduction clay oven and made of grains authentic to the period that, when possible, were ground at George Washington's Gristmill. Demonstrations are scheduled on select dates, with baked goods available for purchase until sold out. Learn more.
  • Meet bestselling historian and Pulitzer Prize finalist H.W. Brands on April 11th. Brand will discuss his book Founding Partisans, a revelatory history of the shocking emergence of vicious political division at the birth of the United States. Learn more.  
  • Discover Mount Vernon’s adorable animals during Family Animal Day on April 20th and 21st. This is a rare opportunity to see sheep, oxen, and horses and learn about their jobs in the 18th century. Learn more.
  • Hear from historian Christopher F. Minty, author of Unfriendly to Liberty: Loyalist Networks and the Coming of the American Revolution on April 23rd. Minty's new book explores the origins of loyalism in New York City between 1768 and 1776 and revises understanding of the coming of the American Revolution. Learn more.
  • Attend the Supreme Court Lecture Series, Washington's Heir, on May 1st. The Supreme Court Historical Society and the Washington Presidential Library are joining together to present lectures focused on George Washington, the history of the U.S. Supreme Court, and the nation's founding. Learn more.
  • Meet Jeffrey Rosen, President and CEO of the National Constitution Center, at a book event on May 9th. The Declaration of Independence identified “the pursuit of happiness” as one of our unalienable rights, along with life and liberty. Hear from Rosen about what pursuing happiness meant to six of the most influential American founders as detailed in his new book, The Pursuit of Happiness. Learn more.
  • Explore the lives, loves, and loss of the enslaved families at George Washington's Mount Vernon on May 11th. This event offers a special guided tour (free tour ticket required), family activity, and ceremonial remembrance. Learn more.
  • Have Lunch at the Library with Brook Manville to discuss his new book, The Civic Bargain: How Democracy Survives, on May 15. This book offers a guide for democratic renewal, calling on citizens to recommit to a “civic bargain” with one another to guarantee civic rights of freedom, equality, and dignity. Learn more.
  • Hear from historian Talmage Boston on his new book, How the Best Did It:Leadership Lessons from our Top Presidents, on May 23rd. This book offers an insightful explanation of how the most important leadership traits from America’s eight greatest presidents can be implemented by today’s leaders. Learn more.

Read the full listing of Mount Vernon events here. Most Mount Vernon events are free or discounted for members. Information about Mount Vernon membership is available here.

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