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Evening Fireworks and Candlelight Tours Light up the Christmas Season

MOUNT VERNON, VA – Celebrate the holiday season at George Washington’s Mount Vernon! Start a new family tradition at Mount Vernon’s Christmas Illuminations event: watch as a dazzling display of fireworks are launched over the Potomac River. Lady Washington welcomes you to her home during Mount Vernon’s annual Candlelight tours.

Mount Vernon by Candlelight

November 24 & 25. 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

December 1 & 2.  5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

December 8 & 9. 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

December 17. 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.

The Washingtons are preparing for a festive celebration with friends and family, a favorite holiday activity at Mount Vernon.  How does the first ‘first family’ of the United State celebrate Christmas? Step back in time to 1797 during Mount Vernon by Candlelight to learn more about the holidays in the Washington household. Enjoy character-guided tours of the first and second floors of the Mansion, 18th-century dancing, and fireside caroling. Explore more about holiday traditions in 18th-century Virginia through this unique Mansion tour.

Mount Vernon by Candlelight takes place rain or shine. $24 adult; $16 youth (ages 2-11).

Christmas Illuminations

December 15 & 16, 5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Kick off your holiday season with sparking fireworks overlooking the Potomac River on Friday & Saturday, December 15 & 16!

Join Mount Vernon for an evening of family-friendly fun and fireworks choreographed to holiday music, with fireworks beginning around 9 p.m. Take a stroll through the estate while being serenaded by local choirs, visit with re-enactors from the First Virginia Regiment in winter encampment, and learn 18th-century dance moves from costumed guides in the Greenhouse. “George and Martha Washington” will also be on site to greet Mount Vernon’s holiday guests. 

Watch as colonial artisans demonstrate the 18th-century process of creating chocolate. Keep toasty by warming up by a bonfire, visiting the blacksmith shop, or enjoying some hot chocolate and food available for purchase.

Still haven’t found the perfect holiday gift? Take some time to complete any last minute gift needs at the Shops at Mount Vernon, open late during Christmas Illuminations.

Christmas Illuminations takes place rain or shine. $34 adult/$24 youth with Mansion tour. $30 adult/$20 youth without Mansion tour.

NEW EVENT: Holiday Coffee and Dessert with Martha Washington

December 9. 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Visit with Martha Washington and her granddaughter, Mrs. Peter, while they discuss the foods and desserts that were served during the holidays at Mount Vernon. Enjoy a piece of Martha Washington's Great Cake and coffee while listening to holiday music by our resident fifer, Don Francisco. The event concludes with a Q&A session and a photo opportunity with Mrs. Washington and Mrs. Peter. Afterwards, guests are invited to tour the Mansion and estate. $35 per person.

Tea with Lady Washington

November 4. 2 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Join Martha Washington for a cozy tea as she shares memories of her and the General’s life as a young married couple, during the Revolutionary War, and at their beloved Mount Vernon.

Hear Martha Washington explain the art and social history of enjoying this refined beverage while being served fine tea and an elegant light fare prepared by the Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant. Following the program guests are invited to a self-guided exploration of the estate and Mount Vernon’s beautiful decorative arts collection.

Light fare prepared by the Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant and afternoon tea. $35 per person.

Christmas at Mount Vernon

November 24 - January 6. 9 a.m. — 4 p.m.

The holidays are full of delight at George Washington’s estate. Tour the Mansion, watch historic chocolate-making demonstrations, and meet Aladdin the Camel. Join daily “Camel Talks” featuring our camel in residence, Aladdin, at 11 a.m. to learn more about the rare animals at George Washington's home during the holiday season. Hear from costumed friends and family of the Washingtons tell charming stories of Christmas traditions of the past every day at 2 p.m. and 3 p.m. Mount Vernon is open every day of the year, including Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.


News Filming & Photography

Interested in filming or photographing at Mount Vernon? Check out our guide for professional photographers.

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News Backgrounders card

Access bulleted facts and background information about the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, George Washington, the Estate, and more.

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