Vice President, Media & Communications
Fireworks, Candlelight Tours, and More Specialty Programming November 29 – December 31
MOUNT VERNON, VA—Christmas past meets Christmas present at George Washington’s estate: from November 29 through December 31, visitors of all ages can tour the Mansion, watch 18th-century demonstrations, and hear stories of Christmases past from costumed characters.
Mount Vernon by Candlelight (evening times vary based on tour reservation)
November 29 & 30
December 6 & 7
December 13 & 14
Join Mount Vernon's residents and visitors for a festive evening tour. The experience begins in the Ford Orientation Center, where you can enjoy the sounds of the holiday season and view spectacular Christmas trees highlighting the lives of the Washingtons and their home.
When your tour begins, you will be guided into the 18th century for a lantern-lit tour of the historic area, where you will see the Slave Quarters and the Blacksmith Shop. Inside the Mansion, Martha Washington and other Mount Vernon residents will welcome you into their home and share stories of past Christmases.
Tickets: $26 adult, $18 youth (ages 6-11). More details: mountvernon.org/candlelight.
Christmas Illuminations at Mount Vernon
Friday & Saturday, December 20-21, 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Join Mount Vernon for an evening of family-friendly fun and fireworks choreographed to holiday music. Before the fireworks begin around 8 p.m., take a stroll through the estate while being serenaded by local choirs and visit with re-enactors from the First Virginia Regiment. Martha Washington will also be on site to greet Mount Vernon’s holiday guests.
Watch colonial artisans demonstrate the 18th-century process of creating chocolate and visit with Aladdin the camel on the 12-acre field. Keep toasty by warming up by a bonfire, enjoying some hot chocolate or cider, or visiting the Museum and Education Center.
Tickets: $20-$36. More details: mountvernon.org/illuminations.
Daytime Tours & Programs:
Holiday Dinner for the Washingtons Tour
Saturdays & Sundays, November 29- December 30, 12 p.m.
Celebrate the holidays at Mount Vernon and discover what the Washingtons, enslaved people, and hired workers ate during this season. Learn how food was grown, preserved, prepared, and served during the holiday season during this 60-minute tour. Tickets: $10 in addition to admission. More details: mountvernon.org/christmas.
Holiday Wreath Workshop
Sunday, December 1, 10 a.m. & 2 p.m.
Craft an elegant holiday wreath using an assortment of evergreens and botanical accents, including Southern magnolia foliage and seed pods collected from Mount Vernon’s historic landscape, to create a one of a kind holiday wreath. Taught by Melanie Welles Creamer, Mount Vernon Greenhouse Manager and longtime floral designer, participants will leave Mount Vernon with a custom creation to adorn your home for the season! Tickets: $105-$125 per person. More details: mountvernon.org/christmas.
Holiday Topiaries Workshop
Sunday, December 15, 10 a.m. & 2 p.m.
During this special workshop, participants will use an assortment of fresh greens to create two topiaries which will be anchored into decorative birch bark containers. After covering the foam spheres with greens, participants can choose to customize their design with ornamental berries to add a pop of color. Taught by Mount Vernon's greenhouse manager and longtime floral designer, Melanie Welles Creamer, participants will have fun cultivating their creative talents! This workshop will take place in Mount Vernon's production greenhouse. Tickets: $105-$125 per person. More details: mountvernon.org/christmas.
Decorate a Dove of Peace Ornament
Saturdays, December 7 & 14, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Decorate your own dove of peace, which is copied from the one on the Mansion’s weather vane. Included in admission. May your dove ornament be a reminder of your own hopes for peace, love, and joy this holiday season and in the New Year! Included in admission. More details: mountvernon.org/christmas.
Chocolate Making Demonstrations
Daily, November 29-December 31, 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
This demonstration shows how to use the metate and mano to release cocoa butter from the cacao seeds. Although children did not drink chocolate in the 18th century (too stimulating!), our young guests can try their hand at shelling cacao seeds while learning about the variety of spices that were incorporated into colonial chocolate. Also discover the history of and preparation of hot chocolate that took place at Mount Vernon during George Washington's lifetime!
Celebrate with us daily at 3:30 p.m. with a chocolate toast to Christmas! Staff will offer samples of American Heritage™ Historic Chocolate, adapted from an 18th-century recipe. Included in admission. More details: mountvernon.org/christmas.
Holiday Selfie Station
Saturdays & Sundays only, November 30-December 22, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Commemorate your holiday visit to Mount Vernon by taking a festive selfie with a Character from Mount Vernon and include the Washingtons’ beloved home as the backdrop. Four-legged family members are welcome! Please bring your own camera. Included in admission. More details: mountvernon.org/christmas.
Fridays-Sundays, November 29 - December 29, 11 a.m. & 2 p.m.
Meet Aladdin the camel! During this free 30-minute program, James Anderson and other characters tell stories about Washington's interest in exotic animals and share facts about camels. Included in admission. More details: mountvernon.org/christmas.