George and Martha Washington were known for hosting friends and relatives at their Mount Vernon home for the holidays. That tradition continues today with George Washington’s Mount Vernon welcoming guests to a multitude of holiday events and activities in the coming weeks, along with holiday shopping at the newly remodeled The Shops at Mount Vernon.
The full roster of events and activities in December are listed below. Images related to upcoming events at Mount Vernon are available here and should be attributed to the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association.
Mount Vernon by Candlelight is scheduled for select weekends in December. During this beloved holiday tour, guests meet 18th-century residents of Mount Vernon and hear about holiday traditions during a special candlelit tour of the Mount Vernon estate. Learn more.
The Boston Tea Party Family Day is scheduled for December 9th and will feature hands-on opportunities to learn about the 250th anniversary of this landmark event and its legacy. Guests can explore the teas dumped into Boston Harbor, decorate tea chests, participate in a scavenger hunt, and hear from George Washington as he discusses his views on the Boston Tea Party and Parliament's response. Learn more.
The Christmas Illuminations holiday celebration is scheduled for December 15th and 16th. Watch sparkling fireworks overlooking the Potomac River, along with season's greetings by General Washington and holiday music. This event also features an 18th-century winter market with crafts available for purchase, a winter encampment, the working Blacksmith Shop, Christmas dancers and carolers, and Mount Vernon’s beloved guest camel, Aladdin. Learn more.
Pick up all your holiday gifts, with members enjoying an extra 10% off. There’s something for everyone on your holiday shopping list – unique toys, books, whiskey distilled at Mount Vernon, Mount Vernon-inspired jewelry, Presidential glassware, crafts, clothing, holiday décor, the always popular annual Mount Vernon ornaments, and more. Learn more.
The Death and Mourning of General George Washington Tour on December 14th and 17th. Guests will explore the events leading up to Washington’s death and learn about the people who played a key part in trying to keep Washington alive. Dr. James Craik, Washington's physician, will share his role in the attempts to cure Washington. After viewing Washington’s deathbed in the Mansion, guests will have the rare opportunity to see the Old Tomb where Washington was interred in 1799. Learn more.
Watch the 18th-century baking process with Resident Baker Justin Cherry of Half Crown Bakehouse on selected dates in November and December. 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.
Educators Evening is scheduled for December 6th, a free program to thank K-12 teachers. Virtual tickets are still available. Attendees are invited to reflect on the legacy of Ona Judge who was enslaved at Mount Vernon and escaped as a teenager. First-person storytelling performances will be followed by candlelight tours of the mansion and a private reception for onsite guests. Learn more.
Meet Sandy Winnefeld, retired U. S. Navy admiral and chair of the President's Intelligence Advisory Board on December 12th. Admiral Winnefeld will discuss his book, Sailing Upwind: Leadership and Risk from Top Gun to the Situation Room, and offer reflections on managing risk and the qualities of successful leaders. Learn more.
Read the complete listing of Mount Vernon events here. Most Mount Vernon events are free or discounted for members. Information about Mount Vernon membership is available here.