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May and June at George Washington’s Mount Vernon: Revolutionary War Weekend, Mother’s Day Brunch, Wine and Whiskey Tastings, Book Events, Fireworks and More

From history buffs to wine aficionados to families, there’s something for everyone at George Washington’s Mount Vernon in May and June. May kicks off with the transformation of Mount Vernon's serene 12-acre field into a battleground for Revolutionary War Weekend. Continentals, Redcoats, and Hessians will conduct military drills, and visitors can meet the soldiers encamped at Mount Vernon.

On Mother’s Day, families can enjoy a special brunch buffet at the Mount Vernon Inn with favorites like fried chicken, waffles, and colonial bread pudding. After brunch, buy mom a gift at the Shops at Mount Vernon or tour George Washington's Distillery and Grist Mill. In 1799 the distillery was one of the largest in America, and today the reconstructed distillery continues to produce batches of spirits. 

Wine and whisky aficionados will want to purchase tickets now for the popular Spring Wine Festival and Whiskey Tastings. Foodies won’t want to miss Resident Baker Justin Cherry of Half Crown Bakehouse during select weekends for 18th-century bread baking demonstrations and fresh loaves for sale while they last.

And fans of Washington Post columnist Alexandra Petri can hear about her new book, Alexandra Petri’s US History: Important American Documents (I Made Up) on June 21. This side-splitting work of historical humor shows why Petri has been hailed a national treasure and one of the funniest writers alive. Learn more.

Visitors also can visit the Mansion, expansive estate, and gardens. May and June events and activities include: 

  • Experience Revolutionary War Weekend on May 6 and 7. Watch military drills and cavalry demonstrations, meet the soldiers and camp followers, tour the 18th-century army encampments, and walk through George Washington’s War Tent that served as his command center of the Continental Army. Learn more.
  • Explore the lives, loves, and loss of the enslaved families at Mount Vernon with a special guided tour, family activity, and ceremonial remembrance on May 13. Learn more.
  • Watch the construction of an 18th-century English gown on May 13 and 14. Mount Vernon’s historic costumer, Kathrin Breitt Brown, and Brooke Welborn of Burnley & Trowbridge will complete a gown and petticoat using hand stitching and 18th-century techniques. Learn more.
  • Enjoy a Book Talk on May 18 with Rachel E. Walker, author of Beauty and the Brain: The Science of Human Nature in Early America. She discusses her new book that explores the connection between science, politics, and popular culture in early America. Learn more.
  • Savor the Spring Wine Festival & Sunset Tour on May 19, 20, and 21. Now is the time to purchase tickets, as Saturday already has sold out. Bring a blanket and relax on the east lawn overlooking the Potomac River while sampling wines from Virginia’s finest wineries. Guests also will enjoy live music from Bruce Ewan and the Solid Senders. Doors open at 6 p.m. each night, and The Shops at Mount Vernon and Wine Valet Service are open until 8:45 p.m. The first floor, second floor, and cellar of the Mansion will be open until 8:30 p.m. Learn more.
  • At Summerfest, sample craft beer from local breweries, hear live music from The Fly Birds, and explore the historic area after hours on June 9 and 10. Concessions will be available from the Mount Vernon Inn Food Truck. Learn more.
  • The Annual Martha Washington Lecture will feature Holly A. Mayer and Lorri Glover, contributors to the new book, Women Waging War in the American Revolution, in conversation with fellow historian Graham Hodges about women's diverse struggles for security and independence in the midst of war. This June 13 event includes a reception and book signing. Learn more.
  • Meet Washington Post columnist Alexandra Petri as she discusses her new book, Alexandra Petri’s US History: Important American Documents (I Made Up) on June 21. Learn more.
  • Enjoy an evening of family fun and Independence Day fireworks along with patriotic music to celebrate the nation's founding. Guests also can attend a special wreath-laying at Washington’s Tomb, watch colonial ice cream-making demonstrations, and enjoy 18th -century dancing. The Mansion will be lit in red, white, and blue during this event scheduled for June 30 and July 1. 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 held from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m. on select dates with baked goods available for purchase until sold out. Learn more.
  • Taste Mount Vernon's one-of-a-kind distilled products on Saturdays in May and June. George Washington’s Whiskey Tasting is an outdoor event featuring samples of three distilled spirits made using 18th-century distilling techniques. Learn more.
  • George Washington’s Distillery and Gristmill is open for the season. This fully functioning reconstruction of George Washington's Distillery and Gristmill is located 2.7 miles from the estate’s main entrance. Tours are offered on weekends through October and are included with a Mount Vernon grounds pass. 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

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

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