Christmas past meets Christmas present at George Washington's estate. Just as the Washingtons celebrated the holiday with family and friends, visitors can start a new tradition of visiting Mount Vernon this holiday season.

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Daytime Activities

Holiday programs and tours fill each day with delight at George Washington’s estate. Visitors of all ages can tour the Mansion, watch 18th-century demonstrations, and hear stories of Christmases past from costumed characters.

Aladdin the Christmas Camel

Daily | Included with General admission

In 1787, George Washington paid 18 shillings to bring a camel to Mount Vernon for the enjoyment of his guests. This season visit our Christmas camel, Aladdin, on the 12-acre field.

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Camel Talks

Friday-Sunday, 11am & 2pm | Included with General Admission

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.

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Holiday Time for the Washingtons Tour

Weekends, December 1-30 | $7 in addition to General Admission

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.

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18th-Century Demonstrations

Chocolate Making

Daily, 12-4:30pm | Included with General Admission

Listen to our costumed interpreters as they describe each step of the chocolate making process—from cacao seed to chocolate mills— and learn more about the preparation of hot chocolate and chocolate tea at Mount Vernon.

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Pie Making

Weekends, December 1-30, 11am - 2pm | Included with General Admission

Savor the tastes and smells of holiday pie making at Mount Vernon while hearing stories of the Washingtons’ holiday confections. Help Mount Vernon's historic trades staff knead and shape the crust before tasting delicious pre-made pie.

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Meet People from Washington's World

Daily, 2pm & 3pm | Included with General Admission

Visit the Greenhouse and listen to friends, family and enslaved servants of the Washingtons tell charming stories of Christmas traditions of the past.

Check the calendar of events for daily programs with costumed characters.

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Holiday Fifing

Tuesday-Thursday, 10:30am; Friday-Saturday, 10:30am & 2:30pm | Included with General Admission

Join our resident fifer on the bowling green for a musical demonstration and discussion of 18th-century holiday music!

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Hands-on-History Center

Operation Gratitude: Holiday Cards for the Military

Monday-Friday, 12-5pm; Saturday-Sunday, 1-2:30pm | Included with Admission

Ages 3-10

Wish our oversees service members a happy holidays by writing a note or making a special card.

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Ornament-making for Children

Monday-Friday, December 3-24, 3-5pm | Included with Admission

Ages 5-10

Create a special souvenir ornament from a clear ball, faux snow, and Mount Vernon pine.

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Special Events

Throughout the season, Mount Vernon hosts events for the entire family—even the dog!

Mount Vernon by Candlelight

Join the Washington family for a festive evening at Mount Vernon during our popular evening tours. Inside the Mansion, receive warm welcomes from Mount Vernon residents and hear stories of past Christmases. After the tour, participate in an 18th-century dance the Greenhouse, enjoy cookies and warm cider while listening to fireside caroling, and visit Aladdin the Christmas camel. 

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Christmas Illuminations

Kick off your holiday season with sparkling fireworks overlooking the Potomac River!

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Holiday Centerpiece Workshop

December 9, 10am & 2pm | $75 per person

Construct a homemade holiday wreath during this two-hour workshop. Mount Vernon's greenhouse manager, Melanie Welles Creamer, instructs participants how to construct the wreath using greens, preserved pomegranates, and dried seed heads from Mount Vernon's gardens.

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Howlidays at Mount Vernon Photo Station

December 1, 11am - 2pm | Included with General Admission

Dress your pet in their holiday finery and pose for a photo with one of Mount Vernon's characters. Pets receive a special gift (while supplies last).

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Cookie Decorating

December 15, 10am & 1pm | $5 per person In addition to general admission

Visit the cozy greenhouse and receive a box of cookies and decorations to adorn them. Create two beautiful gingerbread cookies with the guidance of a Mount Vernon staff member.

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