The home of George Washington is also home to Christmas festivities this month for those who want to add history into their celebrations. These Christmas days out are ideal for children and adults alike, as they mix the usual festivities in with tantalizing treats.
An Evening with Martha Washington
Join fantastic reenactors for an evening of fun by candlelight, as ‘Martha Washington’ shows how dinner parties were hosted back in the 1800s. This tour of the home features cider, gingerbread and carolling to get visitors in the Christmas spirit. These brilliant evenings allow guests to see another side to the house and travel back in time with the Washington family.
On various days in December, visitors can take their picnic blankets and sit out under the stars on the massive grounds of the house. They’ll be privy to an amazing fireworks show to celebrate the festive season. Alongside these distractions, they’ll also have a very special re-enactment for guests to show what camping out was like for soldiers. Don’t worry though, you won’t be on rations, as refreshments are served all evening for those who like a hot cider or two. This outdoor activity brings in all the fun of Christmas with a great take on the educational side of the Revolutionary War. General Washington will even make an appearance to talk to visitors about his life and times.
Meet Aladdin the Camel
George Washington was a notorious entertainer and Mount Vernon received many guests in its time. One party trick that Washington used to keep things exciting for his guests was to lead a camel into the crowd. To honor this tradition, organizers at the estate have brought in a camel for their guests to meet and interact with. This party trick was so successful for Washington, as many of his visitors had never even heard of such a creature, and Aladdin the camel is sure to delight anyone passing by the estate. Washington’s camel cost him 18 shillings and lived on the estate until his death. Aladdin, however, comes from the Berryville region of Virginia and travels to Mount Vernon every December. Guests are welcome to take pictures with the camel and there are even cuddly toy versions of the animal to take home.
View the History of Thanksgiving
Thanksgiving may have recently passed, but the document that declared this day a national holiday still resides at Mount Vernon. The document was signed in 1789 and still holds true to this day. It was signed by Washington himself after a fierce debate with Congress to bring this legislation into full force. If you are looking for a longer experience at Mount Vernon during the day, Gray Line DC offers a full-day Mount Vernon and Arlington National Cemetery Tour, daily through the end of the year. You’ll learn all about the history of the house and the man that lived there.