Join me, mes amies, on a merry tour of George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate at Christmas time!
This was my first visit to the Mount Vernon Estate, even though it is a just short drive away from Washington DC. And it is definitely worth the trip. I’m already planning to go back since this tour was strictly Christmas focused – there is plenty more to see and do.
I would allocate an afternoon, or an evening, to this experience. You don’t need a full day unless you want to do the entire museum as well, which is quite extensive and informative. The museum is recently built and very well done, including small theaters with frequent short films if you’d like to get off your feet.
But back to Christmastime! As a guest of the Washington’s your tour begins and ends in the main building, which is decked out for the holidays and features period-style musicians playing traditional tunes to put you in a festive mood.
Once your tour group is called, you head outside and over to the main Estate house (pictured at top). Along the way the tour guide stops at a handful of markers to point out interesting facts about what you’re seeing, or about how the Washington’s would have honored the holiday.
Of course, on the night of our tour it was pouring rain. Since the tickets were pre-purchased, off we went dodging raindrops! Hence, no pictures of the dark rainy tour. Despite the steady drizzle though, it was quite enjoyable under an umbrella.
We dried off just a bit once arriving to the Estate House, wherein we saw many of the rooms, the kitchens, and were greeted by various people in-character including Martha Washington herself! The tour is well-paced, allows you to ask questions, and time is spent about equally indoors/outdoors.
Later, you can also explore more of the smaller buildings on the grounds independently as there are placards and displays for a more self-guided experience. On the way back we were sure to stop into the Greenhouse, where they were leading traditional dancing, and to visit the Christmas Camel!
That’s right, poor Alladin the Christmas Camel decided to leave his shelter and come out into the rain in solidarity with us! He wasn’t very active, but who can blame him really on such a nasty night. Nearby was a fire pit and a tent with complimentary warm cider and ginger cookie refreshments, which were very welcome.
Overall, my advice is to absolutely dress for the weather and wear shoes that you don’t mind on a muddy and worn path. The people in-character were truly wonderful and really made the experience for me. They’re having fun with it and clearly love the work, which makes all the difference! The tour is holiday-focused, so if you’ve seen Mount Vernon Estate before then you’ll get a different experience.
I do wish I had more photos for you but the rain really dampened that attempt. All the more reason to to see Christmastime at George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate yourself!