Washington, DC – Holiday Activities 3

Fancy having a peek at a Holiday Season reminiscent of the 1700s? Well, in Washington, DC you can — and do it at George Washington’s home, Mount Vernon!

The season extends just past New Year so you can still enjoy this only-in-Washington, DC activity.

Mount Vernon is easy to get to and is a beautiful colonial plantation. Even winter drear cannot take away the special, timeless quality of the place.

The Holidays at Mt. Vernon
Dates: November 26, 2010 – January 6, 2011

Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens celebrates with a special daytime program from Thanksgiving Day weekend through the Twelve Days of Christmas.

These special festivities include themed decorations, a gingerbread house replicating Mount Vernon, historical chocolate-making demonstrations, 18th-century dances and even a Christmas camel just like George Washington had on the grounds during Christmas of 1787!Imagine that.

All programs, except the Candlelight Tour, are included in the general admission.

Tickets are: $15/adult; $7/child, free for children 5 and younger.

Mount Vernon is open every day of the year, including Christmas and New Years. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. during “Christmas at Mount Vernon.”

Here are some of the activity choices:

___   Mount Vernon Candlelight Tours
Martha Washington hosts an 18th-century Christmas with candlelit walks, fireside caroling and the festive décor of the plantation. The evening program is held on select dates and is understandably very popular. Tickets for this program are separate from the regular admission to the Estate. Purchase tickets in advance.

___   See chocolate making demonstrations over an open fire (that’s no easy task!). The American Heritage Chocolate Program uses an authentic colonial recipe and costumed chocolatiers to reproduce the distinct flavors of the 18th century.  There are samples available from 2-3 p.m., daily. These traditional chocolate bars, sticks and spiced drink mix are sold at The Shops at Mount Vernon.

___   Tour the third floor of the Mansion, which is only open for “The Christmas at Mount Vernon” program. This floor is  where Lady Martha Washington lived after her beloved husband died. Martha never returned to their shared room and instead lived the rest of her years in a garret chamber, which was just refurbished three years ago.

___   Meet “Lady Washington” herself, as an actress portrays her. The popular hostess presents a charming program and usually takes questions in the Little Theater (the schedule may vary).

___   See George Washington’s Christmas Camel! As a surveyor, he had a chance to enjoy nature and George was fond of unusual animals and plants. The father of our country paid 18 shillings in 1787 for a camel to temporarily live at Mount Vernon for his guests during Christmas.

___   Take the chance to learn some popular American folk-dances! Try the Virginia reel, or just watch and enjoy the ambiance as costumed dancers demonstrate what was popular in the 18th century. The demonstrations are offered in the greenhouse, and the schedule may vary.

Holiday Trees at Mount Vernon

___   There will be 12 festive Christmas trees gracing Mount Vernon’s Ford Orientation Center and the Donald W. Reynolds Museum & Education Center. The trees are decorated with themes relating to Mount Vernon, George Washington and the 18th century.

___   Famed, former White House Pastry Chef, Roland Mesnier, created  a five-foot-wide and two-foot-tall gingerbread replica of Mount Vernon.

___   Traditional boughs of hand-cut greenery will adorn doorways in the Mansion. There will be a  staged meal in the formal dining room. Martha Washington’s “Great Cake” will be featured and visitors may take home her original recipe. Isn’t that a wonderful piece of living history!

___   The Shops at Mount Vernon offer a large selection of unique decorative items.

Enjoy the Holidays!

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©2010 mystic at Travel Vacation Review

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