We recently visited Mount Vernon, the home of America’s first president- George Washington. We had a good time and learned a bit as well. We decided to go on “Homeschool Day.” The admission was reduced but, it was very crowded. We counted over thirty tour buses, there were long lines everywhere, the gift shop was a mad house, and parking was difficult. My suggestion is to just spend the extra money and go on a day without a special event scheduled.
My family of four met up with a fellow homeschool momma and her two sweet energetic boys. We packed lunches but, realized when we got there, that outside food and drinks are prohibited and there isn’t a picnic area. There is a restaurant and a food court available. Tickets are currently $18 for adults (over twelve years old), if you purchase them online. Children over five are $9. Tots five and under are free. A discount is available for seniors, military, veterans, and dependents. There are several add-on tours available including an audio tour, a sightseeing cruise, and a National Treasure Tour.
The main attraction on the property is the mansion. When purchasing tickets, you are assigned a time to take a guided tour of the home. It’s an interesting tour and we learned quite a bit.
Other interesting things to see on the property include animals at the pioneer farm- my kids enjoyed petting the sheep, the gardens- which are beautifully landscaped, and the museum- check out George’s dentures, a forensically accurate wax rendering of the president’s face, and watch the films that are offered here. They are really well done.
If you get a chance, attend a wreath laying ceremony at Washington’s tomb. The staff person on duty during our visit was fantastic. He played a fife and was dressed in a period costume. He had personally served in the armed forces. As a crowd gathered around, he asked a veteran in the crowd to introduce himself and tell about his military service. My friend, an army wife, was missing her husband who was in the middle of a deployment to the Middle East. The staff person began to play “The Army Goes Rolling Along,” the official song of the U.S. Army, on his fife. The veteran in the crowd proudly sang along and saluted. It was so touching, I was in tears by the end of the ceremony.
Another highlight of my day was listening to a talk done by a Martha Washington reenactor. She was beyond fantastic. I was completely enthralled in her presentation. At times, I literally forgot she was an actor and was completely caught up in her stories. I could have sat and listened to her all day.
It was a drizzly chilly day so, we skipped the gristmill and distillery. But, we had a great time.
Here are a few tips:
Wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather. There will be lots and lots of walking. When it started to drizzle, I was happy we had all worn hats and coats. It was a real hike back to the car.
If you choose to go on a day with a special event; expect big crowds.
Strollers are not allowed in the mansion. So, you may want to pack a carrier if you have a little one.
Buy tickets online. It’ll save you a little money and you will have more flexibility when choosing a mansion tour. buy tickets here