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Christmas at Mount Vernon

Christmas Camel and Former White House Pastry Chef Return

After last year’s successful new event, Mount Vernon is again joyfully decking the halls for Christmas at Mount Vernon, a special daytime program offered from Thanksgiving Day weekend through the Twelve Days of Christmas (Nov. 27 – Jan. 6). Themed decorations (including 12 Christmas trees), a gingerbread Mount Vernon by former White House pastry chef Roland Mesnier, historical chocolate-making demonstrations, and 18th-century dancing will be offered. Back by popular demand will be "Aladdin," who plays the role of a Christmas Camel! George Washington was fond of unusual animals and plants, and he paid 18 shillings in 1787 for a camel to temporarily live at Mount Vernon for his guests during Christmas.

The popular tradition continues of opening the rarely-seen third floor of the Mansion and inviting visitors to meet the charming "Mrs. Washington." Schedules may vary for dancing and "Mrs. Washington." Christmas at Mount Vernon is included in regular Estate admission: $15 for adults, $7 for children ages 6-11, and free for children under 6.

Decorations

Twelve festive Christmas trees will grace Mount Vernon’s Ford Orientation Center and the Donald W. Reynolds Museum & Education Center. Ranging in heights of up to 12 feet tall, the trees will be professionally decorated with themes relating to Mount Vernon, George Washington, and the 18th century.

Former White House Pastry Chef Roland Mesnier will create from scratch a 5-foot-wide and 2-foot-tall gingerbread replica of the Mansion. The gingerbread Mansion will include such intricate details as works of art on walls, marzipan George and Martha Washington figures, and the historic pecan tree located near the Mansion.

Traditional boughs of hand-cut greenery will adorn doorways in the Mansion, which will be staged with an elaborate course in the formal dining room. The Mansion’s rooms will be changed from their normal appearance to reflect the home preparing for overnight guests. Martha Washington’s "Great Cake" will take center stage, and visitors may take home her original recipe calling for 40 eggs and a version that has been adapted for modern ovens – and appetites!

Over 100 poinsettias will follow hallways and other paths walked by visitors.

The Shops at Mount Vernon include a large Christmas section, with dozens of ornaments, Byers’ Choice Carolers – including a George and Martha Washington! – snow globes, and wooden advent calendars. Stock up on holiday shopping with unique gifts.

Programs

Sample fresh chocolate made by hand over an open fire. The American Heritage Chocolate Program uses an authentic colonial recipe and costumed chocolatiers to reproduce the distinct flavors of the 18th century. Chocolate bars, sticks, and spiced drink mix are sold at The Shops at Mount Vernon.

Tour the third floor of the Mansion where Lady Washington lived after her beloved husband died. She never returned to their shared room and instead lived the rest of her years in a garret chamber, which was just refurbished four years ago. The third floor is only open during "Christmas at Mount Vernon."

Meet "Lady Washington" herself! The popular hostess presents a charming program and takes questions in the Little Theater. Schedule may vary.

Rudolph wasn’t around during Washington’s time, but the General did have an exotic animal over the holidays – a Christmas Camel! George Washington was fond of unusual animals and plants, and he paid 18 shillings in 1787 for a camel to temporarily live at Mount Vernon for his guests during Christmas.

Try your hand – and feet – at the Virginia reel, or just watch and enjoy the ambiance as costumed actors demonstrate dances that were popular in the 18th century. Demonstrations are offered in the greenhouse. Schedule may vary.

We guarantee a white Christmas – at least in the Revolutionary War theater! Feel your seat rumble and snow fall on your shoulders as Washington and his troops cross the Delaware in a multimedia immersive experience! Part of the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center, the theater is included in general admission.

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Events, programs, and activities are subject to change.

Public Information: 703-780-2000; 703-799-8697 (TDD); Visit.MountVernon.org