Monday, February 17, 2014

Presidents' Day: Mount Vernon

Presidents' Day:  Normally this day is just a great excuse to have the day off, and maybe a time to look for some great sales. But now that we are living 18.2 miles from our original president's beloved home place, it's a little bigger deal than normal.  Alexandria hosts a parade, and the museums around here had events all weekend long.  We decided to celebrate today by heading up to the (normally expensive) free day at Mount Vernon itself.  We recently visited the grounds at the end of August with my family when they visited, and enjoyed seeing and hiking through the extensive grounds on a very hot summer day.  But Brian did not get to tour the house due to the repair men coming to fix our air conditioner (earlier than planned), so we wanted to return so he could.  This visit was a little different, with the grounds mostly snow covered, and an even bigger crowd.  We spent more of this visit indoors, exploring the educational exhibits. 
Winter Visit

Some important info:
-Tickets are normally $17 for adults, $8 for youth, and free for 5 and under.
-They also have an "annual pass" that you might consider if you live as close as we do.  Different seasons offer very different experiences.
 -You normally pick a time for your mansion tour when you buy your tickets.  Since it was free today, we were handed tickets when we walked over to the front of the mansion.
 -The orientation video is not very kid friendly-since it includes many battle scenes.  Skip it if you have a young pre-schooler/elementary student.
-Most of the grounds are stroller friendly, but some paths definitely are not.  Seek advice from the map or a docent if you aren't sure.
-There is stroller parking outside the mansion, so be prepared to leave it there.
-The Education Center is very kid friendly, with large exhibits and even has a "hands on history" section where kids can do puzzles, play with period toys, or other activities.
-We still haven't made it through the museum, I'll update this once we do.
-Boots would come in handy when it is wet, but the trails really were in pretty good shape considering the recent weather and the size of the crowds.

Summer Visit

No comments: