Every year, starting in late November, George Washington's Mount Vernon infuses a healthy dose of holiday spirit and hospitality into its normal programming that results in a magical few weeks of memory-making opportunities for those who know when and where to find it. Below is your guide to all the festivities available to visitors over the coming weeks.

Mount Vernon by Candlelight
November 26-27 and December 3-4; 10-11 & 19

Mount Vernon By Candlelight

This 45-minute candlelit tour of the historic area brings you face to face with costumed 18th-century Virginians who have a variety of stories to tell. Arrive early at the Ford Orientation Center and partake in light refreshments, enjoy the festive decorations, and even get a little shopping done at The Shops at Mount Vernon. Once the tour begins, you'll have the chance to interact with George Washington's family, friends, and hired and enslaved staff - who each offer unique perspectives on what the holiday season means to them. After the tour, you'll be invited into the Donald W. Reynolds Museum & Education Center lobby for some cookies, cider, and live music. Learn More

Holiday Family Day
December 4, 10am-3pm

Mount Vernon

Learn about the holidays during the 18th-century through a variety of family-friendly activities and games. Craft kits and a holiday-themed passport program are some of the highlights you can expect during the event that will keep kids of all ages entertained and wanting more. And as a bonus, from 9am-11am the estate will be welcoming those who desire a quieter visit, including individuals on the autism spectrum and those with other sensory processing disorders. Learn More

Christmas Illuminations
December 17 & 18

Mount Vernon Fireworks

This beloved family-friendly event is one of the most highly anticipated shows of the year at Mount Vernon. Festive lights, mansion tours, a holiday market complete with sutlers peddling their 18th-century crafts, a living history winter encampment, and amazing fireworks make this a truly remarkable experience for all who take it in. Learn More

Other Holiday Activities

Aladdin the Camel
On site November 26-January 6

Alladin the Camel Mount Vernon

Affectionately known as the "Christmas Camel," Aladdin visits Mount Vernon every holiday season. Why is there a camel at Mount Vernon, you ask? Well, in 1787, George Washington paid 18 shillings to bring a camel to the estate to entertain his guests. He's one of the most popular guests at the estate during the holiday season and is super friendly. The perfect selfie companion for those looking to post something a little different to their social media feeds. 

Holiday Fifing
November 29-December 31
10:30 a.m. – Greenhouse
2:30 p.m. – Interpretive Center


First off, Don Francisco is a really talented musician. Secondly, he's an amazing individual. And as a special treat for those visiting Mount Vernon during the holidays, he'll be showcasing his talents twice a day at two different locations on the estate for your listening pleasure. He'll be blessing the crowds with various 18th-century holiday music so make sure you seek him out and tell him we sent you. 

These are just just a few of the activities you can expect at Mount Vernon this holiday season. You can also witness chocolate-making demonstrations and a very special tour of the estate with America's first First Lady - Martha Washington. George Washington's Mount Vernon is a must-visit for those coming to the area, especially if you're planning a trip to Northern Virginia in December.

Make sure if you share pictures on your social media feed of choice, tag us with @VisitFairfax or #FXVA and we'd love to see what you're up to and maybe share your pictures with our audience as well. For more holiday planning ideas, check out where to find your Christmas Tree, find special locally-made gifts in our Made in Fairfax gift guide, grab tickets to an upcoming holiday concert or performance, and sleuth out where to find the man in red himself, Santa Claus