One of the most popular sites to see when visiting Washington D.C. is, of course, Mount Vernon! Honestly, we love Mount Vernon! D.C. is, of course, one of the most memorable vacations for families in the US, and Mount Vernon it is one of the most beautiful places to visit and is the perfect day trip from D.C. Today we invite the lovely mom and Travel Blogger Lindsey from www.abroadwife.com who is raising her children in D.C., to share her tips on How to Best Visit Mount Vernon with Kids!
Interested in quintessential U.S. cities? See our popular post on the Top 9 Things to do in Chicago here!
How to Best Visit Mount Vernon with Kids
Ticketing and What is Included
Mount Vernon is in Virginia just 18 miles outside of D.C. This super popular Virginia attraction has a great number of things to see and do. Ticketing is timed and you will be given a specific time to tour Washington’s main house, which is the centerpiece of the property. You will also be given the option to purchase tickets for special tours and a boat cruise. Click here to purchase the tickets online.
Visiting with Martha
We started our visit by exploring the grounds near the main house and the gardens. Near the upper gardens, you can find the slave quarters which are set up to resemble what they would have looked like while in use. Depending on timing, you may also have a chance to meet Lady Washington (Martha Custis/Washinton) herself. There is a character actor portraying the original First Lady, recounting her life, how she met George, about her children, etc. She’s very friendly, interactive, and makes history come to life. It isn’t rare to also find other members of the Washington family wandering the grounds interacting with guests.
The Tour of the House
The tour of the main house was interesting with informed employees explaining what you were looking at and they will willingly answer any questions. You are kept on a path through the edges of rooms or in the hallway, which I was actually grateful for because it meant the kiddos where more limited and couldn’t cause any damage.
The tour is long enough to be interesting and informative but not so long that little ones can’t make it through. I was nervous that they would have a hard time or be disruptive, but I didn’t find this tour to be overly stuffy and the kids did well.
You can also feel free to hang out on the back patio of Mount Vernon relaxing in a chair and taking in the views of the Potomac River. It is seriously stunning!
Stables and Demonstrations
In addition to the main house, you can also see the stables where you can find some cute farm animals, they even had baby lambs when we were there!. Make sure to take the little walk down to Pioneer Farm (A shuttle is also available). If you’re lucky you’ll be there on a day where there are demonstrations of colonial life taking place. We got to learn about fishing in the Potomac and salting fish to preserve it. My daughter loved interacting with the colonists and getting to try some hands-on activities with them.
Cruise the Potomac
The last activity we did was take a boat cruise on the Potomac. The cruise was about 45 minutes and took us to see Ft. Washington. It should be noted, that we were on a boat that was similar to a commuter boat/ferry, but our friends who visited another time were on a more luxurious looking yacht. Our boat had popcorn and drinks available but, the nicer boat had full meals available to order. This might be something that you would want to inquire about when you are making your booking?
Things We Missed and What We Wished We Would Have Done!
You can also visit Washington’s tomb and the memorial for the slaves. There is an on-site education center which I hear is wonderful! There is a children’s room that has a dollhouse-sized version of Mount Vernon, story time, crafts, puzzles, and other activities. We just ran out of time. We got there midday and to really enjoy everything, a full day would have been best.
Mount Vernon hosts many special events throughout the year so be sure to check out their events calendar to see what will be going on during your visit!