Celebrate the Presidents Day holiday with your family by traveling back in time and seeing the history of our founding fathers come alive in the places where it all began.
Family Visit to Colonial Williamsburg
Families are invited to the breakfast table with Presidents Washington, Jefferson and Madison in the very place where democracy was founded. Families can ask the presidents about their time and life in office in between trips to the buffet. The Saturday morning meal event kicks off Williamsburg’s Presidents Day Weekend, which includes a live chat about negotiating congress, a Tour of the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg where kids can try their skills at various techniques, and an evening concert performance of music from the 18th century.
Fredericksburg Celebrates George Washington’s Birthday
Families can ring in the 280th birthday of George Washington in the Fredericksburg, Va. area, located halfway between Washington D.C. and Richmond, Va. Families can find an exciting mix of history and adventure while learning about the nation’s historical figures. On Saturday, February 18, families can participate in games, crafts, first-person interpreters and theater performances at Washington’s boyhood home at Ferry Farm, located just across the Rappahannock River in Stafford County. The event ends with birthday cake and a chance to throw a stone across the river, just like George was said to have done back in the day.
And on Monday, February 20, families can come back to Ferry Farm for the “Young George Washington and the Buried Past” event, and learn how archaeologists are revealing the secrets of the Washington family.
Mount Vernon for Cooking Demonstrations and a Food Expo
Families can spend all three days of the holiday weekend in Washington’s home of Mount Vernon, Va. near Baltimore, celebrating with events including an outdoor cooking demonstration by celebrated chefs, a new food exhibition with more than 125 objects from the Washington’s’ kitchen, a surprise birthday celebration for “George Washington” and a book signing with PBS’s “A Taste of History” host Chef Walter Staib. The Saturday and Sunday events are included in Estate admission, and admission to all events on Monday, February 21, is free.
New exhibitions include “Hoecakes & Hospitality: Cooking with Martha Washington,” and Mount Vernon’s staff will cook samples of George Washington’s favorite breakfast of hoecakes swimming in butter and honey.
George Washington Birthday Parade in Alexandria
The George Washington Birthday Parade, the largest and oldest in the country celebrating this Founding Father, will wind its way through the historic streets of Old Town where Washington lived, worshiped and conducted business. Annually, the parade includes thousands of participants including historical, community and youth groups, bands, horses, and canines. Families line the brick sidewalks along the one-mile parade route to watch.
Events throughout the weekend in Alexandria will celebrate Washington’s legacy with an historic reenactment at Fort Ward Park; the Birthnight Banquet & Ball at Gadsby’s Tavern; the annual Cherry Challenge, a 10-K race and a one-mile race just before the parade; and free admission to historic sites on parade day.
Photo credit: Fredericksburg Area Tourism