If there’s any place to make a big deal out of President’s Day, certainly it’s here in the nation’s capitol. So, it makes sense that there are tons of activities and events happening this weekend to celebrate the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. And there are several that will be especially fun for kids. Here’s where you can find them.
Presidential Family Fun Day – On Saturday, February 19, the National Portrait Gallery and American Art Museum will celebrate our nation’s presidents with a day full of craft activities, performances, and scavenger hunts. Make a “Happy Presidents’ Day Card” to send to the White House, or dress up as a future President and get your official portrait taken. You can experiment building log cabins out of Popsicle sticks or lincoln logs or take a scavenger hunt through the galleries to find out more about our Presidents.
Celebrate Washington’s 279th Birthday at His Place! Mount Vernon, George Washington’s former home, is hosting a long weekend of special activities in honor of the first prez’s big day. ON Saturday and Sunday, join “General Washington” for a sample of his favorite breakfast, “hoecakes swimming in butter and honey” (while supplies last) from 9am to 12pm. See the calvary come to town when the Second Continental Light Dragoons ride throughout the estate on horseback. Join characters from the 18th century as they help visitors surprise General Washington with rousing birthday cheers! At “George Washington’s Surprise Birthday Party”, the first president will be presented with gifts, which he will describe and react to during a speech to his birthday visitors. All activities are included in regular Estate admission: $15/adults, $7/kids ages 6-11, children under 5 are free.
On Monday, celebrate the national observance of George Washington’s birthday by visiting his home and burial site. The traditional wreathlaying ceremony at Washington’s Tomb will take place at 10am. Shortly after, Miss America 2010 Caressa Cameron will sing the national anthem, then the Old Guard Fife & Drum will perform military demonstrations on the bowling green. At 1:30pm, enjoy the surprise birthday party that also happens on previous days. Admission on Monday only is FREE.
Celebrate America’s Presidents at Tudor Place! – Families enjoy an interactive tour of the 1816 mansion and children’s crafts, including an art workshop with Artist-in-Residence Peter Waddell. George Washington’s 1775 letter to Martha Washington will be on public viewing for this day only. The letter, written on the eve of Washington’s departure from Philadelphia to take command of the Continental Army, reveals the human and sentimental side of this revered hero. Martha Washington herself will read the letter at 11:00! After the reading, join the American Ladies for a traditional tea and refreshments! Artifacts and manuscripts from George Washington and other Presidents will also be on view. Cost is $5/children and adult member, $10/non-members. Register in advance online.
George Washington Birthday Parade – On Monday, Old Town Alexandria hosts the largest parade in the country celebrating George Washington’s birthday with marching bands, historic re-enactment troops and more. The procession will travel through Old Town from 1 – 3pm. See the website for more info and route details.
President’s Day at The Launch Zone – They cannot tell a lie! The National Children’s Museum has some great activities planned to celebrate some of our nation’s finest presidents! Enjoy them on Saturday and Monday off at 11am with some fun presidential activities.
Wax Presidential – Get up close and personal with all 44 POTUS! Madame Tussauds in Washington, DC, just unveiled its new Presidents Gallery, exclusive to that location. If you plan to go, be sure to get in on this Groupon for $6 tickets (regularly starting at $15).