Tag Archives: Tudor Place

Party at George’s Place! (And More Ways to Celebrate Presidents Day in DC)

It’s not surprising that Presidents Day is a big holiday ’round these parts. There are scores of events and activities happening this weekend to celebrate George Washington and Abraham Lincoln’s birthdays. So many that I decided give them their own post.  Here’s where you can pay tribute and have some fun with the kids.

Party at Mount Vernon – Every Presidents Day weekend, George Washington’s former estate hosts special festivities in celebration of our first POTUS’ big day. This always includes his favorite breakfast of “hoecakes swimming in butter and honey” served to guests during the morning hours among other activities that recall his 18th-century life. This year, they are taking it up a notch with four award-winning local chefs presenting cooking demos of the dish. Chef Cathal Armstrong from Restaurant Eve, Chef David Guas from Bayou Bakery, Chef Christophe Poteaux from Bastille Restaurant, and Chef Robert Wiedmaier from BRABO will be cooking their versions of the breakfast over open fire for “George Washington” at 12pm. Later on, guests can 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 on Saturday and Sunday, February 18 & 19, are included in regular Estate admission: $15/adults, $7/kids ages 6-11, children under 5 are free. Hours are 9am – 4pm.

There’s even more on Monday, February 20.  Along with the surprise birthday celebration mentioned above, there will be a traditional wreathlaying ceremony at Washington’s Tomb followed by patriotic music and military performances on the Bowling Green (however, the hoecakes will not be served). And as a special present to visitors, the Estate will open one hour earlier at 8am and admission on Monday is FREE.

Presidential Family Fun Day –  The National Portrait Gallery and American Art Museum will celebrate our nation’s presidents on Saturday with a special Family Day.  Guests can explore U.S. history through craft activities, stories, patriotic music, and special guests. Drop in for the free event from 11:30am – 3pm.

Celebrate GW at Tudor Place!The historic estate’s collections include the largest assemblage of Washington artifacts outside of Mount Vernon. On Monday, February 20, visitors can take self-guided tours through the mansion and a special exhibit of rare Washington-related objects, including George Washington’s 1775 letter to his wife, Martha, one of only three such letters known to exist. There will also be 18th-century gaming, dancing, and crafts led by costumed interpreters. Admission is $5/member adults, $10/non-member adults, $5/children. Register in advance online.

Presidents Day Open House at Ford’sOn Monday, February 20, Ford’s Theatre will celebrate Presidents Day with a free open house featuring a variety of programming and activities. Over the course of the day, visitors can enjoy an author discussion, ranger talks, and performances of Papa Day, Tales of the Lincoln with storyteller Jon Spelman and One Destiny. They can also view the exhibits at the new Center for Education and Leadership, participate in workshops with the Education Department, and enjoy scavenger hunts and prize drawings. The Ford’s Theatre Museum will be open for visits on the hour beginning at 9am. Tickets to the event are free and will be available at the box office beginning at 8:30am that day.

George Washington Birthday ParadeOn 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.

Presidents Day at The Launch Zone–  Little ones will have fun at the National Children’s Museum as they learn about past presidents with finger puppets and other resources. They can also learn how to make their own official Shrinky Dink inaugural badges (while supplies last). This free event runs on Saturday, February 18, from 11am – 4pm.

President Lincoln’s Cottage – There’s no special event, but this seems like a good way to honor Abe for Presidents Day.  Located on the Armed Forces Retirement Home (AFRH) campus in northwest DC, the cottage was Abraham Lincoln’s country home and workplace, where he spent one quarter of his presidency. Tickets are $12/adults, $6/ages 6-12, free for 5 and under. Admission includes the Signature Cottage Tour, an innovative small group tour in which a professional guide uses “historical voices” and images through multimedia technology to bring the stories of Abraham Lincoln and his family to life. Hours are Monday – Saturday 930am – 4:30pm, and Sunday 10:30am – 4:30pm.

Wax Presidential Get up close and personal with all 44 POTUS at Madame Tussauds in downtown DC.  The Presidents Gallery, exclusive to that location, is comprised of 14 themed rooms that include interactive exhibits along with the sculptures.  If you plan to go, be sure to get in on one of several deals: Groupon has one for $10, Goldstar is offering discount tickets,  or you can book through the venue online for a 15% discount.



Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Educational, Free, Live Entertainment, Museums, Music, Outdoor, Theatre, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

Where to Play on the Weekdays: October 31-November 4

Happy Halloween!

Monday – Get little ones ready for the big night at a public library, where Halloween-themed story times and arts & crafts sessions are happening throughout the day at many locations.  Find out what’s on the schedule at one near you by checking calendars at these links: DC Public Library, Alexandria Public LibraryArlington Public Library, Fairfax County Public LibraryMontgomery Country Public Library, Howard County Library. And if you’re looking for an alternative to evening trick-or-treating, Tudor Place still has space left for its Historic Halloween Spooktacular.

Tuesday – The National Building Museum is hosting its Book of the Month program at 10:30am & 11:30am with readings of Urban Animals by Isabel Hill along with a hands-on activity. Get there early for play time in the Building Zone, as they now have timed entries that start on the hour. And don’t forget that admission is $3/person.

Wednesday –  Explore imagiNATIONS, the American Indian Museum’s new family activity center.  Weave a giant basket, build an igloo, check out models of native dwellings, read children’s books about American Indian culture, and more. This post from a couple of days ago has more details and photos of the new space.

Thursday – Take the kids to play at Clemyjontri, the brilliant, sprawling playground in McLean that accommodates kids of all abilities. Pack food for lunch in the picnic pavilion (the few vending machines only serve juice and water).  Admission is free, hours are 7am to dusk.

Friday – Engage in imaginative play in the various themed rooms and crafts areas at the Playseum. Admission is $6/person (siblings under 10 months are free) and is good for the whole day. Locations in Capitol Hill and Bethesda are convenient to many eateries for lunch before or after, depending on when you go. 

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Filed under Babies, DC, Educational, Free, Halloween, Indoor Play, Maryland, Museums, Outdoor, Park, Play, Preschoolers, Toddlers, Virginia, Weekdays

Where to Play on the Weekdays: August 15-19

Scoping the wetlands for wildlife at Huntely Meadows Park


For some of us, this is the last week of summer break before school starts up again. Where did the time go? It’s been a great summer for us, pieced together by camps, our own fun outings, vacation, and a few neat ventures, which I plan to share soon.  In the meantime, enjoy these final days of summer with the kids.

Here are ideas for where to do that this week, August 15-19:

Monday – Kiddie rides, carnival games, pig races, farm animals, fried dough…  If you didn’t make it to one of the county fairs this weekend, you can still get in on the fun at the Montgomery County Fair, which runs through Saturday. More info is available here, and you can also read a KFDC review of last year’s fair.

Tuesday – It’s Art à la Cart at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Kids ages 7 – 12 are encouraged to exercise their creativity with brushes and palettes, bison horns, bottle caps, quilt squares, and more tools available in interactive carts among the galleries from 1-4pm.  Admission is free.

Wednesday – Visit the animals at the National Zoo and be sure to check the daily calendar to see when you can catch feedings, elephant training demos, kids’ farm talks, and more.  Later on, take the little ones to a special Baby Loves Disco happy hour at the Rock & Roll Hotel.  The dancing fun starts at 5pm; admission is $20/person or $60/four people.

Thursday – Go for a summer wagon ride at Huntley Meadows Park in Alexandria. Naturalists lead passengers on 90-minute excursions at 9:30am and 5pm–register to ride online ($6/county residents, $8/non-resident).  If those times don’t work, explore the woods and wetlands on your own (for free).  Turtle, bird, frog, and butterfly sightings are practically guaranteed.

Friday – It’s a Family Fair in Georgetown at Tudor Place and Dumbarton House, where guests can enjoy the end of summer with crafts, games, and sweet treats.  Register in advance online; admission is $8/member children, $10/non-member children, $5/accompanying adult.


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Filed under All ages, Animals, Art, DC, Educational, Free, Maryland, Museums, Music, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays

Presidential Pursuits: Where to Celebrate President’s Day with the Kids

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 DayOn 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 ParadeOn 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).

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Filed under All ages, Annual, DC, Deal, Educational, Festival, Free, Holidays, Museums, Virginia, Weekend, Winter

Love is in the Air

A random bit of trivia about me:  I met my husband on Valentine’s Day.  And if it weren’t for the fact that it was in a bar, it would make for quite the idyllic love story.

I’m not sharing this tidbit of personal information for no reason.  It’s a means to get us on the topic of Valentine’s Day, which, although is still a couple of weeks away, is already popping up on the kids’ activities radar.  Starting as early as this weekend, there are several V-Day-themed events happening around the area that welcome families to celebrate love.

The first is taking place this Saturday at Paper Source in Georgetown.  From 11am – 12pm, the store is hosting a “Be Mine” – Parent-Child Valentine workshop, where participants can create accordion books with Valentine themes using all kinds of neat art supplies provided by Paper Source.  Cost is $25 (add just $10 for a second child), and the class is recommended for ages 5-10.  A Tween Valentine Accordion Collection workshop for ages 9-13 will be offered on February 5, also for $25.  Register for both online or in the store.

Tudor Place is also hosting a cupid-inspired event on February 5.  The Be My Valentine: Valentine’s Day Card Workshop for Children will start with a tour of the historic mansion in search of Valentine’s Day cards from years past.  After the tour, children will design their own Valentine cards to take home.  The event, recommended for ages 5 and up, begins at 10:30am.  Cost is $7/member, $10/non-members, adult chaperons are free.  Register online by February 4.

Home Depot is also hosting a workshop with heart (literally) on Saturday, February 5.  The hardware store’s monthly Kids Workshop will teach guests how to create a heart shelf.  The free session runs from 9am – 12pm at all Home Depot stores. For more information, visit the website or give your local store a call.

For some Valentine fun that will really get hearts racing, head to Pump It Up in Elkridge the evening of February 9.  From 5:30 – 8pm, they are hosting a Valentine’s Day Family Event, offering families two hours of available jump time, two slices of pizza, drinks, and a special treat for the kids. Cost is $8/person for families of up to 3, $8.50/person for families of 4 or more.  Register online for this event.

Art and science will be part of the National Children’s Museum Valentine-themed event on Saturday, February 12, from 11am – 4pm.  Hearts of All Sorts will celebrate happy hearts with fun Valentine crafts and healthy hearts with hands-on activities and demos on how to keep hearts healthy.  This is a free event.

Join the Arlington Arts Center at the Clarendon Market Commons Barnes & Noble on Saturday, February 12, for a Valentine Making Workshop.  Guests of all ages are invited to drop in to make a Valentine for a special someone.  The free event begins at 1pm.

Get literal with your heart-focused activities at the National Museum of Health & Medicine.  On Saturday, February 12 from 10am – 12pm, Exploring the Heart: A Valentine’s Program will offer a look at how a heart begins and grows, as museum staff dissect hearts from a reptile, mammal, and bird to demonstrate similarities and differences between bird and mammal anatomy. Guests can also try making a medical illustration from the dissections or create an anatomically-correct Valentine’s Day card. Supplies will be provided. This free program is open to all ages, but probably not recommended for the faint of heart (har har).

Keep the quease factor down at Hooray 4 Books’ Valentine Workshop with Sharon Hickey. Kids ages 3 and up can join the local author (Card Auntie’s Wonderful Workshop) for a card-making workshop and create Valentines to take home and to send to soldiers overseas. Operation Write Home coloring sheets as well as stickers, markers and crayons will be provided for children to write with and decorate their Valentines. Call 703.548.4092 or send an email to info@hooray4books.com to reserve a spot.

Celebrate V-Day with the Smithsonian at the Freer/Sackler Galleries.  On Saturday and Sunday, February 12-13, the Museums of Asian Art are hosting In Every Language Love, an open house for all ages.  After a slideshow of images representing love in Asian art, guests can use printing blocks inscribed with the word “love” in more than a dozen Asian languages to make valentines. The free program runs from 12 – 4pm.


Filed under Class, DC, Gradeschoolers, Holidays, Maryland, Play, Preschoolers, Preteens, Tweens, Weekend, Winter