I have a confession to make…I’ve always wanted to see a war re-enactment. It’s just one of those things on my history nerd bucket list. Thanks to being stationed near Washington D.C., our family is crossing off a lot of items on that list. On May 5, 2018, Lil’ Man and I made the trip, (a whole 15 minute drive for us), to George Washington’s Mount Vernon for the Revolutionary War Weekend.
I was worried he might get bored at his age, but he had a blast! He even soaked up every word the artisan at the joiner’s stall said as he explained the process of making a wood box by hand. Lil’ Man also loved the binder’s booth where we picked up a quill, ink, and fine laid paper to write letters to friends and family. I’m all about learning through experience, and Lil’ Man is enjoying learning how to write like the Founding Fathers.
Prior to the re-enactment, we walked a portion of the estate grounds. The place is huge! If you ever come to visit, make sure you allot yourself an entire day for Mount Vernon. We skipped the house tour on this day (it is included with your admission during this special event), and all of the other tours were sold out. We did, for the first time, make it down to both the Slave Memorial and Washington’s tomb.
Lil’ Man’s favorite part of the day was definitely the re-enactment (even though it made him sad that people had to die to in order to form the United States). He also enjoyed rolling in George Washington’s backyard as well as picking the “flowers”. (He was really picking the weeds from the lawn.) He highly recommends these activities to other children.
Know Before You Go
If you are looking to attend a future Revolutionary War Weekend, here are a few things you should know when planning your visit.
- Outside food is not permitted in the estate. You will either have to purchase food while there or you can pack a picnic lunch and leave it in your car. You are allowed to re-enter if you choose to go out to your car to eat (just keep your tickets). I paid $20 for a hotdog, bottled water, and a beef brisket sandwich. No sides were included in this purchase.
- If you are looking for an allergy-friendly restaurant nearby, head over to Burton’s Grill & Bar in Hilltop Village (about 6 miles northwest of Mount Vernon). Everything is prepared in-house, so they can accommodate all food allergies. I recommend reservations if you plan on going during the weekend.
- You are allowed to bring in water bottles. Be sure to bring plenty of water with you. You’ll need to stay hydrated in the Virginia heat and humidity.
- The parking lots can fill up quickly and it is all out war on these special event days to get a spot. There is an overflow lot located at Mount Vernon High School with free shuttle service on event days. I recommend arriving within an hour of opening if you intend to park. You may wish to utilize a taxi, Uber, or Lyft.
- Be sure to bring some cash. Most of the booths excepted card, but the bakery did not. The ATM is located all the way out by the gift shops and cafe. You will need to re-enter the grounds if you opt to use it.
- Bring your camera. Unfortunately, pictures are not permitted within the mansion, but you are free to take pictures elsewhere. The grounds are beautiful and even Lil’ Man enjoyed strolling and taking in the scenery. I got some great pictures of him during this trip.