A few weeks ago, I was pleasantly surprised when the George Washington Mt. Vernon organization reached out to me to come for a visit! Since our family is always up for a road trip and we weren't able to be with our out-of-state families over Thanksgiving, we decided it was the perfect time for a little family get-away. If you've been to DC, you know it's an awesome spot to take your family because of all the free venues! DC is only about 4 hours from Pittsburgh, so it makes a great weekend destination.
We had never taken the opportunity to visit Mt. Vernon, so this was a special chance. And it was extra fun to do the candlelight tour!
Visiting Mt. Vernon was a great opportunity to teach our kids about some pieces of American history. It was fun to see how the Washington's home operated and learn about all the entertaining they did, how their household functioned and even see their original bed! Fun fact: they never lived in the White House as it was still under construction during his presidency.
You'll see characters on site including the blacksmith, cooks, house manager and Martha Washington. You can even learn to square dance!
The tour concludes with seeing George Washington's camel, hot cider, cookies & Christmas carols!
We were bundled up for the evening and it was a fun family night. If you're looking to do a DC road trip, it's definitely a great stop on your list. You can make reservations ahead for the Mt. Vernon Inn Restaurant to add to your evening tour as well. Go here for more info on the candlelight tour.
Besides visiting Mt. Vernon, we then had the hard decision of what else to pack in for our 2 day visit. So many choices! The Museum of Natural History was our kids favorite stop on a previous trip. We also really want to visit the new African American History Museum, but find it's very hard to get tickets since it's opened! But top of our list was the DC Zoo since we had never before been to this venue. It did not disappoint!
We were lucky to get a 60 degree day and so it was perfect for walking around the zoo! Staying hydrated is important obviously, and whatever was in these kids drinks we brought with us was totally gross!! 😆
It was fun to see some animals that our local zoo doesn't have on site.
We made a brief stop at the National Air & Space Museum - also a previous favorite for our kids!
Another new one to us that a friend had recommended was the National Postal Museum. We learned about our national postal system from the time of the Pony Express to the current mail-sorting system of today. It was fun, informational and hands-on for the kids!
They loved being able to make stamps with their picture and then getting it emailed to us.
Checking out all the stamps ever made. And they got to choose 6 stamps to take with them!
So here's my mom-to-mom disclaimer for taking kids to DC. 😊 We waited until our youngest was 5 to do a significant trip here. There is a LOT of walking and if it's too cold or too hot.....well you know that WHINING comes out in full force. 😮 Kids of all ages can definitely enjoy the city and learning more about American history through all the beautiful monuments, memorials, museums + more. But when you go, know your kids limits and plan accordingly, so that it doesn't become full of stress and fussing.
With a family of 6, we often first look to Air B&B for accommodations, but the lure of the pool and free breakfast for the family made a hotel win out this time!
My son's one request was playing football at the Washington Monument, so that's how we ended our final evening.
Thank you, Mt. Vernon, for inspiring our fun, family get-away to DC! We look forward to more weekend trips in the future!
Disclaimer: Mt. Vernon provided us with tickets and compensation to share about their venue. We don't share venues that don't pass the test of our family for fun!