I hope you read all the amazing sites to see with toddlers and preschoolers in Washington DC! There’s so much to see in our nation’s capitol, that I wish we’d had more than four days to explore!
George Washington’s Mount Vernon – our first President’s historic home, is just thirty minutes outside the DC area, and it is a must-see if you can fit it in! A tour of the house and grounds gives a new perspective on the life and accomplishments of our first President, his political, business, and family life.
This post is sponsored by American Heritage Historic Chocolate.
Our Visit to George Washington’s Mount Vernon
The Mount Vernon homestead is impeccably maintained and constantly being restored to the most accurate historical representation.
The Washington family greets you in the lobby – actual-height statues of George, Martha, and the two grandchildren they raised as their own. We discovered my husband is actually the about the same height as President Washington!
Kids can grab an adventure map and find clues to a word puzzle they put together at the end. A great activity to keep children focused on what they’re seeing. Although a bit young for our non-readers, I enjoyed reading it to our boys along the way.
The Mount Vernon house and outbuildings show a life so far removed from our present day with no electricity or indoor plumbing. No pictures are allowed in the house itself as you walk through the parlors, bedrooms, and dining areas. Staff dressed in period costumes tell you a little bit of history in each room.
A live blacksmith demonstration is constantly underway, and you can see sheep in the pasture nearby. They had baby lambs the day we visited! So adorable.
Mount Vernon was primarily farm property, and there is a working farm in the lower section where you can see the treading barn that President Washington invented, pigs, and a yoke of oxen at work.
A stop at Washington’s tomb is a solemn one. It was an honor to hear how much our first President accomplished in his lifetime.
After touring the grounds, you’ll reach the Education Center, which is an extensive museum dedicated to Washington’s life. There are forensic exhibits that show how researchers collected information to accurately visualize Washington’s features when he was much younger.
The displays chronicle his life with hands on features like light-up maps and question/answer boards. Video displays tell a bit more of the story with dramatic renactments.
Our favorite part of the Education Center is the kids’ room. Primarily for 2-8 year olds, this spot is a complete hands-on experience. Toys, games, puzzles, books – all neatly laid out with a dedicated staff member to guide children to various activities. At certain times of day there are special activities, too. I only regretted that there is a 20-minute limit to how long kids can play in the exhibit; I am sure this is necessary for crowded days. Our boys got a huge kick out of playing with the Washington family dolls in the replica Mount Vernon dollhouse! (Hubby said to call them “action figures” haha).
The museum store is one of the best I’ve seen. The selection is clearly carefully selected to be relevant to the history of Mount Vernon, George Washington, and the era. Including historic American Heritage Historic Chocolate! I loved seeing the display of these unique chocolates in the store! (Read more about their historic chocolate recipe here).
Mount Vernon is a spot you could easily spend an entire day visiting. Good thing they have a restaurant and a food court!
To leave you with a little flavor of George Washington’s time, I’ve created this snack cookie recipe for your next road trip. These granola-bar cookies are perfect for packing along on picnics and road trips. And, they give a little nod to George Washington and his time!
Cherry Chocolate Granola Cookie Recipe
- 1/2 cup cashew butter (could substitute almond or peanut)
- 1/3 cup raw honey
- 1/3 cup American Heritage Historic Chocolate Chocolate Drink Mix
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- BLEND TOGETHER:
- 1 cup oatmeal (not instant)
- 1/3 cup dried cherries, chopped
- 1/4 cup seeds (pumpkin, sunflower)
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- Melt together cashew butter, honey, and chocolate drink mix in a pot over medium heat. Stir until smooth. Add vanilla. Let cool, then stir in beaten egg (don't add before mixture cools or you will cook the egg).
- Stir in oatmeal blend until well combined.
- Scoop a heaping teaspoon of dough and roll into a ball. Flatten onto cookie sheet (greased or parchment lined). Space cookies about 1 inch apart.
- Bake in a 350 preheated oven, about 10 minutes (watch for over browning).
If your nut butter doesn't have salt, add 1/2 tsp salt.
You can use whole wheat flour for a heartier flavor.
The result is a hearty cookie that holds together fairly well for traveling. American Heritage Historic Chocolate, with its carefully researched blend of spices, adds all the flavor this cookie needs!
Please do stop by George Washington’s Mount Vernon if you’re ever in the area – it’s such a historical treat!
This post was sponsored by American Heritage Historic Chocolate and I was compensated for this post. All opinions are my own.