- Unique view of Mount Vernon from the Potomac River Cruise
- Extensive gift shop with unique gifts and antiques
- Hands-On-History Center in the Education Center
- George Washington's teeth on display
- Running on the lawn in front of the mansion
- Riding on the boat
- Meeting people from George Washington's time all around the estate
Prepare in advance
Tickets to visit Mount Vernon with kids are available for purchase online at a discount, as are the Potomac River boat cruise tickets. Special tours can also be booked in advance online. You may not bring in outside food or drinks (other than bottled water).
Good to know
Summer months at Mount Vernon are hot, humid, and very busy. Spring months are full of school groups. Fall is a beautiful time to visit. The grounds are extensive, so wear walking shoes and comfortable clothes. Most of the area is stroller-friendly, albeit hilly, but you must park the stroller outside before visiting the mansion.
Mount Vernon is open 365 days a year. I would recommend touring the mansion and grounds in the morning, cruising mid-day, and visiting the museum in the afternoon. Daily schedules are available at the ticket window for planning out your day.
Recommended time of the year
Potomac River cruises are only available mid-March - Fall. Summer is very hot, humid and busy. Spring is full of school groups. Fall is a beautiful time to visit!
Purchase tickets in advance online for a discount. If you live in the area or plan to return, a Family membership might be worth it. You can visit for free for a full year. Members also get discounts on food, shopping and exclusive invites to events.
About This Day
George Washington's Mount Vernon is the perfect place for the whole family to learn about the history of the United States' first president. Start early, as there’s plenty in Mount Vernon with kids in mind, beginning with the historic mansion, the gardens and grounds. Interact with costumed characters who are there to provide you with a glimpse of what life was like when Washington called Mount Vernon home. Visit the detailed Education Center to discover how the President and his family lived. Make sure you don't miss the Hands-On-History Center, where kids can dress up like people in George Washington's day, or play in the scaled-down replica of the mansion. Afterwards, get another perspective by taking a Potomac River Cruise in the afternoon. Relax while you take in the views of the mansion, grounds and surrounding area from the water. The gorgeous scenery along with the incredible history provide the perfect setting for a fun and interesting day.
George Washington's Mount Vernon is the historic home of the United States' first president and his family. The highlights include the expansive gardens and grounds, the beautiful and informative Education Center and children's Hands-on-History Center, and of course the mansion tour. When we lived in the area, we visited Mount Vernon with kids weekly. The activities in the Education Center are constantly changing. Our kids loved attending story times and creating crafts ranging from hats to birthday cards for Mr. Washington on his birthday! Check out the daily schedule when you first arrive to see what activities are planned at the Hands-on-History Center. The views from the porch of the mansion overlooking the Potomac River are hard to beat! There are many specialty tours that take you behind the scenes to explore more of Mount Vernon! The staff are all friendly, informative, and always stay in character!
DIRECTIONS George Washington's Mount Vernon is located south of Washington, DC along the George Washington Parkway in Alexandria, VA. Parking is free for those who drive their own car. To access Mount Vernon via public transportation, take Metrorail's Yellow Line to Huntington Station. Exit at the lower level of the station (Huntington Avenue) to catch a Fairfax Connector bus to Mount Vernon. Board the Fairfax Connector Bus #101, the Fort Hunt Line, for a 20-minute trip to Mount Vernon's entrance gate.
TIP Make sure you visit the Hands-on-History Center in the Education Center for kids activities. It's located in the exhibits as you wind your way through. Look for special events and tours on the daily schedule when you first arrive to plan your day. Food is located near the Education Center or on the boat. If Martha Washington is available to talk to, don't miss her!
During this 45-minute narrated cruise along the famous Potomac River, you'll get a unique perspective of George Washington's Mount Vernon. You will hear about the history of the Potomac River as well as how George Washington used the river to enhance his business ventures. The views of the estate from the river are stunning. The cruise will continue up the river near Fort Washington and you will have a beautiful view up river to downtown Washington, DC. Food is available on some cruises, depending on the boat, so this might be a nice place to enjoy a lunch sandwich.
DIRECTIONS The sightseeing cruises from the Potomac leave from the wharf at Mount Vernon. The wharf is located down the hill from the mansion by the Pioneer Farm. Allow 30 minutes to walk from the entrance of Mount Vernon to the wharf.
TIP Food is available on some boats, so this might be a good time to sit, enjoy the views, and eat a sandwich. The boats offer indoor and outdoor seating.