10 Tips for visiting Mt. Vernon – with Kids!


We visited Mt. Vernon on a gorgeous fall day.  Due to the wonderful location of Mt. Vernon, I doubt any day could be bad there!
Good to know before you go:
1.  Pack water!  No other food or drinks are allowed or sold on property.  Eat something right before you walk in.  I think we walked the grounds for about 3.5 hours, we were quite hungry at the end.
2.  They offer a scenic boat ride ($) that can be added onto a ticket (in season).  A 45 minute excursion from the dock at Mt. Vernon.  We didn’t have time in our day, but I want to remember it for the future.
3.  Ticket time – you’ll be issued a certain time to tour the house.  There is no rush.  You can tour anytime after the time stamped on your ticket.


4.  Kids Adventure Map –  They have a simple kids map with questions that you pick up in the first visitor’s center (after the ticket booth).  I liked the way the brochure was laid out for the kids.  A lot of the questions we were able to answer while waiting in line for the house tour. When you’re done, you get a small Mt. Vernon trinket (we received a pressed penny) at the gift shop.

5.  Going down to the Potomac River is super cool, but the climb back can be really hard.  If you do make it down to the dock, take a right to see the other farm.  That’s also where the 16 sided barn is located.  Sometimes they do horse demonstrations in the barn and then let you pet the horses afterwards.

6.  Kids 8 and under may not enjoy the tour of the house.  It seems like a natural part of the time there, but you know your children best.

7.  The paths and lawn in front of the house (riverside) are great for kids.  Our boys climbed the “ha-ha” walls and we watched kids chasing butterflies.  I got some great pictures of my kids with the Potomac River in the background.

8.  There are some trades people doing demonstrations on the property.  We found the blacksmith fascinating and saw a glimpse of Mrs. Washington.  Overall, we felt there were more people dressed in period clothing in Historic Williamsburg.

9.  The museum is quite large!  We only viewed a quarter of it.  I think it’s great for ages 8 and up or if the weather is bad.  There is a movie that is considered “4D” (there are intense parts for little ones) about the Revolutionary War.  It snows and the seats rumble.  It lasts about 15 minutes.   There are 3 movie theaters, the 4D one is located across from General Washington on a white horse.

10.  There is a food court attached to the museum that has pizza, pretzels, etc.  There is also a restaurant on property.  Tons of great things in the Gift Shop too.

Mount Vernon books for Kids before you go (or after!)
George Washington and the General’s Dog (Step Into Reading)
The Mystery at Mount Vernon by Carole Marsh
George Washington’s Teeth

I’ve been there with classes of 1st graders and 3rd graders and now my own elementary age kids.  I think it’s especially great for kids learning about U.S. history, George Washington, and the Revolutionary War.  If you’re on a field trip with kids, we had to leave our lunches on the bus and eat in the grassy area next to where they were parked.
Kristen is the blogger behind Busy Kids = Happy Mom, a site dedicated to fun, practical, and purposeful activities to do with your kids.  Follow Kristen on FacebookPinterest, and Busy Kids = Happy Mom.
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About Kristen

Kristen is a Reading Specialist who currently works with children in Kindergarten through 3rd Grade. She is the blogger behind Busy Kids Happy Mom, a site dedicated to fun, practical, and purposeful activities to do with your kids. Follow Kristen on Facebook, Pinterest, and subscribe for updates.


  1. I haven’t been there in a very long time – since I was a teen. Can’t wait to take my kiddos some day. Thanks for the tips!

  2. We did this last week and LOVED it! We didn’t take the tour or the boat ride, we mainly just walked around but the kids (and adults) had a wonderful time. I will say the walk up from the docks was pretty rough, only because we were carrying the kids by the end not to mention all our “stuff” including my daughters class stuffed monkey (which I think was the talk of the town that day)…

  3. Mary – I totally agree with the walk up the hill. Holy cow! The kids ran the whole way. I was just happy to make it to the top. Love the monkey visiting too. I hope you got a lot of pictures. :)



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