By Patricia Hall, FairfaxFamilyFun.com
President’s Day is coming up on Monday, February 16, and it’s a federal holiday and a day off for students of Fairfax County Public Schools students. Make it a day of family fun AND still keep the kids learning by attending some of these events that celebrate the life of George Washington and American history. Best of all, just about all of these events are free! Our list also includes some regular day-off fun.
The holiday comes right after Valentine’s Day weekend, so also see our list of family-friendly Valentine’s fun!
Please note: This annual list was produced by Fairfax Family Fun several weeks in advance. While we make an effort to keep information up-to-date, events can change quickly, especially due to inclement weather during these winter months. As always, check directly with the source to confirm event details (links provided for all listings below).
Presidents’ Day weekend events
Free admission at national parks, Sat.-Mon., Feb. 14-16
U.S. national parks that normally charge an entrance fees waive it this weekend and on the Monday holiday. If you want to stay closer to home, visit Great Falls Park right in Fairfax County. If you’re up for exploring a bit further out, visit Shenandoah National Park, about an hour away.
George Washington’s 283rd Birthday at Mount Vernon, Sat.-Mon., Feb. 14-16
Mount Vernon celebrates George Washington’s 283rd birthday with a weekend full of special events, including music, dancing, birthday tributes starring the General himself, a hoecake cook-off, and more, all included with regular admission. On Monday, February 16, gates open early at 8 a.m. for an all-day birthday salute—and admission is FREE for everyone!
George Washington Classic 10K Race and 2K Fun Run, Sun., Feb. 15
The annual race is a certified course through Eisenhower Valley and is part of the City of Alexandria George Washington Birthday celebration.
Revolutionary War Reenactment at Fort Ward Park, Sun., Feb. 15
Historic camp and tactical demonstrations throughout the day including a Revolutionary War skirmish (at 2 pm) between the Redcoats and the Colonial Army. The event is part of the City of Alexandria George Washington Birthday celebration.
Monday, Presidents’ Day, Feb. 16 events
Free admission at national parks
Free admission continues today! See entry above.
George Washington’s 283rd Birthday at Mount Vernon
Special activities and free admission for all TODAY only. Mingle with costumed characters, meet General Washington himself, and enjoy special activities such as story times, a wreathlaying ceremony, and even a “Dancing with the 18th Century Stars” demonstration. Gates open early today at 8 am.
UPDATE: THE PARADE HAS BEEN CANCELLED! See this status.
George Washington Birthday Parade and Celebration
The annual parade through Old Town Alexandria, one of the biggest events in the City of Alexandria, is part of a larger celebration that includes George Washington and veterans’ memorial ceremonies, free open houses of historic homes, and more. The parade itself is 1-3 pm.
Presidents Day: The Two Georges at Gunston Hall
Examine the complex relationship between George Mason and George Washington in a Two Georges Mansion tour, then enjoy a hearth kitchen visit. Today it’s free admission day at this historic home of Virginia statesman George Mason.
Kids’ live shows and indoor fun
A day off from school means a day of fun for the kids! Some special performances and events on Feb. 16 include:
- Rocknoceros concert at Jammin’ Java, 10:30 am (tickets $5)
- Bob Brown Puppets show in Herndon with a special “Penguins Playground” theme, 10:30 am (tickets $5),
- Monkey Joe’s Dulles Birthday Party with $2 off admission, $1 hot dogs, free goodie bags, and free cotton candy
- Everyday indoor fun options (most of these are open today!)