By Patricia Hall, FairfaxFamilyFun.com
President’s Day is coming up soon! Monday, February 17, is a federal holiday and a day off from school. 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 generally all United States presidents and American history. Historic tours, open houses, a parade, and more await you — and best of all, the events are free! Our list also includes some other special events to make the most of your kids’ day off.
Presidents’ Day events 2020
Sun., Feb. 16: George Washington’s Alexandria Walking Tours
Get to know Alexandria as George Washington did on this 90-minute guided walking tour. You will visit many of the places in this historic town that are associated with Washington, learning local history and fun tidbits. The tour, 2 pm to 3:30 pm, is free and does not require reservations. Can’t make it this weekend? You will have other chances, as the same tour takes place every Sunday in February!
Mon., Feb. 17: George Washington’s Birthday at Mount Vernon
Mount Vernon celebrates what would be George Washington’s 288th birthday with a fun day that includes free admission! This is a great historic site with indoor and outdoor exhibits, a large museum and education center, and more. There will be a gun salute to the first president, marching drill, music, and other activities. Timed tickets for the mansion tours will be distributed upon arrival. The estate also is offering free admission on Saturday, Feb. 22.
Mon., Feb. 17: George Washington Birthday Parade
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 and features marching bands, community groups, and costumed characters along a one-mile route. This is a must-attend event. There’s something special about a parade in a town that has such strong connections to first president and is a historic event itself: this is the oldest and largest parade celebrating the birth of George Washington!
Mon., Feb. 17: Historic Open Houses
When he wasn’t busy making history as a founding father, George Washington liked to take a break, like anyone else, and his leisure activities including dining and dancing. One of his favorite places to do this was at Gadsby’s Tavern in Old Town Alexandria. On Presidents’ Day, you can tour the tavern for free (11 am to 4 pm), learning from costumes guides and docents. You also can tour the Friendship Firehouse Museum, Lyceum History Museum, Apothecary Museum, and Old Presbyterian Meeting House, all open to the public for free on this day, too!
Mon., Feb. 17: Rocknoceros show in Herndon
Enjoy the school day off with the fun sounds of Rocknoceros! Coach, Willie Bob, and Boogie Woogie Bennie perform all your favorite songs at Jammin’ Java in Vienna. Tickets are only $5 each and the show starts at 10:30 am (doors open at 10).