Make this Presidents’ Day one for the memory books by visiting Washington D.C. this year. Presidents Day was originally founded to pay tribute to our country’s founder and first president, George Washington on his birthday.
Presidents’ Day was celebrated on his birthday, February 22, until Abraham Lincoln was murdered in 1865. Then America started remembering Lincoln on his birthday, which fell on February 12. But in 1971, President Nixon combined the two remembrance birthdates for the third Monday of February, making it a date where all former and present presidents can be honored and venerated.
During the entire President Day weekend, Washington D.C. and area goes all out by creating special festivities to celebrate our unique country and our former and present presidents. Check out some of the attractions that you need to visit this Presidents Day in our country’s capital city. In addition, many online stores will offer great discounts over the weekend with their Presidents Day sales campaigns. It is not a Black Friday but you can find very good deals.
Watch a parade
On Sunday, February 18, 2019 watch the country’s biggest Presidents Day parade in Alexandria, Virginia. Before and after the parade, wander the very streets that our founder George Washington walked. Explore one of the many historic sites in Old Town Alexandria. Old Town Alexandria hums with colonial history, quaint and charming galleries and restaurants.
Visit Lincoln’s Memorial
A visit to Washington D.C. is not complete without saluting the Lincoln Memorial, to reflect on the importance of this epic holiday. Go to the wreath-laying ceremony this February 18, which is followed by an interpretative recitation of the “Gettysburg Address”. After that, take a scroll around the park surrounding one of the nation’s most memorable monuments.
Visit Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens
Visit the actual home of the former George Washington in Mount Vernon, which is located on an impressive 500-acre estate. The entire President Day weekend, you can expect to discover festive events such as live music, wreath-laying ceremonies, story telling and patriotic demonstrations. Best part is admission is free all day on February 19 this year.
Attend a Ball
Every year, on the Saturday of the weekend of Presidents Day, you can attend the Birth night Ball that is held at the historic Gadsby’s Tavern. The only requirement is that you wear a typical 1800’s typical ensemble. You will love the 18-th century style dresses, dances and historical program. But make sure you buy your tickets early, as they tend to sell out fast.
Attend an actual war reenactment
On the entire weekend, you can attend a revolutionary war reenactment at the Fort Ward Museum from 10am to 3pm each day. Your kids will love learning about different fighting tactics and what is was like to train and live as a revolutionary solider, fighting for our country’s independence.
Visit a museum
Don’t just visit any museum on Presidents Day; visit the Presidency Exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. This exhibit will give you a glimpse into the lives of the 43 former presidents and some of their biggest contributions they have made in molding America. Give yourself a few hours to explore the 900 + artifacts that will enrich your appreciation for American history.
Take a selfie at the Washington Monument
Presidents Day would not be complete without a visit to the Washington Memorial and is considered to be the nations second most prominent landmark (Statue of Liberty is number one). It is the highest standing structure in all of Washington D.C, standing tall at 555ft and 1/8 inches. During Presidents Day, there are several free concerts at the nearby amphitheater.
The White House
One of the most visited landmarks in the United States each year, and welcomes visitors from all over the world, just book your free tour in advance. The White House is the home and main office of President Trump and all former presidents. If you are unable to catch a free tour, make sure to get a peak of this historic building by walking by.
Visit Theodore Roosevelt Island
This 91-acre wilderness preserve honors the 26th president, Theodore Roosevelt. You will love this option to get away from the busy streets of Washington D.C. and reconnect to nature. The entire preserve promotes Roosevelt’s philosophy on conserving nature and wildlife.