In 1787, George Washington was feeling the holiday spirit. Two years before he became president, he spent 18 shillings to rent a camel, which he promptly brought home to entertain his Christmas guests. Today, his Mount Vernon mansion honors the tradition with its own camel, Aladdin, who welcomes visitors to the Potomac River grounds every holiday season.
Across the state, historic homes and sites decorate with local greenery, host candlelight tours, offer workshops, and schedule special events and teas to give guests an old-fashioned holiday experience. A few continue the colonial tradition of “grand illuminations,” which typically included fireworks and the firing of guns to commemorate major events. Most sites also have well-stocked gift shops, making them the perfect place to pick up holiday decorations or locally made gifts.
Here are some top places across the Commonwealth to celebrate a vintage holiday.