Celebrate the Holidays–George Mason Style

Posted: December 4, 2003 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

If George Mason were still alive, he would turn 278 on Thursday, Dec. 11. So it is only fitting that his home, Gunston Hall, in nearby Mason Neck, Va., be decorated to celebrate the holidays–and his birthday–in a festive colonial fashion.

Gunston Hall presents its annual holiday event “A Plantation Christmas” on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 5 and 6, from 7 to 10 p.m. This popular family evening features candlelight mansion tours, horse-drawn carriage rides, and samples of festive foods prepared by hearth cooks. Costumed characters make 18th-century dancing, fiddle playing, and seasonal pastimes come alive. Admission to “Plantation Christmas” is $12 for adults, $6 for ages 6 to 18. Children under age six are free. Advance tickets are available; call (703) 550-9220.

On the same evenings Gunston Hall’s catering department presents a holiday buffet. The feast costs $34.95 for adults and children over age 11, $17.50 for children ages 6 to 10, and is free for children under age six. The price includes admission to the “Plantation Christmas” program. Reservations are required and taken in advance at (703) 339-0460 for seatings at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 5, and 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 6.

On Sunday, Dec. 7, enjoy an elegant afternoon tea featuring a variety of sandwiches, scones, desserts, and teas served in a festively decorated dining room. A tour of George Mason’s mansion featuring costumed characters and 18th-century holiday customs is included. Two seatings are available: noon to 2 p.m. and 3 to 5 p.m. The price is $25.95 for adults and children 11 and older, $13 for children ages 6 to 10, and free for children under age six. Reservations are required and taken in advance at (703) 339-0460.

Candlelight mansion tours continue on Thursday and Friday, Dec. 11 and 12, from 5 to 8 p.m. Visit George Mason’s home made ready to welcome guests for a holiday party. Enjoy the elaborately carved rooms seen in flickering candlelight. Admission is $9 for adults, $4 for ages 6 to 18, and children under six are free. The event includes light refreshments served in the Visitors’ Center.

Gunston Hall is located 20 miles south of Washington, D.C., and is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. For information, call (703) 550-9220 or visit www.GunstonHall.org.

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