I have always wanted to visit Tudor Place Historic House and Garden in Georgetown. After continually missing the popular Eggstravaganza, I thought it would fun to attend the Earth Day Tree Fest event, which was held on April 25, 2015. Expecting it to be crowded, the Tree Fest is in its second year and it was nice that it wasn’t too crowded. The serenity exploring the gardens in a quiet residential portion of Georgetown was nothing short of bliss.
Walking up the stone path to the main entrance, we were greeted and given a map of the estate and 5 ½ acres of gardens. You have the option of attending a kid-friendly garden tour or exploring the property on your own, which is what we did. Naturally, my art enthused child wanted to partake in arts and crafts. The two crafts offered were watercolor painting and making seed balls. There was no limit to the number of crafts we wanted to complete, so the entire family decided to create seed balls to take home and plant. A handy picture with directions and a friendly staff member walked us through the process, which only took a couple of minutes. The various seed packets we received all come from the Tudor Place gardens.
To this day, it remains a mystery as to why the owners of the 1816 estate named it Tudor Place. Built by Thomas Peter, son of the first mayor of Georgetown and his wife, Martha Custis, the step-granddaughter of George Washington. Over 100 objects from Mount Vernon are on display in the home along with a 1919 Pierce Arrow car. We went on a guided tour of the historic home, which my husband and I enjoyed, but my 8 year old; not so much. It is long and while the guide was enthusiastic, he spent a lot of time narrating, which had a few visitors depart before the tour ended.
During the event, tables were set up with plans and shrubs available for purchase. Games of ring toss and Game of Graces were set up in one of the small gardens and there was a fun performance by the musical group, Nature Jams. Children had the option of sitting on blankets or in chairs and played along with the duo using fruit and vegetable shakers and tambourines. The performance was a big hit with the toddler set.
Things to consider
- There are two bathrooms on the property: one is a 1914 toilet located in the visitor center. The other restroom is located next to the garage, but neither have a changing area.
- The only food offered was BBQ, bagged chips and bottled drinks. There is a covered area for dining al fresco.
- The gardens make beautiful backgrounds for pictures. My favorite part was the portico at the back of the house.
- The gift shop, located in the visitor center, has seeds from the property for sale, postcards and a few children’s items.
Admission to Tree Fest is $5 for members, $7 for non-members and free for children under the age of 5. The event is held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is open to the public, whether you are interested in a general visit or for the special event. It’s a low-key way to explore the gardens.
If you cannot wait to attend next year’s Earth Day Tree Fest, plenty of other opportunities abound at Tudor Place!
- Tudor Tots occurs Tuesday mornings throughout the year and is perfect for 2 to 4 year olds. The cost is $5 for one session or $30 for all 7 with each session lasting 45 minutes.
- Eggstravaganza is the uber popular Easter event with an egg hunt and games galore. As I mentioned earlier, it is so significant that the event sells out in advance.
- In the fall, they are some great activities for families!
- Birthday parties are available for ages 3 to 12 with themes such as Wizard Revel, Garden Detectives, Toys through Time or Fairy Tea Party.
- Summer camp registration is open for Tudor Explorers Summer History Week, which is slated for August 3 to 7, 2015. The half day camp is geared toward ages 4 to 10.
- For daily visitation, admission is only $3 per person for garden-only visits and then admission ranges between $3 (child ages 5 to 17) to $10 (adults) for garden and house visits.
- Guided tour information can be found here.
Photos by Kathleen Molloy.