Programs & Events at Gadsby's Tavern Museum

Gadsby's Tavern Museum offers a number of public programs and special events throughout the year. From period dancing to scout programs to foodie events, Gadsby's has something for all ages and interests.

Page updated on Feb 29, 2016 at 3:08 PM

Check the calendar of events for upcoming programs and events or see below for additional information. Phone registrations can be made with Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover.  Tickets are also available online.

Candlelight Tours Historic Alexandria Candlelight Tour

Take a break from the fast pace of the holiday season and experience the unique charm and history of Old Town during Alexandria's most popular holiday event. Tour Old Town's most historic sites by candlelight on the second weekend of December and enjoy seasonal decorations, entertainment and light refreshments.

Great Rum Punch Challenge Great Rum Punch Challenge

Just as guests at the tavern did over 200 years ago, enjoy different rum punch creations from local distilleries, restaurants and caterers and vote for your favorite! Also enjoy food and a silent auction filled with great items.

George Washington's Birthnight Banquet and Ball Washington Birthnight Ball

Celebrate the birth of the Father of our Country by participating in this annual tradition that dates back to 1789 in Alexandria. The Washingtons themselves danced in the historic City Tavern ballroom at this celebration in 1798 and 1799. Sponsored by the  GWBCC on the Saturday of President's Day weekend, join costumed interpreters portraying the Washingtons and other notable figures of the day, partake of a period-inspired meal, then join in the 18th century English Country Dancing. Reservations required. 

18th Century Balls English Country Dancing

Dance in the historic ballroom that was once the setting for the elegant events that marked George Washington's birthday and other important social occasions in Alexandria. Period music, re-enactors and guests clad in period attire, a dessert collation, and candlelight combine to make Gadsby's balls festive events. These balls are held several times a year, featuring a variety of themes and time periods. Period clothing is not required, though after-five attire is suggested. Visit Period Dancing at Gadsby's for more information.

Civil War Balls CIvil War Balls

Experience 19th century Alexandria by attending the Civil War Ball. Period music and desserts, guests clad in 1860s attire, and a variety of waltzes and marches combine to make this ball a unique experience. Period clothing, either military or civilian, is not required, though after-five attire is suggested. Reservations recommended. Visit Period Dancing at Gadsby'sfor more information.

Dance Classes Period Dance Class

Learn 18th Century English Country Dancing or dances from the Civil War era with a trained dance instructor. A series of dance classes is held prior to every ball. Classes before the balls are strongly encouraged. Visit Period Dancing at Gadsby'sfor more information.

Family Days Junior Docent during Family Day

All families are invited to see the tavern through kid's eyes as our young Junior Docents provide stationed tours of the Museum and share their enthusiasm for history. Tours take place Saturday mornings throughout the summer, and are included with regular tour admission.

FREE Tavern Day Open House Tavern Day Games

Want to learn to dance like George Washington? Ever heard of a learned pig? Then come to Gadsby's Tavern Museum's open house - Tavern Day. Enjoy free admission as you experience Alexandria's five-star hotel of the 18th century through costumed guides, period dancing, refreshments, and much more!

FREE Parade Day Open House Parade Day

Enjoy the annual George Washington parade on President's Day and then tour the tavern for FREE! Learn from costumed guides about the place where George Washington dined and danced.

Lecture Series David Hildebrand discussing 18th century music

Held in the fall and spring, lectures at the museum cover a range of topics relevant to all aspects of the tavern's history. Scholars in many different fields give lectures in the historic ballroom. Past topics have included George Washington, 18th century music, restoring Gadsby's Tavern, tavern beverages, the evolution of hospitality, interpreting inventories, recognizing colonial architecture and more. Reservations recommended.

Tavern Overnights Girl Scout Tavern Overnight

Juniors: Complete two-thirds of the It's Your World—Change It leadership journey for Junior Girl Scouts by joining Gadsby's Tavern Museum for an overnight that walks girls step by step through what makes a great leader and how to lead a project of their own. The evening will use the story of how the museum buildings were saved as a case study for creating their own community-changing project. Girls will complete the Power of One and Power of Team sections of the journey and begin planning their community project for the final Power of Community section. Troops will need to take action and carry out their project at home to complete the journey.

Cadettes: Media is an unavoidable part of life, but are you controlling it or is it controlling you?Girls will use the collection of the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum to examine types of media, persuasion techniques, and stereotypes. Then, using their new media savvy, they'll take action and create a Public Service Announcement to get the real message about a topic that's important to them. By the end of the overnight, girls will have completed all of the steps for the It's Your Story—Tell It: Media leadership journey for Cadette Girl Scouts.

These overnights run concurrently. The different troop levels complete separate activities but share a common sleeping space and breakfast.

Tea with Martha Washington Tea with Martha Washington

Tea was the preferred social beverage of the 18th century. Serving it was a sign of politeness and hospitality, and drinking it was a custom characterized by distinctive manners. Children and adults are invited to experience the ritual of tea, as well as 18th century fashion and deportment, with special guest Martha Washington.