Top 5 Hamilton Experiences in Alexandria, VA

As “Hamilton” hysteria spreads to Washington, D.C. in anticipation of the show’s run at The Kennedy Center June 12 to September 16, 2018, Alexandria is proud to announce special programming at historic sites “Hamilton” fans won’t want to miss in the city recently named the #1 Best Value U.S. Travel Destination for 2018 by Money magazine. Founded in 1749, Alexandria, Virginia is filled with Colonial history as well as new experiences visitors can enjoy at historic sites tucked into 18th– and 19th-century architecture still intact from the city’s days as George Washington’s hometown. 

While local historians do not believe Alexander Hamilton visited Alexandria, many of his friends and “frenemies” did. Fans of the musical can learn about the politics of the day with special Hamilton-themed tours at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum where Washington, Lafayette, Jefferson, Madison and Burr partied and made history. Discover how accurate the musical’s portrayal of Washington and Hamilton’s relationship is during a special lecture at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum. Picture yourself center stage during an evening at The Lyceum: Alexandria’s History Museum where you can try on American Revolutionary War uniforms like the ones seen in “Hamilton” and snap sharable photos. At George Washington’s Mount Vernon, put yourself in the General’s shoes through “Be Washington: It’s Your Turn to Lead,” a new first-person interactive experience that has introductions to the various scenarios by Chris Jackson, the actor who played Washington in “Hamilton,” plus Alexander Hamilton is represented in the experience as an advisor. Alexandria also has another special connection to the Broadway hit—“Hamilton” director Thomas Kail grew up in Alexandria. Keep reading for our Top 5 Hamilton experiences in Alexandria.

1. Lecture: Hamilton’s Relationship with Washington: The Musical vs. the Reality

Image Credit: Gadsby’s Tavern Museum

Professor Peter Henriques contends the collaboration between George Washington and Alexander Hamilton was the most important in the founding of our nation. On May 31, 2018 at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, Henriques will address the nature of their relationship, what caused Hamilton to resign from Washington’s staff during the war and how Washington responded. He will also answer this burning question: How accurate is the portrayal of their relationship in the musical “Hamilton”?

2. Tour: Hamilton BFF & Frenemies 

Image Credit: K. Summerer for Visit Alexandria

Tour the halls where Washington, Lafayette, Jefferson, Madison and Burr partied and made history. On a special Hamilton-themed tour at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, consider the ideas debated in the rooms where it happened. As America began as a nation during the late 18th century and emerged in the 19th century, Gadsby’s Tavern was the center of social and political life in Alexandria as well as the new Federal City of Washington. The tavern served as the premier gathering place for residents, including George Washington, and visitors to eat, drink, learn, and influence history. Tavern keepers John Wise and John Gadsby hosted balls, performances, and meetings, and their accommodations were known as the best by travelers near and far. Tours are offered every other Saturday from June 2, 2018 through Labor Day Weekend, 2018.

3. Event: Try on Uniforms of the American Revolutionary War

Image Credit: The Lyceum

In honor of “Hamilton” premiering in Washington, D.C., join fellow fans at The Lyceum: Alexandria’s History Museum on Thursday, June 21, 2018 for an evening exploring the uniforms from the different nationalities that converged on Yorktown in 1781. Chris Daley, historical clothing manager for the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation will give you the opportunity to try on and compare uniform coats of the French, German and American armies, and coats worn by African Americans serving with the British army. Each coat has been carefully researched and painstakingly reproduced in several sizes to help bring the Siege of Yorktown to life. Bring a camera and take photos of yourself and family members in the uniforms of the Revolutionary War. Tickets are $20 and may be purchased at Shop.AlexandriaVA.gov/Events or by calling 703-746-4994.

4. Event: 18th Century Gaming Night   

Image Credit: K. Summerer for Visit Alexandria

Play 18th-century style games popular during Hamilton’s day on Friday, July 27, 2018 at Gadsby’s Tavern Museum. Enjoy Shut the Box, Fox and Geese, Dice, and a special Cards Against Humanity: Tavern Edition from 7-9 p.m. Also hear stories of our young nation and see the room(s) where it happened! Cash bar with wine, beer, and specialty cocktail will be available. Cost is $10 cover per person. As America began as a nation during the late 18th century and emerged in the 19th century, Gadsby’s Tavern was the center of social and political life in Alexandria as well as the new Federal City of Washington. The tavern served as the premier gathering place for residents, including George Washington, and visitors to eat, drink, learn, and influence history. Tavern keepers John Wise and John Gadsby hosted balls, performances, and meetings, and their accommodations were known as the best by travelers near and far. Tickets are available online at Shop.AlexandriaVA.gov/Events.

5. Interactive Experience: “Be Washington: It’s Your Turn to Lead”

Image Credit: George Washington’s Mount Vernon

New at George Washington’s Mount Vernon, “Be Washington: It’s Your Turn to Lead”  is a first-person interactive experience that puts you in the shoes of the first president and commander-in-chief. Discover key moments in Washington’s life and see how you stack up to the decisions Washington made as the events of the Revolutionary War and presidency come alive on a massive 6K-resolution screen. Chris Jackson, the actor who played George Washington in the Broadway hit “Hamilton,” will introduce each of the scenarios onscreen and will later describe the course of action that General or President Washington took. The experience, which is generously sponsored by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation, is included in admission.

 

 

Header Image Credit: K. Summerer for Visit Alexandria