Just in time to break up the doldrums of winter, the three-day Presidents Day Weekend is the perfect time to enjoy some family fun.
Presidential library day activities
Both presidential libraries in Southern California will offer special activities on Presidents Day.
Feb. 17, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Richard Nixon Library and
Museum, 18001 Yorba Linda Blvd.
Meet the presidents of Mount Rushmore and get free cherry pie. Half-priced admission to the Nixon Library and Museum all day.
The first 1,000 visitors will receive a free slice of cherry pie compliments of Polly’s Pies.
Meet and take photos with Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. A special “Meet the Presidents” program will begin at 1 p.m. in the historic White House East Room. Admission tickets must be purchased at the door on the day of the event.
Feb. 17, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum
40 Presidential Drive, Simi Valley
Mingle with the Founding Fathers during the 27th annual Presidents’ Day celebration. Family fun includes crafts, musical entertainment, storytelling and presidential and first lady look-alikes.
The free-to-the-public event also includes a musical performance by the Doo Wah Riders in the main courtyard, spinning wheel demonstrations by Abigail Adams, a musical performance by the Los Angeles Police Concert Band in the main courtyard and historical actor performances featuring Abigail Adams, Ulysses S. Grant, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt and Mary Todd Lincoln.
Other activities include souvenir photos with president and first lady lookalikes, picnic games such as a four-man sack race, shoe-kicking contest, a bucket brigade, water balloon toss and much more.
Regular admission rates apply to view the Ronald Reagan Presidential Museum, the Air Force One Pavilion and Egypt’s Lost Cities.
Eat Like George Washington
A fun activity is to make a recipe with your kids that was served at Mount Vernon, the home of George and Martha Washington. The couple welcomed thousands of guests to Mount Vernon, and were well known for their hospitality, frequent and memorable parties and for the wide variety of culinary treats served. It is said that during the 20 years after Washington left the presidency George and Martha dined alone only twice.
What might a guest have found on the table at Mount Vernon? Washington reportedly loved Hoe Cakes and reportedly ate them every morning at breakfast. He ate them with butter and honey.
Washington’s Hoe Cakes
Recipe Courtesy Mount Vernon
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
2-1/2 cups white cornmeal, divided
3 to 4 cups lukewarm water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Melted butter for drizzling and serving
Honey or maple syrup for serving
Mix the yeast and 1 1/4 cups of the cornmeal in a large bowl. Add 1 cup of the lukewarm water, stirring to combine. Mix in 1/2 cup more water, if needed, to give the mixture the consistency of pancake batter. Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
Preheat the oven to 200 F.
After resting, add 1/2 to 1 cup of water to the batter. Stir in salt and egg, blend thoroughly.
Gradually add remaining 1 1/4 cups of cornmeal, alternating with enough additional lukewarm water to make a mixture that is the consistency of waffle batter. Cover with a towel, and set aside at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes.
Heat a griddle on medium-high heat, and lightly grease it with lard or vegetable shortening. Prepare 1 hoecake at a time, drop 1/4 cup of batter onto the griddle and cook on one side for about 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. With a spatula, turn the hoe cakes over and continue cooking another 4 to 5 minutes, until browned.
Drizzle with melted butter. Serve with melted butter and honey, or maple syrup.
Washington would wash his Hoe Cakes down with a cup of tea.
Premieres Feb. 16, 8 p.m.
This three-night miniseries event premieres Feb. 16 at 8 p.m. on the History Channel. “Washington” tells the story of how a fatherless young soldier full of personal ambition becomes a leader of men willing to sacrifice all for the common cause. How a once-loyal British subject rises to battle an empire in a liberty-or-death campaign to forge a new nation.