Our Trip to Colonial Williamsburg
Williamsburg Family Photos
Every fall break since Owen started school, my mom and I have taken the boys on a little getaway. We’ve been going to the mountains, but this year we decided to go to Williamsburg and Jamestown. Owen absolutely loved it and did not want to leave. Harrison also had a great time because he usually goes along for the ride and is happy generally anywhere.
A few thoughts on Colonial Williamsburg…
1.I’d try to plan the trip around good weather. One of the fun parts of Williamsburg is that it is really like colonial life (which means no air conditioning) Squeezing a bunch of people in a bookbindery during the summer I imagine is super hot. We were super blessed with pretty cool misty rainy (but not pouring) weather, but a friend had been the weekend before and was miserable because of the heat.
2.Schedule any carriage rides before you come + look at their calendar of events online. Their website has a list of events everyday so you can see if there’s something you don’t want to miss. The carriage rides are just that – they aren’t tours or educational, just a fun ride around the city for the kiddos.
3.Everything is not open all the time so try to look up times for different things you may want to see. (Example – printing press was only open in the morning, Bindery was only open in the afternoon. Book binding was Owen’s favorite so this was important) The magazine also closed earlier so this was good to know, too.
4. Walk on the road instead of the sidewalks. We figured out on day two the brick sidewalks were hurting our feet so walk on the road as much as you can. (They are closed to cars during the day)
5.Wear tennis shoes. So much walking. Williamsburg does not look like a huge place, but I logged more steps than Disney.
6.Ride the bus to the Visitor’s Center and rent clothes or plan ahead. Dressing up was super fun for the boys. They have clothes for kids to rent at the Visitor’s center. You can ride the buses to the taverns, the outdoor market, Merchant’s square (so many friends recommended The Cheese Shop but it was too packed out when we went) the palace, and the visitor’s center. There might be more stops I couldn’t remember. We stayed at the Williamsburg Inn (loved the spiral staircase we walked down every time we left our room), so beautiful, but the Lodge is also right there super convenient within walking distance. (The Lodge also had an amazing buffet breakfast complete with gluten free pastries) If you stayed somewhere else, I am thinking you could park at the visitor’s center and take the buses.
7. Make reservations for any dinners at Colonial Taverns. We ate at King’s Arm and Shields but Christiana Campbell’s tavern was our favorite. I think one authentic Colonial Williamsburg tavern eating experience by candlelight is really enough. (Food is also authentic but kids get a little leeway with chicken fingers and macaroni and cheese.) Christiana Campbell’s was George Washington’s favorite seafood restaurant so of course we had to go there. Owen is a huge George Washington fan.
8.There is someone in every building/house that explains their trade (silversmith) or history in the house (Wythe house)and Owen just loved all the learning and listening. He loved that the Wythe house had the actual banister Thomas Jefferson and George Washington probably touched, and he saw the room where Jefferson studied science with Wythe. It was really neat that most of the house was not a reproduction.
I could have spent a day or two more at Colonial Williamsburg. If you love history, it is so much fun, and my little Owen loves history so much so it was a treat.
*We also went to the Jamestown Settlement our third day. We were a little confused trying to figure out where to go because there’s two Jamestown areas and there’s a ferry. We knew we wanted to take the kids to the replica fort, ships, and Powhatan village, so we finally figured out to go to the Settlement. What an awesome place. They had talked a lot about Jamestown in first grade so Owen was really excited to see everything. The inside has some really cool artifacts + so much history, but the outside was definitely the kids favorite. There is a Powhatan village for the kids to explore, the James Fort, and then three ships just like what the English would have taken. I couldn’t even believe they traveled the ocean so far.
Overall, we had such a great time + loved seeing history come alive for the kids!
As Seen in People Magazine + The Bump
Raleigh Maternity + Newborn Photographer
Rebecca Keller is a Raleigh Newborn Photographer featured in the Bump, Let The Kids Dress Themselves and several other blogs.