We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Need Ideas for a 2 Day Trip in March!

Pensacola, Florida
Level Contributor
58 posts
20 reviews
Save Topic
Need Ideas for a 2 Day Trip in March!

We'll be there March 13th and leaving late on the 15th. We have a 2.5 year old and I'll be 6.5 months pregnant. Any suggestions on things we can do? We'll be staying at the military base in Yorktown but we'll have our rental car so we can drive places. I've looked around the Williamsburg website but I'm just not sure what to do. I love tours and such so anything like that would be great or anything that is kid friendly!!!

Thanks in advance for your help!

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
1,201 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Need Ideas for a 2 Day Trip in March!

Hi, SitterFam -- welcome to the forum!

At a mile long, and with dozens of exhibition buildings to explore, the actual historic area of Colonial Williamsburg can be a challenge for the very young family!

Still I would say by all means park on the west end near Merchants Square and take the stroller up Duke of Gloucester Street at midday, enjoying the street scene --the carriages, the oxen and sheep, the costumed interpreters, the buildings and the beauty. Plenty of photo ops (don't miss the pillory and stocks near the courthouse) so in years to come, when you return, you'll have a very personalized introduction to offer your children!

Your visit will still be in the winter season, meaning that there are fewer programs and no tavern dining ... although it never hurts to call 1-800-HISTORY to see if that may be tweaked a bit by then. That's such a shame, because casual tavern dining and storytelling by firelight are delightful and can be appreciated by toddlers. If you are there midday on Saturday, there will be one don't-miss event: a parade by the Fifes and Drums in the vicinity of the Capitol (east end)at 1:00-1:25p.m.

If your appetite for historic restoration is more substantial than jus taking a stroll, you could park at the Visitor Center and buy a ticket or multi-day pass which entitles you to ride the shuttle busses and enter whichever exhibition buildings are open each day. The 35-minute orientation movie is excellent, and you can even rent children's 18th-century costumes.

Marymac, on this forum, is particularly strong on Jamestown, and Eliziam has lots of ideas for children's activities in the general area. You may be hearing from them, too.

In the meantime, best wishes to your family and hope you have a great visit.

big thicket Texas
Level Contributor
7 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Need Ideas for a 2 Day Trip in March!

We visited Colonial Williamsburg a couple of months ago and did ride the shuttle bus. It seems to operate around the perimeter of the restored area making several stops along the way. Seems to me that it would be most useful to quickly transport you to/from the visitor center to a more distant location. From there, walking is the only way to truly appreciate the charm of the historic city. We found that the shuttles don't run often enough to compete with a short stroll covering small distances.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
1,201 posts
15 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Need Ideas for a 2 Day Trip in March!

Exactly right, Biggestfoot. The shuttle makes only 4 (or is it 5? Help, Zoey!) stops on the perimeter of the historic area, and is intended to drop you in a "zone" for walking and exploring. It's not a hop-on-hop-off in the sense that you can get from door to door with it. The shuttle is free if you stay at an official hotel or buy a visitor pass, or for a nominal fee ($2.00, I believe) you can get a bus ticket (but not necessarily on board the bus, can someone else answer this question?).

If you intend to spend a whole day in Williamsburg, definitely start at the Visitor Center at 9a.m. (free parking), see the film, buy a visitor pass, and use the shuttle to get to either the west end (Merchants Square) or the east end (the Capitol). Walk the Duke of Gloucester Street and see as many of the exhibition buildings as you have energy for (not all will be open, this will be listed on your brochure). There are sufficient benches and washrooms along the way!

With the taverns closed for the winter, you will have to plan your lunch carefully. The Raleigh Tavern in the Capitol neighborhood is an exhibition building, not a restaurant, but it does have a bakery in the back that will be open daily and you’ll find snacks and drinks there. More or less at the other end of town you’ll find the Williamsburg Lodge dining room open, and it will be serving some of the traditional tavern dishes, although there will be no period entertainment, a la the taverns.

You could finish the day with dinner at Merchants Square, where there are half a dozen non-Colonial Williamsburg eateries to choose among (use the shuttle to slingshot back around if you have finished up at the Capitol). Or the Lodge would be a good choice and the shuttle stops right there.

The spring schedule, which will include period dining and more activities and programs, starts on March 18, 2009.

Ranson, West...
Level Contributor
535 posts
22 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Need Ideas for a 2 Day Trip in March!

http://historyisfun.org/

Ranson, West...
Level Contributor
535 posts
22 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Need Ideas for a 2 Day Trip in March!

(Whoops, I must have hit a button before I got a chance to really type anything on the above post, sorry about that!)

Since you will be literally right around the corner, you may consider visiting the Yorktown Battlefields (very interesting for those captivated by history, & also perfect for a picnic lunch so your pregnant feet can rest if you get tired while your little one can run around & explore the hills & mounds & cannons under your watchful eye) & also Yorktown Victory Center. You may also consider Jamestown Settlement- incredibly interesting, with reconstructed Native American villages & ships to explore, and with many hands-on things to do that little ones love. Here is a website link that covers all 3 places. http://historyisfun.org/

Also, you are just about 10 miles from some very fun family-friendly things in Newport News & Hampton. I personally recommend the VA Living Museum (www.thevlm.org), the Peninsula Fine Arts Center- don't let the name fool you into thinking it's too 'fancy'- it has fascinating art exhibits, yes, but also a kid's hands-on art room (www.pfac-va.org), and the Virginia Air & Space Center (www.vasc.org). Please check out their websites- my words couldn't do them enough justice. These places are fascinating for young & old alike. I have an 8-year-old & they are long-time favorites of mine & his.

For Williamsburg, you mentioned you looked at the website- have you checked out their event calendar on their site to see what will be going on during your specific travel dates? (history.org/visit/eventsAndExhibits/calendar/) That might help you figure out some specifics. Also, on their site, they have a link catered to kids which will help give you some additional ideas. (http://history.org/kids/visitUs/)

And of course, the tried-and-true, call 1-800-HISTORY. They are absolutely the most knowledgeable about Williamsburg & events & programs & things to do there that will cater to your family's specific needs.

Hope you have a great time!

Williamsburg...
Destination Expert
for Williamsburg
Level Contributor
6,902 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Need Ideas for a 2 Day Trip in March!

Chowning's Tavern will be re-opening in February, so that will be an option for a fun lunch or supper experience.

Let's see...shuttle stops. Near the Palace, on the East end near the Capitol, on Francis Street for the Tavern stop, at the corner of Francis and England near the Courthouse and Magazine, in front of the Lodge on England Street, on Henry Street near the Publick Hospital/Museums, on Henry Street at Merchants Square, and back to the Palace. Usually, you change your bus at the Palace stop to catch the next shuttle back to the Visitors Center, but during slower times and in the evening, you usually stay on the same shuttle. It varies; just tell your driver where you want to go, and s/he will help you get there.

Williamsburg, VA
Destination Expert
for Williamsburg
Level Contributor
1,727 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Need Ideas for a 2 Day Trip in March!

After 5:30, the two shuttle routes are being combined so one bus goes to all of the restored area stops, the CW hotels and the Visitor's Center. So there's no worry about what bus you're on after dark.

8. Re: Need Ideas for a 2 Day Trip in March!

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 02 October 2009, 16:16