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Historic Triangle with 4 Kids

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USA
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Historic Triangle with 4 Kids

We're traveling to DC for a week and then on to the Historic Triangle by way of Monticello. We can spend 3-4, maybe 5 days in the area and I need a plan of what to schedule each day and what not to miss. We have kids ages 2, 4, 8, and 11. This is a big part of our homeschool term and we'd like to cover as is reasonable and enjoyable for our family without overdoing it.

We will arrive late on a Thursday evening and were planning to stay at the Holiday Inn Express in Williamsburg.

We have Fri, Sat, Sun and perhaps Mon and Tues, if need be. What should we see and do? My brain is on overload after planning for DC and I could use all the help I can get. I've bought the Multi-Day passes already, I need to plan out the days specifically with programs, meals, etc.

Thanks!

Williamsburg, VA
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1. Re: Historic Triangle with 4 Kids

By "multi day passes," what tickets are you referring to? With that info we can better help you plan your visit. Thanks.

USA
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2. Re: Historic Triangle with 4 Kids

I'm sorry. We bought the 7 day passes for Williamsburg, Jamestown, Yorktown. I'm just burned out on the planning and having never been to the area before, all advice is helpful!

Chicago
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3. Re: Historic Triangle with 4 Kids

If you purchased the bounce pass for the area, please clarify and you might also let us know when you'll be visiting, so we can give you better information.

USA
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4. Re: Historic Triangle with 4 Kids

These are the tickets I purchased. We will be in the area mid to late March 2012. Thank you. I should add, we aren't interested in Busch Gardens at this time.

America’s Historic Triangle Ticket

7 Days and 3 Sites - Ideal for the history buff or first-time guest.*

Visit as many times as you’d like for up to seven consecutive days with passes for:

Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area sites, museums, and programs

Historic Jamestowne

Jamestown Settlement

Yorktown Battlefield

Yorktown Victory Center

Edited: 26 February 2012, 02:05
Chicago
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5. Re: Historic Triangle with 4 Kids

Some people prefer to visit the historical sites in chronological order.

In that case, plan on most of the day at the two Jamestown sites. I would start at Jamestown Settlement with excellent exhibits and explanations of the Jamestown colony. Moving on to the Historic Jamestown NP site, you will see the actual archeological layout of the original Jamestown. Take time for a ranger led tour and visit the museum to see many of the recovered Jamestown artifacts. You may also take a walking tour of the remnants of the plantation which continued there.

You can easily spend several days at Colonial Williamsburg. Pick up the weekly schedule of events at the visitor center as soon as you arrive in Williamsburg in order to see what is available each day of your visit. You may park at the visitor center and take the shuttle busses to the historic area. However, I would encourage you to walk to the historic area on your first day and stop at the Great Hopes Plantation on your way into the historic area. At Great Hopes, you will be told how the common family lived on a farm in the area. Moving on to the historic area, be aware of the schedules and times for various exhibits, etc. shown in the weekly program in order to see all you wish to see during your visit. Take advantage of the evening programs as well.

Personally, I prefer to choose what I want to see at CW at the beginning of my visit and then plan my time at Jamestown or Yorktown around my free time. This can confuse the first time visitor and chidren as to which areas came first in American history.

As for Yorktown, you can save it for the last day, or spend an afternoon there, sometime during your visit. Your time at Yorktown will be focused on the final battle of the Revolutionary War and the defeat of Cornwallis with the help of the French and the rest of Europe.

You may also visit CW online at history.org, if you haven't already. A calendar of events is available online. However, the weekly schedule changes and events are added at the last minute, so be sure to view the information available at the ticket houses and visitor center for the latest information, once you arrive.

If you have any additional time, you may wish to visit a James river plantation as well.

I hope this helps you get started. Feel free to post back with any other questions.

Edited: 26 February 2012, 05:05
Wichita, Kansas...
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6. Re: Historic Triangle with 4 Kids

I took homeschooled grandchildren to CW a few years ago and it was one of their favorite vacations! I am currently planning a trip with another daughter and her family in 3 weeks. I'm sure you have been studying the history to prepare them. You will want to choose your days for CW so that you are visiting on days when they will be covering different time periods. For example, Mon is kind of the odd day when they are having events to meet people in history, etc. Then on Tues., Thurs., Sat. they have events that occurred from 1765-1776. Wed., Friday and Sunday is from 1776-1781. What was so neat for the girls was that we attended an event about getting ready for the ball in the backyard of the palace, and then we saw those same people at Revolutionary City the next day! With your days there, I would definitely do Jamestown on Friday. It will be a very full day! Read here on suggestions about those 2 places. This is pre CW so will help the kids get the order of events in their minds. Then on Saturday do CW which will be from 1765-1776. Sunday would give you 1776-1781. Then on Monday the kids may be ready for a change from CW although it would be different events covered. However, you may be ready to move on to Yorktown which follows the Revolutionary City events on Sunday.

I don't believe I saw when your vacation is planned for. I am not home right now but will be returning on Wed. There were a couple of books that I consider priceless in planning a visit and will be glad to send you that information then.

Your next biggest help is to go to the www.colonialwilliamsburg.com, put your dates in the calendar and begin planning your days in CW. I would really encourage you to schedule at least one special activity that requires a ticket each day as those will be very memorable for your children. Do not wait until you arrive to begin planning your days!! Some of the favorite ones may be sold out if you wait. If you will tell me your dates, I will be glad to make suggestions based on what we did previously and what I have researched and plan for this visit. Some of the things we did last time weren't an option on the dates we will be there or we would have just done all the same activities!

USA
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7. Re: Historic Triangle with 4 Kids

Thank you guys very much! I'm reading and planning using your suggestions. Our trip is for mid-late March 2012. I welcome all suggestions as I finalize our plans.

boston
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8. Re: Historic Triangle with 4 Kids

Too bad you aren't here this week - it is homeschooling week and apparently only $5 for admission this week (I think... Overheard reservationist talking to someone else).

I agree checking to see what is going on during your week as each day is different. Today there were two interpretative skits related to black history month. They were wonderful and worth planning our day around so we wouldn't miss them. also, certain things are closed on certain days. We made sure to visit the cabinetmaker today since if will be closed tomorrow. We'll see things tomorrow that were closed today.

Our kids are 9 and 6 and loved the weaver, shoemaker, magazine, the skits and the palace tour. We loved the movie at the visitors center but it was a bit hard for the kids to follow but it was a nice overview of the history of all you'll see. We've been blown away by the authenticity of CW. For instance, in the cabinetmakers shop the people working there spent 500 hours making a gorgeous piece of furniture using 18th century techniques. In the shoemakers shop the shoemaker is making shoes to be worn by the workers at CW and using techniques of the time as well as tools made by the blacksmith that are period. The blue dye used to dye the wool on the weaver shop is real indigo junk...

It is very educational to see things made by hand the old fashioned way. We've just loved it so far and looking forward to another day tomorrow. Our trip came together sort if lady minute so we have been taking things day by day and Planning on the fly (not my usual thing).

We have LOVED the holiday inn historic gateway hotel. We can see why it is number 1 on TA. We have a 2 bedroom suite - would be great for you as a family of six. Weekday rates much lower than weekend.

Edited: 27 February 2012, 01:27
USA
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9. Re: Historic Triangle with 4 Kids

Yes, I read about the homeschool program, too bad about the timing.

Here is my tentative plan with the things I need to schedule. We may head for home on Monday, meaning we'd have a partial open day at CW and a few hours at Yorktown before heading out. If we take that route, will we have enough time for simply wandering around to see the trade shops, gardens and grounds, etc. ?

Friday

9:00 - 1:30 Jamestown Settlement & Lunch in the Cafe

1:45 - 5:00 Historic Jamestowne National Park

Don’t miss the Glassblower’s Shop

5:30 - 7:00 Dinner @ Chowning’s Tavern

Saturday

9:00 - 8:00 Colonial Williamsburg

3:00 - 5:00 Revolutionary City: The King’s Government Collapses, 1765-1776

5:30 - 6:45 Dinner @ Huzzah! BBQ Grill

7:00 - 8:00 Dance, Our Dearest Diversion (this was a toss-up with the Myths, Legends, thoughts?)

Sunday

9:00 - 8:00 Colonial Williamsburg

1:30 - 3:00 Rare Breed Livestock at Wetherburn’s Tavern

3:00 - 5:00 Revolutionary City: The Challenge of Independence, 1776-1781

5:30 - 6:45 Dinner @ Christiana Campbell’s Tavern

7:00 - 8:00 Tavern Ghost Walk @ Shields Tavern (hoping this isn't too scary for the little ones)

Monday

9:00 - 5:00 Colonial Williamsburg - Open Day

7:30 - 8:30 A Grand Medley of Entertainments

Tuesday

9:00 - 1:00 Yorktown Victory Center

1:30 Head towards home

Did I leave out anything that is a DO NOT MISS?

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10. Re: Historic Triangle with 4 Kids

Good schedule. Dance is a wonderful program -- kids will love it.

Rev City may be a little over the heads of the younger kids -- if they get restless just take in one of the shops in the area.

Tavern Ghost Walk is very entertaining -- kids should not have any problem at all, although the 2 year old may not fully understand it!