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Need Help Planning Last Minute Visit

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Orlando
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Need Help Planning Last Minute Visit

Greetings, all. My DH has just surprised our family by booking a last minute NON-REFUNDABLE trip to CW for spring break (2 adults, 2 8-yr-olds) starting next Sat. 3/31! While I am very excited, my head is also spinning as I usually have time to research everything before a trip - but not this time!! Could you please help me with the Cliffs' Notes version of planning a trip to Colonial Williamsburg area? We will arrive Saturday 3/31 early afternoon and check out Wednesday morning 4/4 (though we may hang out in the area a bit that day before heading home to Charlotte, NC.) In my initial scramblings, I can tell that I'd like to take advantage of the chance to see the Jamestown and Yorktown areas as well, but not sure what is feasible, where things are located, are there recommmended "ticket packages" for multiple attractions, etc.

My kids enjoy history (2 8-yr old second graders) but might enjoy one day at Busch Gardens if time would allow it as a bit of a "break," but I want to keep the main focus on the historical attractions of this area for this trip. I know my kids would love checking out the various "trades" inside CW, but I'm not sure which of the tours are "can't miss" as well as appropriate for 8-yr-olds. Anything too scary or overly intense would not be a hit with our two.

Please help! I'd greatly appreciate your helping me focus as I am a bit overwhelmed and don't have time to waste! :) Thanks so much.

Williamsburg...
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1. Re: Need Help Planning Last Minute Visit

Here is a link to the packages our area has to offer, but I'm not sure if it would be worth it for you if you can't use all 7 days: www.historyisfun.org/vacation-packages.htm . I honestly don't think I have never bought the tickets to Colonial Williamsburg as you can walk around the historic area without one. There are certain shops/houses that are limited only to ticket holders, which sounds like what you would be interested in. As far as I know, there is nothing "too scary" or "intense" in those places, but more of a Colonial costumed person showing you how they use to do things way back when. If you and your family love history, then I'm sure you will enjoy this.

Atlanta, Georgia
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2. Re: Need Help Planning Last Minute Visit

My wife and will be in CW same dates as you all. Feel free to check out my thread for some ideas and suggestions:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g58313-i102-k52275…

We will not have children with us so not sure if the things that interest us would also interest your family, but it might give you some ideas to consider.

As far as the trades are concerned, not all of them are open each day, so you may need to do some planning if there are things you definitely want to see. I found the folllowing web page to be very helpful for this:

colonialwilliamsburg.com/visit/…index.cfm

There is also a cool interactive map that you can use to see where everything is -

http://www.history.org/Almanack/tourTheTown/

-JimG

Orlando
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3. Re: Need Help Planning Last Minute Visit

Thanks for the suggestions! We are now thinking we could arrive as early as 10-11 AM Saturday morning so that we can see more before leaving the area on Wednesday (probably around noon). We are trying to have at least 2 full days at CW. We'd also like to see Jamestown (both the historic and the recreated sites) as well as Yorktown. To take a break from the historical/educational activities and "lighten" things up for the children, we're considering a 1 day trip to Busch Gardens somewhere in the middle of things. But I'm still a bit overwhelmed.

Do you think it's better to do Jamestown sites Saturday, then go to CW on Sunday and Monday, then maybe Busch Gardens Tuesday, and Yorktown Wednesday on our way out? Or would we be missing critical (i.e., "Better") activities at CW on Saturday so better to rearrange the days? I've been scanning various events and everything looks great so we hate to miss anything, lol. However, choices must be made & I'm running out of non-existent planning time. We probably won't do many, if any, of the additional evening activities beyond dinner at CW because frankly our children are usually wiped out by 8 PM and most of the evening choices look a little too "old" to truly capture their interests.But is there a "family" evening option that you'd highly recommend we not miss?

Also, to adequately tour both Jamestown sites, does this take a full day? How about Yorktown - could we see the highlights on Wednesday morning by 12-1 PM? Just trying to maximize our experience, though I can already tell we are going to want to come back again. Right now we are thinking we should buy the Historic Triangle Passes (that includes CW, Jamestown & Yorktown sites) and separately purchase a 1 day Busch Garden pass (using the discount code someone provided that allows one child in free with each adult purchase.) Are we way off base? Thanks in advance for any help.

Virginia
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4. Re: Need Help Planning Last Minute Visit

Greetings. Wmsburg and Jamestown are wonderful treasures, and the weather this weekend looks to be superb! Begin at the Wmsbg Visitors Center, where you will get maps and can get oriented. While there, be sure to see the free short film Story of a Patriot (I think that's right). It will get all of you in the proper mood to experience Colonial Virginia.

Parking near Duke of Gloucester St. (colonial area) is tricky. Your map will help. Expect to walk a lot; wear good shoes! As previously noted, several of the buildings cost to enter, so do a little homework before you begin. If you visit the blacksmith shop, be sure to say hello to a friend of mine, Ashlynn (a redhead girl in her 20s). She is great!

At Jamestown (about a 4 hr. visit, depending on how much time you spend in the museum) you will see the Fort, the 3 Ships, and an Indian Village. They are all wonderful, and yes, bathrooms are nearby for all of them. Be sure to visit the Glassblowing Shop, which is nearby. A nice place to buy some mementos and gifts.

Yorktown as you leave the area is a good way to conclude your trip and can be left out if you run short of time. (I hope the Yorktown folks are not offended by that comment)

Have a great weekend. Ask more questions. I will check back later tonight.

Jesse

Virginia
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5. Re: Need Help Planning Last Minute Visit

I forgot to mention one thing. Yes, Sat. at Jamestown is a great way to begin your weekend. Plenty of time to do it all and not be wiped out at the end of the day.

Williamsburg, VA
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6. Re: Need Help Planning Last Minute Visit

Story of a Patriot, mentioned by OP, is not free. It is included in a Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket, or a ticket for the movie alone can be purchased separately at the CW Visitors Center.

Visitors to CW should plan to park at the Visitors Center, and use the shuttle included with admission, or walk to the historic area. No traffic is allowed on CW streets during daylight and evening hours.

Virginia
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7. Re: Need Help Planning Last Minute Visit

Thanks for the correction on the movie. It used to be free; alas, commercialism reigns even in Colonial Williamsburg.

Ohio
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8. Re: Need Help Planning Last Minute Visit

Hope I'm not too late. We visited Williamsburg and Jamestown on spring break when my boys were second graders. We focused on activities such as concerts, Revolutionary City dramatizations, trades, and games at Chowning's Tavern rather than building tours (what 8 year-olds want to hear about architecture and furniture?) and it worked well for us. My boys preferred Jamestown Settlement (the replica) to the actual historic site. We skipped Yorktown. I don't know how to link to my old posts but you can click on or search buckeye21 to find my trip report and which CW buildings were fun for kids. We loved all the evening programs we went to. I took a quick look but didn't see any of the ones we went to offered during your stay. There are 2 Crystal Concert performances midday on April 2. Have a great trip!

Chicago
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9. Re: Need Help Planning Last Minute Visit

skion, it's not about commercialism, if CW did not have so many private contributors, it wouldn't exist as we know it. The fees don't nearly cover the cost of operating the foundation and programming. The movie theater costs money to operate too.

10. Re: Need Help Planning Last Minute Visit

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