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A week in Williamsburg with kids

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A week in Williamsburg with kids

My family will be spending a week (7-8 days) in Williamsburg this June. Kids are ages 7, 5, and 2. They all do well sightseeing, especially the older two. We definitely want to see as much of Colonial Williamsburg as possible, and we want to see Yorktown and Jamestown. How many days should be spend at each place? I'm reading at least 2 days at Colonial Williamsburg, but am not sure how long to spend at each of the other two. I'd appreciate any suggestions on this. Also, any highlights, or favorite events/things to see that we would all like.

I'm also pretty sure we'll go to Busch Gardens one day, and possible Water Country USA - is it worth it? Would the younger kids like it or would it just be a lot of waiting in lines? We also will have a pool at the hotel, so welcome any opinions about the water park.

Thanks for any suggestions, recommendations, and ideas!

Arlington, Virginia
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1. Re: A week in Williamsburg with kids

You've got two choices for both Jamestown and Yorktown.

For Jamestown, there is the National Park Service site (the actual site of Jamestown) called Historic Jamestowne. Historic Jamestowne is definitely worth a stop and you can probably see it well in 2- 3 hours. There is also an attraction called Jamestown Settlement which has replicas of the ships, a re-creation of the fort and costumed interpreters. I have never been there, but I have read that it is popular with kids. I'm not sure how long you would need for a visit here.

For Yorktown, there is the National Park Service site, Yorktown Battlefield. Unless your children are like my son who enjoyed walking battlefields from an early age, your children may not find Yorktown Battlefield too interesting. There are a couple of driving tours and/or you could walk to some of the redoubts. I think a visit of 1 hour would probably suffice for your young children. There is also an attraction called Yorktown Victory Center. I haven't been there either, but they also have re-creations and costumed interpreters.

For more information on these places:




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2. Re: A week in Williamsburg with kids

If you are considering a visit to all of the above, you should look into the purchase of Bounce passes. Look at tickets in the history.org website for details.

Jamestown Settlement provides an excellent replica of the fort, etc. It is definitely worth a visit with the kids. Then travel the short distance to the actual Jamestown location and see the archeological excavation of the true fort. You may have time to fit in Yorktown Battlefield NP after Jamestown, or choose to save it for another day.

If your CW ticket choice allows you to visit all week, check the calendar brochure you'll receive for activities which vary from day to day. We always purchase annual passes and will visit nearly every day during a weeklong visit. Stop by your favorite trade shop or exhibit twice or three times, you'll be surprised how the experience can change, depending upon the interpreter or the visitors present at the time.


Edited: 03 May 2013, 01:02
Manassas, Virginia
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3. Re: A week in Williamsburg with kids

I don't know if you need two days at Colonial Williamsburg proper. We've been there numerous times with our kids and after the first couple of hours they were bored. We've done the tour where you actually go into the buildings and listen to the speakers and we've also just walked the village. The grounds are beautiful and the buildings and costumed interpreters are terrific but I'm not so sure how much fun it would be for the younger two.

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4. Re: A week in Williamsburg with kids

For Colonial Williamsburg (CW), one day with kids of the ages you mentioned will probably be all they want to see. Jamestown has more hands on items kids would like – my kids’ school takes a field trip there every year. Yorktown is less interesting, but worth seeing. The village of Yorktown has some interesting shops and restaurants right on the York River.

Busch Gardens if a great park – second only to Disney in my book. You and your kids will love it. Go during the week, and early to avoid crowds – Last year I had a season pass to BG and this is true all year (Wednesdays are the least crowed). I don’t do water parks so I can’t comment on Water Country. BG has extensive rides and areas for smaller/younger children so they should have a great time.

The Maritime Museum in Newport News is well worth your time, as is a trip up State Route 5 to see some of the Plantations on the James River

Hartford County CT
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5. Re: A week in Williamsburg with kids

Jamestowne Settlement and Yorktown Victory Center had the most interactive activities for kids, without any additional fees. Colonial Williamsburg has added costs for just about everything, so keep that credit card handy, lol.

I would strongly recommend leaving the car at the Williamsburg Visitors Center and using the free shuttle to all of the other historic sites. You can get on and off as much or as little as you want, so it offers a nice break from walking. We actually rode the shuttle for an entire lap around Colonial Williamsburg one day so my son could sit in the air conditioning and recharge his energy a little before heading to the next site. I would also strongly recommend comfy shoes with serious shock absorption for the whole family. All of the grounds are either cobblestone or dirt. When we were there I saw many kids in flip flops or other flimsy shoes, complaining that their feet hurt. Also if your hotel room has a fridge, stop at a convenience store and buy water before visiting the sites. Bottles of water are $2 each at all of the Historic Triangle sites and they run out very quickly.

Powhatan, Virginia
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6. Re: A week in Williamsburg with kids

Just a note about Historic Jamestowne (actual settlement) and the Jamestown Settlement (recreated settlement)...I have 3 kids ages 11, 9 and 7 and we live outside Richmond so we frequent the area and just visited recently. The Historic Jamestowne is neat, you can actually see area's being excavated, and things they have recovered. Also, many wells were dug for a water source and the settlement being located on water, the wells would not last long so settlers would use them as dumping spots. Everyday they bring up buckets and sift through the remnants and very cool stuff is found right in front of you, pretty amazing. Also, they are excavating the old church remains where Pocahontas was married so that is interesting also. There is one neat thing in the small museum there, a slate tablet that was written on for years and they show on a tv all the different people who owned it and uncover its history. My 10 yr old son thought that was neat.

The Glass House located on the main road is a definite don't miss! You watch the craftsmen blow glass by hand over a fire and just casually watch him work. Glass house also has a small gift shop with excellent souvenirs that you might actually use and they will ship it home for you! Its something the kids will never forget! Enjoy the trip it will be amazing! P.S. Busch Garden is wonderful!

Not so this is terribly long, but dont miss the Jamestown Settlement too. This will take longer than the other but again both can be done in a day. The settlement has a good cafeteria so eat lunch there. They have real indian teepee's with animal skins, replicas of the 3 boats you can get on, learn how the indians carved out boats, and thatch roof settlement for the colonists. Do go in the museum if it is just to stand in front of the interactive indian / colonist light up board that shows how many indian settlements there were in that area and the colonists slowly over-ran them. Real eye opener!

7. Re: A week in Williamsburg with kids

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