Travel With Kids: Williamsburg

This past weekend, we stepped out of 2011 and time-traveled back to the genesis of our country.

We began at the Jamestown Settlement - a hands-on living museum that is an excellent choice for small children. Our girls (ages 2 & 4) were able to explore an indian village, climb board ships, try on armor, grind corn, see a canoe being built, and interact with a variety of costumed storytellers.

I highly recommend starting your visit with the film at the visitor's center - 1607: A Nation Takes Root. It's very well-done and gives an excellent overview of the dates and faces behind the story.

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After a day outdoors in the heavy June weather, we settled in at the Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg. The spacious suite-style rooms are wilderness-themed and the resort itself is a huge attraction. There's an expansive indoor waterpark, a kids play area, and an evening bedtime story. We would have taken more photos there, but we were having way too much fun!

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The next morning, we headed to Colonial Williamsburg. It is more expansive than Jamestown, but not quite as interactive for little ones. If your kids are under five, I recommend walking around sans tickets. If, however, your kids are older and enjoy history, the ticketed areas provide an inside glimpse into life in Williamsburg in the 18th century. The Wigmaker and the Tailor were particularly enchanting. The afternoon re-enactments were the most exciting part of our day. Benedict Arnold and his soldiers gave such outstanding performances that we had to keep reminding our girls that they were "just pretend."

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Final conclusion? Williamsburg is a super fun vacation spot for history buffs and families. I'd like to come back again someday for a formal photo walk!

Have you every been to Williamsburg? What did you like/not like about it?

* Special thanks to Visit Williamsburg for providing our 1-night hotel stay and passes for area attractions.

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8 comments on “Travel With Kids: Williamsburg”

  1. I went to Colonial Williamsburg as a kid and I remember loving all the costumed people and the old fashioned way of doing things. Hopefully one day we will take our kids there, but for now I think they are mostly a little small.

    Was Great Wolf Lodge great for little kids? We have one near us and I was thinking about going, but worried that my kids are too small (15 months and 3).

    1. Oh, yes! Great Wolf Lodge is ideal for little ones. The suite-style rooms make napping and bedtime a breeze. The water park has designated areas specifically for little ones. There is a kids play area with books and coloring pages. Plus, there is a pajama bedtime story every night!

  2. Wow! That waterpark looks unbelievable!

    I'm glad you all had fun in Williamsburg. Although I think it has changed a bit since I was a girl (there were no "tickets") I remember having a lot of fun there. I loved skipping through the manicured gardens and chewing on real liccorice root- random memories, right?

    That picture of Liv should be on every brochure.

    We also used to enjoy Busch Gardens- bet that has changed too, right?

    1. Part of Colonial Williamsburg actually is still free. You can walk the streets, talk to the costumed staff members, and see the buildings at no cost. If you want to go inside the various trade houses, however, tickets are required.

      We didn't make it to Busch Gardens. Is it fun for little ones or is it more like Six Flags?

  3. I LOVE that you are getting to do all of these things and see all of these places. What a special treat, not only for your kiddos but for you and Tim as well! I have been to Williamsburg once. I was able to chaperone a group of 8th graders that went to DC for the week. (Most schools in CA offer a trip to 8th grade classes to go to DC for a week - I was one of the few that didn't have the funds to go so being asked to chaperone a trip when I was in my early 20's was SO fun. I LOVED visiting our nation's capital and learning all of the history. I appreciated it much more then than I would have as a 13 year old :-)

    1. Isn't it fun? My girls went on the water slides over-and-over-and-over again...with huge smiles on their faces!

    2. I also love that Great Wolf features spacious suite-style rooms. Tim & I were able to put the girls to bed in a separate room and then have a "mini date night."

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