Monday, May 12, 2014

Tips on Traveling to Colonial Williamsburg with Kids


Recently Fun Things traveled to Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. Colonial Williamsburg  is a great way to teach the kids about our history through a very hands on experience. Colonial Williamsburg makes you feel as if you have taken a time machine back to the 1800's.


Before You Go
I recommend going online before you go and doing a little research to plan out what you want to do and see. The Colonial Williamsburg website also has a kids section on their site with helpful information and games for the kids.  I would also recommend spending at least 2-3 days seeing all the events and programs available. There is so much to do and you want to make sure you catch everything.



When You Arrive
Start your visit at the Visitor Center where you can purchase Colonial Williamsburg tickets, make dining reservations and rent children's costumes at Costume Rental Center. The visitor center also has free parking and shuttle buses that take you to the different areas of Colonial Williamsburg. Williamsburg is a public place, so anyone can walk its streets and enter the stores and restaurants. Admission tickets are required to enter the "private" buildings like the capitol, the governor's palace, and any building where demonstrations take place. 


What to See

Babies: Please keep in mind the the streets are brick or crushed shell, so bring a stroller that can handle the rough terrain.  Also, many buildings can not accommodate strollers so you will need to carry your little one into the buildings.

Toddlers:  Take advantage of the beautiful gardens to let you toddler run off some steam.  The gardens are beautiful to look at and little ones love exploring.  Also the Market Square Stands is a great place for them to look at items and walk around in a less crowded area than the shops.

School-Age Kids: 
Make kids feel part of the action by renting a costume or buying a hat.  Make sure you stop by the visitors Center and pick up a kids map.  They can become a young citizen of Williamsburg, kids visit 5 historic sites and participate in the activity then receive a pin.  Have them talk to the locals to learn more about living in the area and how different it is from today.  When you're at the visitors center make sure you find out about the family programs going on during the day. They have demonstrations, kids games and talks about what it was like living in the 18th century.  Don't forget to make reservations for the family friendly ghost tour of the local taverns.





RevQuest: The Old Enemy
This is the perfect way to get your family immersed in the history of the Revolution.  
Each RevQuest player  is challenged to save the revolution by deciphering codes found throughout the Historic Area. Messages are sent through text messages on your phone.  My family and I loved how we learned about history while using our smart phones in order to send and receive clues.  RevQuest can be completed in 1 day or you can spread it out over 2 days.



Ghost Tours
This is something I always wanted to do and my kids were finally old enough to come along.  There are two different tours, we did the Tarven Ghost Walk which is family friendly.  They tell different stories about events that have happened in the different buildings/taverns.  You do need to purchase separate tickets for the ghost. tour



Where to Eat and Shop
I would recommend making reservations for dining with Colonists.  Kids love interacting with the Colonists and experiencing what it was like dinning in the 18th century.  Colonial Williamsburg has four choices Christiana Campbell's TavernChowning's TavernKing's Arms Tavern and Shields Tavern.  And yes children's menus are available.
There is also plenty of shopping and dinning in Merchant's Square.  I would recommend the Cheese Shop if your looking for a quick meal like sandwiches.  You must try the House Dressing at the Cheese Shop. If  you want a sit down meal try Seasons.




Plan your getaway to Colonial Williamsburg today!  They have a special summer deal going on were Kids stay,play, & eat for free!



Disclosure: My family and I received complimentary tickets to visit Colonial Williamsburg.

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