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Need Col. Williamsburg Info.

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We're visiting Colonial Williamsburg in early April -- for the first time. We're excited, we're going with seven year old boys.


We will be only at Williamsburg -- not goint into Virginia Beach or Norfolk or anywhere else.


I'd love any and all ideas, suggestions, do's, dont's, musts! All appreciated!





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I went to William and Mary years ago, and we still visit the "burg" a few times a year, but I've not done too many touristy things (so I hope others pipe in).

However....the Cheese Shop is an awesome place right on Duke of Gloucester Street. I highly recommend you have lunch there once.


Look into package deals for passes the Col Wmbg stuff. While there is no charge to walk around Duke of Gloucester Street and go into shops, etc., you will need a pass to get into the Palace and the Capitol building.


See if you can go to a tavern one night for a gaming night -- there are colonial board and dice games and cider in old-style mugs. (Don't go if kids have peanut allergies, though).


Jamestown is not far and worth the trip if you are interested.


Have fun!!!

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The Governor's Palace is very pretty, but it's a pretty long tour, so it might not be great for very young children, though the grounds are pretty cool. (However, if your children are into weapons, they have a pretty impressive firearms display.) Same with the Capitol Building. The Peyton Randolph House and Bassett Hall were two of our favorite places to visit. If you have time, the Abby Aldridge Rockefeller Museum of folk art was cool, lots of neat stuff to see. The boys like the gaol too.


Definitely visit Great Hopes Plantation; it's a good thing to do first thing, since it's close to the visitor's center (and then just a little walk to the rest of the stuff). There's a lot of stuff for the kids to do there. If you haven't been there before, the visitor's center has a pretty good video that sets the stage for what was happening in Williamsburg in the 1770s.


When we were there last fall, they gave the kids a little map that had specific places marked on it; each place you visited gave you a little punch, and when you had a certain number of punches, you got a little pin. My children spent a lot of time in the craft buildings, such as the milliner's shop; especially during homeschool week, feel free to ask if you can try things. DD didn't know you could try on the stays in the milliner's shop and was absolutely thrilled when she got to. We found that the tour guides were great at answering questions, so ask!


If you can swing it, dinner at one of the taverns is a lot of fun. We really liked the King's Arms for dinner, but IIRC, it was Christiana Campbell's tavern where we had lunch last fall, and it was really nice too. There are often special events and things going on in the evenings (like, DD and DH attended a dance demonstration at the Capitol), so look in the brochure to see what's happening and when. We got to take a carriage ride one of the visits, and the kids liked that.


Also, check the map carefully for days and times when the various attractions are open. Some of them are closed in the afternoons, or certain days of the week.

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Do a bit of research on where you plan to have lunch if you are spending all day in CW. There are not many options for kid friendly/inexpensive meals in the nearby shopping area.


There is however every chain restaurant imaginable and at every price point in the town of W'burg itself. Do wander down and see William and Mary and the Bruton Church as well. Check the weekly schedule of events and plan where you need to be at what time-ie drilling with the militia, having tea, watching a re-enactment or parade, etc.


Always ask for the educators discount at the Visitor's Center Bookstore. The other shops don't offer it but they do for homeschoolers.


Jamestown and Yorktown are both quite close and interesting as well.


Practically next door is Busch Gardens and it will be open on the weekends if you need some wilder fun.


Also run a google search but the local council offers historic trails badges for both boy and girl scouts for those areas.

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When you get there, be sure to look at the schedule to see when and where the reenactments are going to be. Those are wonderful for kids to see. Also, encourage the kids to be ready to ask questions. The characters are very good at explaining things, and if they see that someone is truly interested in a subject, they elaborate on it far more than just the 'canned' speech. Think of their initial monologues as introductory material, and delve deeper where you are most interested.

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