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Summer fun in Williamsburg with kids

July 9, 2013
Kids love it!

Kids love it!

Williamsburg, Virginia is a great spot for a summer vacation with kids, especially if your family likes history. But hot days and crowds mean you’ll want to be strategic about your visit to this huge living history museum.

Here are a few tips for making your summer stay in Williamsburg with kids fun:

Plan your day ahead of time. Many of the houses and museums in Colonial Williamsburg operate on a timed schedule – they may be open only on certain days or for portions of each day. The website is comprehensive and you can also pick up a This Week map at the Visitor Center that outlines each day’s schedule. Spend a little time each evening mapping out what you will see and visit each day to maximize your time. Remember that in the summer you’ll probably have to stand in line at some locations. Some of the most fun activities in Williamsburg for kids like the Great Hoopes Plantation lie just outside the central historic area so planning will also help you determine how to cover the most territory with the least backtracking.

You can also stop by the Kids Corner (it’s on your way into the colonial area as you walk from the Visitor Center) where there are colonial games and also a list of each day’s most family-friendly activities. Got older kids? Sign them up online for the Rev Quest and invite them to pretend they are spies, solving clues throughout the colonial area.

Great demonstrations!

Great demonstrations!

Arrive early and take a break midday. It gets hot in Virginia in the summer and a visit to Colonial Williamsburg involves some walking, so your best bet is to arrive as soon as the houses and museums open and plan to spend the morning exploring. Return to your condo for lunch and maybe a swim and then return in the later afternoon for some of the evening activities, which include dining

Rent costumes. Colonial costumes are available to rent at the Visitor Center and can really enhance your child’s experience. Kids wearing costumes are given a letter of introduction that suggests various things they can do around town. The interpreters at these locations are on the lookout for costumed children and will teach them specific things about colonial life or invite them to participate in activities like writing with a quill pen or planting seeds in the garden.

Make some time for splashing. In addition to its historic attractions, Williamsburg is also home to Water Country USA, a large amusement park where all of the rides involve getting wet. Shuttles run regularly from the Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center, so you don’t have to pay for parking.

Other non-historic things to do in Williamsburg include checking out the shops and in Merchants Square where there is both a toy and a candy store, visiting Ripley’s Believe it or Not, and renting bikes to ride in the national park in either Jamestown or Yorktown – both of which are a quick drive from Williamsburg.

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