We are very thankful for this chance to experience Colonial Williamsburg Revolutionary City. When the opportunity first presented itself to me, I was shocked and ecstatic: (1) I love history. (2) The kids would love this experience. We were given a budget to work with, and when it’s a family of 6, you still have to be creative to make it all work (e.g., find the best price taking a red eye… I know, kinda crazy), and it was completely up to us what we wanted to do, see, and eat when we got there. We stayed at Colonial Wiliamsburg Woodlands hotel, since that was suggested to be the most family friendly option, but there are plenty of other accommodations to choose from.
As I was booking, I noticed they had a “Kids Play, Stay, and Eat Free” package and so that’s what I went with. It includes all the admission tickets to the museums, most buildings, and tours (there a couple things like carriage rides or ghost tours that would be an additional expense if you want to do that), the hotel had a new water park (we’re not talking theme-park huge here, just to give you some perspective, but more than enough for the kids to love). Regarding meals, there was what I considered to be a higher-end continental breakfast (it had many options, to include a DIY waffle-maker, sausage, eggs, fresh-cut fruit, yogurts, hot/cold cereals… just your basic as bagels and pastries) and kids get to eat free for dinner (we appreciate little perks like that)! I think it is the best option for families, just for the tour tickets alone. We were able to get in to see show/tours that would typically require an extra fee, but with our package, that was already included! Extra things that we had to pay additional for were the carriage ride and the meals during lunchtime for the kids.
The whole place is really family-friendly. One spot in particular we spent a lot of time at was the Colonial Garden. Ben was marveling at the 18-century methods they used to care for it; he was mesmerized as he walked around observing the various plants and vegetables. The girls were able to help out with the watering, and I was ooh-ing and ahh-ing over how that is exactly how I want my garden to look like. I love the look of overgrown bushes and flowers tumbling into each other, and while I try to mimic that at home, mine looks more like an overgrown mess.
One request the girls had was to ride a carriage, but for this you need to make sure you’re at a ticketing office right at 9am because they sell out quickly, especially in the hot summer months because they don’t let the horses ride past noon on hotter days. We rode an open carriage because that is what fit our family of six, and it also happens to be the same carriage Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip rode when they visited here in 2007. Though it’s a short ride (fifteen minutes), the girls faces told us it was well worth it.
There are shuttles that can take you from one area to the next, but we also found it quite easy to maneuver about on foot. Sure, it was hot and humid, as we were all sweating cats and dogs, but the fun and excitement of roaming the streets and interacting with different characters really distracted us from the hot conditions.
For lunch, we ate at the taverns since we were usually exploring the historic area; Chowning Tavern was our favorite. Dinners we spent at Huzzah! (adjacent to our hotel) and Traditions (adjacent to the Williamsburg Lodge). Huzzah was super family-friendly and the kids got to make their own pizzas. Traditions was a little more formal, and I got to indulge in crab cake and the girls got dishes that were equally as fancy, but just kid size. With the package we signed up for, the kids were able to eat free at both places for dinner (and also the taverns, but we never went to the taverns for dinner). I think deals like that for families are much appreciated.
Another thing we read about was the brickyard. Brave was commenting how much she wanted to come back in October to see the bricks fired up, since that’s what she read in the book. Though, we didn’t get to see that, the girls did get to take part in treading the mud to make brick. They were really hesitant at first, but eventually (with a lot of coaxing), they went in. Go figure, at home they don’t hesitate to play in the mud, but here when they are encouraged to, they hesitate.
There’s so much we saw and did that I’m sure the girls probably weren’t able to keep track of it all. We plan to continue studying the American Revolution and Colonial Times, so I think reading more books after the visit will allow us to continue building upon their knowledge. We let them indulge in some costumes to commemorate their time there (Brave chose coloring books however), so that will get added to their dress-up box and we will recreate our own scenes of the Revolution at home. My mind is already spinning with learning activities we could do to dive deeper into this time period, and we are all very thankful for the opportunity to experience this living history museum in-person and for all the memories we created together as a family.
Brought to you by Colonial Williamsburg. With so much to do, stay and make some history. Book your trip at colonialwilliamsburg.com. I‘m super thankful for this opportunity, and this is able to happen thanks to all of you. As always, all opinions and thoughts are always my own.