We took a week-long trip to explore and learn history in Williamsburg Virginia. The kids and I had a great time, there is so much to do and see. One of our favorite stops was the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. Visiting the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown with Kids is so much fun for everyone.
American Revolution Museum at Yorktown with Kids
I love taking my kids to living-history museums. I find that they enjoy them and enjoy learning about the topics the museum covers and are fully entertained by the historical interpreters. Our visit to the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown was no exception. As soon as we entered the outdoor living-history experiences area my kids were immediately interested in seeing all of the exhibits.
Our visit to the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown was filled with learning history, exploring hands-on exhibits, and interacting with the historical interpreters that made the visit amazing.
Tips for Visiting American Revolution Museum at Yorktown with Kids
- Plan ahead. Before you go, research the museum’s exhibits and events to make a plan for your visit. Check the museum’s website for special exhibitions, programs, and events that might be of interest to your kids.
- Bring snacks and water. The museum can be tiring for young children. Be sure to bring snacks and water to keep them fueled and hydrated.
- Dress appropriately. The museum is located in a historic area and can be hot in the summer and chilly in the winter. Dress appropriately for the weather and wear comfortable shoes for walking.
- Visit the interactive exhibits. The museum has several interactive exhibits that are perfect for kids. We loved the Continental Army encampment and the Revolution-era farm for the younger kids. Let your kids explore and interact with these exhibits to make the visit more fun and educational.
- Allow plenty of time. The museum has a lot to see. Plan to spend at least two hours there to make the most of your visit.
What is the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown?
The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown is a museum dedicated to the story of the American Revolution. It begins in colonial Virginia to the final victory at Yorktown. It features immersive environments, outdoor exhibits, interactive displays, and outdoor living history. These experiences bring to life the people, events, and ideas of the American Revolution.
What can I expect to see and do at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown with Kids?
Visitors can expect to see a variety of exhibits and experiences at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. Some of the highlights are:
- An immersive film experience that takes you through the Revolution.
- An interactive exhibits that explore the lives of soldiers and civilians during the war.
- A recreated Continental Army encampment where visitors can experience life as a soldier.
What are the Outdoor Exhibits?
There are 2 living-history museum outdoor areas that you will get to explore. These outdoor areas are filled with colonial interpreters, and time period artifacts. They are perfect for getting the kids interested in learning history in a fun way.
The Continental Army Encampment Area
This is a re-created continental army encampment that gives visitors an up-close look at the daily life of American soldiers during the Revolutionary War. Visitors can explore the tents, learn about the weapons and equipment used by soldiers, and watch demonstrations of military drills and maneuvers.
- Tents. Visitors can see a variety of tents that would have been used by soldiers during the Revolutionary War, including officer’s tents, enlisted men’s tents, and hospital tents. Costumed interpreters explain the different types of tents and how they were used by soldiers.
- Military Drills. Visitors can watch demonstrations of military drills and maneuvers, and learn about the tactics and strategies used by the Continental Army during the war. Costumed interpreters explain the different formations and maneuvers, and provide insights into the life of a soldier.
- Weapons and Equipment. Visitors can see a variety of weapons and equipment used by soldiers during the Revolutionary War, including muskets, bayonets, swords, and more. Costumed interpreters demonstrate how these weapons were used, and explain the importance of proper maintenance and care. My kids loved watching the artillery demonstrations.
- Cooking and Camp Life. Visitors can learn about the daily life of soldiers in camp, including cooking, cleaning, and other chores. Costumed interpreters demonstrate how soldiers cooked their meals, and explain the challenges of living in a military encampment during the Revolutionary War.
The Revolution-era Farm Area
This is a recreated farm that shows visitors what life was like for the many civilians who lived in the rural areas of colonial Virginia during the Revolution. You will interact with costumed interpreters who demonstrate the daily tasks and chores involved in running a farm, including cooking, gardening, and caring for livestock. You will get to walk thru and experience what a real-life 18th-century family would do in their daily lives.
- The Farmhouse. This exhibit is a recreated farmhouse. The farmhouse is furnished with period-appropriate furniture and decor. You will see how families during the Revolutionary War era lived.
- The Garden. The garden is an authentic recreation of a colonial-era vegetable garden. Here we saw a variety of herbs and vegetables that would have been grown during the 18th century. Costumed interpreters demonstrate gardening techniques and explain the importance of kitchen gardens in early American households.
- Livestock. Visitors can see a variety of animals on the farm, including heritage breed pigs, sheep, and chickens. the Costumed interpreters demonstrated how these animals were raised, cared for, and used in everyday life during the Revolutionary War era.
- Tobacco Barn. The tobacco barn exhibit is a reconstructed barn. It is filled with tobacco leaves that have been hung up to dry. You will see how the tobacco was cured and processed. You will also learn about the labor-intensive process that was involved in growing and harvesting the crop. Costumed interpreters are on hand to explain the history and techniques of tobacco farming. They were amazing at answering any questions the kids had. They demonstrate how tobacco leaves were hung up to dry, and how the leaves were later processed. They explained that the tobacco was turned into products such as snuff, chewing tobacco, and pipe tobacco.
Indoor Exhibits at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown
The indoor museum showcases nearly 500 artifacts displayed in chronological galleries. The many comprehensive indoor exhibits leave nothing untouched when you are walking thru the museum and learning about them. The in-depth information given is the perfect hands-on history lesson that makes history fun for kids. The indoor exhibits focus on the American Revolution story of the Nation, from its origins in the mid-1700s to the early years of the new United States.
Liberty Fever Film
Visitors can start their experience by watching the introductory film “Liberty Fever,” which plays every half hour. It is important to note that the film is quite loud and may depict war and death. This may make it unsuitable for young children, however, all of mine were ok with it.
The British Empire and America Exhibit
In this exhibit, you will get to learn about the the geographic, demographic, cultural, and economic characteristics of America before the Revolution. Following the war’s conclusion in 1763, Britain’s territorial holdings in North America expanded, prompting attempts to coerce the North American colonies into contributing to the war’s expenses.
The changing relationship—Britain and North America Exhibit
This exhibit documents the escalation of tensions and deepening divisions between America’s colonies and Britain. It starts with the Stamp Act of 1665 and ends in the First Continental Congress of 1774.
The American Revolution Exhibit
This exhibit focuses on the course of the Revolutionary war. Starting with the battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775 and concluding with the triumph at Yorktown in 1781. It also includes information on the aftermath.
Two Great Battles Exhibit
Highlighted in a diorama and short film, are two significant early American victories – the Battle of Great Bridge in Virginia in 1775 and the Battle of Saratoga in New York in 1777, which served as a turning point and led to the formation of a formal alliance with France.
The portrayal of the American homefront Exhibit
The exhibit depicts the homefront during wartime through three-dimensional settings that serve as a backdrop for the narratives of a wide range of Americans, including Patriots and Loyalists, women, and enslaved and free African Americans.
The new nation Exhibit
This exhibit traces the story of America from the 1783 Treaty of Paris, which acknowledged the United States as an independent nation with territorial boundaries stretching to the Mississippi River. A short film chronicles how the need for a stronger national government, as the Articles of Confederation adopted during the Revolution proved inadequate, led to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and the establishment of the national government in 1789, which continues to this day. One of the things you will see here is the 19th-century life-size statue of George Washington previously exhibited in the U.S. Capitol.
The American people Exhibit
This exhibit delves into the evolution of a unique national identity that was shaped by various factors such as immigration, internal migration, and political, social, and demographic changes following the Revolutionary War. Emblematic of this new nation are several items, including an American-made sword with a silver pommel shaped like an eagle and an early 19th-century sandstone marker from a ferry house that was adorned with an eagle, stars, and the word “Liberty” and stood along the Cumberland Road. These artifacts serve as symbols of the growing sense of national pride and identity that characterized the United States during this era.
Must see things indoor exhibits when visiting American Revolution Museum at Yorktown with Kids
- See the Declaration of Independence. One of the highlights of the museum is the original copy of the Declaration of Independence, which visitors can read up close.
- Learn about the Soldier’s Uniforms. The galleries feature various uniforms worn by soldiers from different colonies, distinguished by their unique colors.
- Compare maps. Visitors can also compare maps from British Colonial America in 1763 to modern-day America, providing insight into the evolution of the country.
- History films. There are many immersive films throughout the museum that the kids can watch that are not only informative but also entertaining. In these films, kids will learn about different historical events that took place that shaped our country.
- The Siege of Yorktown Theater. This exhibit is a multi-sensory experience that uses special effects, such as rumbling seats and smoke, to immerse visitors in the events of the Revolutionary War’s decisive Siege of Yorktown. The exhibit depicts the military conflict that took place between the British forces led by General Cornwallis and the American and French forces led by General Washington and Admiral de Grasse in 1781.
How long should I plan to spend at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown with Kids?
Most visitors spend about two to three hours at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, although some may choose to spend more or less time depending on their interests. There is plenty to see and do, so it’s a good idea to plan your visit ahead of time to make sure you see everything you want to see. For us we spent about 3 hours outside in the exhibits and then another 2.5 hours inside the indoor museum exhibits.
Is the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown good for children?
Yes, the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown is a great place for children to learn about American history. There are many interactive exhibits and experiences designed for kids, and the museum offers educational programs and resources for teachers and families.
When is the museum open?
The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown is generally open year-round, seven days a week, except for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. The regular operating hours are from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. However, it’s always a good idea to check the museum’s website or call ahead to confirm the hours of operation before your visit, as there may be occasional changes to the schedule due to special events or other factors.
How much is admission?
The admission fees for the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown are as follows:
- Adults (ages 13 and up): $18.00
- Children (ages 6-12): $9.00
- Children (ages 5 and under): Free
The best value is the historic triangle pass if you plan on visiting all of the historic areas in Williamsburg Virginia. It is $119.00 for adults and $53 for kids. This pass gives you admission for 7 consecutive days to the following attractions in the area:
- Jamestown Settlement
- Historic Jamestowne
- Colonial Williamsburg
- Yorktown Battlefield
- American Revolution Museum at Yorktown
It is important to note that once you buy your America’s Historic Triangle Ticket, you’ll get a printable voucher that needs to be traded for admission tickets at a Colonial Williamsburg ticketing location before you can visit the Yorktown or Jamestown sites.
You can purchase tickets online here.
Where is the Museum Located?
The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown is located at 200 Water Street, Yorktown, VA 23690, United States. It is situated on a 22-acre site adjacent to the Yorktown Battlefield, where the last major battle of the American Revolutionary War took place in 1781.
How much is the parking?
The museum has free parking for visitors. There is a large parking lot located near the museum entrance where you can park your car. However, please note that parking availability may be limited during peak times or special events, so it’s always a good idea to arrive early if possible.