If you’re looking for a fun family vacation destination, look no further than Williamsburg, Virginia! This historic town is the perfect place to create unforgettable memories with your kids. This Things to do in Williamsburg Virginia with Kids list will help you with planning your trip to Williamsburg Va.
Things to do in Williamsburg Virginia with Kids
There are many things to do in Williamsburg Va with kids. My kids and I took a trip and after exploring believe it is a great place to visit with the whole family.
For this trip, we focused on learning about the history of Williamsburg Virginia. We wanted to see the historic buildings, learn about the history of the Williamsburg area and have hands-on experiences that were in historic Williamsburg and the historic triangle. While we had a great experience on our trip, the next time we visit my kids have asked me to include a day at Busch Gardens.
We all loved exploring Williamsburg Virginia, it was a great way for the kids to learn about the history and the colonial times of Williamsburg Virginia while having fun.
Colonial Williamsburg Historic Area
Step back in time to the 18th century at this living history museum. One of the highlights of a visit to Colonial Williamsburg is the daily programming. Your family can attend reenactments of historic events like the reading of the Declaration of Independence or the debate over the Virginia Resolves. You can also see demonstrations of colonial skills like cooking, gardening, or military drills.
When you are visiting the different areas and buildings in historic Williamsburg Virginia you will get to see hands on how life was. You will get to learn about how things were done, how things were made, and how the people lived in Colonial Williamsburg during the time period.
I highly suggest having 2 full days to explore this area with the kids. To fully experience everything that Colonial Williamsburg has to offer, we split our visit into two days. On the first day, we explored the outdoor areas, taking in the sights and sounds of this historic town. Then, on the second day, we delved deeper into the historical buildings, touring the Capital building, courthouse, carpenter, blacksmith, and shoemaker workshops, and even indulging in a meal at one of the colonial taverns.
Buildings to visit at Colonial Williamsburg
- Governor’s Palace
- The Capitol
- The courthouse
- Weaver trade shop
- Carpenter’s yard
- Peyton Randolph’s yard and kitchen
- Colonial Garden
- Blacksmith Shop
- Magazine Yard
- Church Meetinghouse
Get Tickets here.
Jamestown Settlement Location – Historic Jamestowne
Historic Jamestowne is the site of the original fort established in 1607, now managed by the National Park Service. Here, visitors can learn about the archaeological excavations that have uncovered important artifacts and details about life in the early settlement.
Explore the site of the first permanent English settlement in America. Your family can see the original 1607 fort and learn about the daily life of the settlers. As you explore Historic Jamestowne, you’ll step back in time to the early 17th century. Your family can explore the site of the original settlement, where archaeologists are still uncovering new artifacts and insights into the lives of the colonists. You can even see the remains of the fort that was built in 1607 to protect the settlers from Native American attacks.
Must see things with Kids at Jamestown Settlement Location
- See the John Smith Statue.
- See the Pocahontas Statue.
- See archaeologists digging for artifacts.
- Go on the Jamestown Settlement Tour.
Hours of Operation: 9am – 4:30pm
Get Tickets here.
Jamestown Settlement Museum
This location is also known as Jamestown Settlement. It is a museum that is dedicated to sharing the history of Jamestown, the settlers, and different time periods of importance in the Jamestown Historic area along with the Williamsburg Virginia area. There are plenty of activities to enjoy while exploring this historic site. The settlement is an authentic recreation of the original town, allowing visitors to experience what life was like for early colonists.
The Jamestown Settlement museum is divided into three distinct parts: an indoor museum, and three outdoor live reenactment museums. To fully appreciate all that this museum has to offer, we split our visit into two days. On the first day, we focused on the live reenactment tours, which allowed us to fully immerse ourselves in the experience of early colonial life. The next day, we explored the indoor museum. I highly recommend dedicating a full day to the live interactive museum and tours to ensure that you don’t miss anything.
Things to do at Jamestown Settlement Museum
- English Settlers Fort. At the Jamestown Settlement, you can step back in time and experience life as it was in the early 1600s. One of the main attractions is the English Settlers Fort, which was built between 1610 and 1614. Here, you can learn about how the Virginia Company of London’s military outpost functioned, from food preparation to housing arrangements and more.
- Powhatan Life Village Tour. Another must-see attraction is the Powhatan Life Village Tour, which features live reenactments of daily life in the Powhatan tribe. You can explore a recreated hut that the native Americans lived in, learn about the foods they ate, and see how tools and weapons were made and used.
- Jamestown Settlement Ships Tour. The Jamestown Settlement Ships Tour is another highlight, featuring replicas of the Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery – the ships that carried the settlers from England to Virginia in 1607. You can go on board and listen to the crew talk about what life was like during the voyage.
- Indoor Jamestown Settlement Museum. Finally, don’t miss the indoor Jamestown Settlement Museum, which is filled with artifacts and exhibits showcasing the cultures of the Powhatan Indians, English, and West Central Africans who lived in 1600s Virginia. The exhibits focus on the beginnings of Jamestown in England and the first century of the Virginia colony through 1699.
This is a great place with great things to do with the younger kids. The hands-on activities are perfect are one of the best ways to keep the kids no matter their age involved and entertained while learning about history.
Hours of Operation: Open year-round 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, except Christmas and New Year’s days. Outdoor living-history areas open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Get Tickets here.
American Revolution Museum at Yorktown
Discover the story of the American Revolution at this museum. The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown is a wonderful place for children to learn while having fun. Visitors can enjoy interactive outdoor re-enactments and discover what life was like in Williamsburg, Virginia during the 1800s. The museum features two separate outdoor living history areas to explore: the Military Camp and the Revolution Area Farm. Make sure to catch the presentations, which are not only informative but also highly entertaining.
Continental Army encampment. Experience life in a military camp during the 1800s at the Continental Army encampment. This was not just a place where military members resided, but also their families. Through exploring the encampment, visitors can learn about the daily routines of American soldiers and their families. The area provides demonstrations of military drills, musket and artillery firing, 18th-century surgical and medical practices, and the role of the quartermaster in managing troop supplies.
Revolution-era Farm. Discover the Revolution-era Farm and gain insights into what it was like to live on a Virginia farm during the 1800s. This area immerses visitors in the world of Edward Moss (c. 1757-1786) and his family, whose lives are well-documented in Virginia historical records. As you explore the farm, you will learn about daily life on a farm, including both domestic and agricultural aspects. Additionally, you will gain insights into the lives of enslaved African Americans during the American Revolution period.
Hours of Operation: Open year-round 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, except Christmas and New Year’s days. Outdoor living-history areas open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Get tickets here.
Yorktown Battlefield Audio Tour
You’re in for an incredible treat with the Yorktown Battlefield Audio Tour! This tour is an absolute must-do for history buffs and anyone who wants to experience the thrilling story of the American Revolution.
As you explore the battlefield, you’ll be guided by a fascinating audio tour that brings the history to life. You’ll learn about the famous battles that took place on this hallowed ground, from the Siege of Yorktown to the final surrender of the British army. You’ll hear the stories of the soldiers who fought and died here, and you’ll gain a new appreciation for the sacrifices they made for our country.
The audio tour takes you to all the key spots on the battlefield, including the Redoubts, the Surrender Field, and the Yorktown Victory Monument. You’ll see the earthworks and trenches where the soldiers fought, and you’ll stand where the British surrendered to General George Washington.
Depending on how long you spend at each stop the tour will take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours. My kids enjoyed getting out of the car and exploring each stop in full so we were closer to 1.5 hours.
Take a ride on the Jamestown-Scotland ferry
We took a ride on the ferry, and the kids loved being able to ride the ferry while driving our car on and then enjoy the ferry ride.
Overall, a visit to Williamsburg with kids is a wonderful way to combine fun and education. Your family can learn about American history while having a great time exploring the town and its attractions. So pack your bags, grab the kids, and head to Williamsburg for a family vacation you won’t forget!
Smith’s Fort Plantation
To visit the Smith’s Fort plantation, you’ll have to take the Jamestown ferry, but I think it is well worth it and the ferry is something that the kids loved. The plantation is the location of Captain John Smith’s proposed “New Fort,” and the present-day house sits on land Chief Wahunsenacawh (Powhatan) granted as a dowry for his daughter Pocahontas’ marriage to John Rolfe in 1614. Smith’s Fort Plantation is situated directly across the James River from Jamestown, and if you’re coming from there, you’ll need to take the ferry to reach it.
It was in our plans to take the audio tour however we got there after they closed and so we only had the option to take a walk around the grounds. There are a few different options for tours when you visit.
- Audio Tour of Smith’s Fort Plantation. Receive an informative site map and explore the grounds following a numbered path. Use your personal cell phone to hear about the site’s history and architecture.
- Guided Exterior Tour of Smith’s Fort Plantation. A minute guided tour of the history and architecture of the site.
- Guided Interior and Exterior tour. A45-minute tour guided where you will learn about the lives and legacies of Captain John Smith, John Rolfe, Pocahontas and Chief Wahunsenacawh.
Talk a walk on a Beach
Whenever we have the opportunity, we love to explore beaches, and fortunately, Williamsburg, Virginia has several options worth visiting. Although these beaches are not oceanfront, they offer picturesque views of the Chesapeake Bay and provide plenty of fun activities such as strolling along the sandy shorelines, taking beautiful photographs, and enjoying the breathtaking scenery.
Here are some of the beaches you can explore in the Williamsburg area:
- Jamestown Beach
- College Creek Beach
- North End Beach
- Yorktown Beach
- First Landing State Park
Is Williamsburg Virginia Good for Kids?
Absolutely! Williamsburg, Virginia is an amazing place for a family trip! It’s a town steeped in history, filled with fun activities and attractions, and surrounded by beautiful scenery.
First of all, Williamsburg is home to Colonial Williamsburg, a living history museum that transports visitors back to the 18th century. You and your family can explore the restored colonial buildings, interact with costumed interpreters, and learn about life in early America. It’s a perfect blend of education and entertainment!
How long should I plan my Williamsburg Virginia Trip for?
We stayed for 7 days however the number of days you stay will vary depending on how much you want to see. The historical sites ended up taking us longer than I expected because the kids got really into seeing them. I highly recommend allotting at least 2 days to fully experience everything Colonial Williamsburg has to offer, as there is so much to see and do.
If you’re interested in visiting the main attractions such as Colonial Williamsburg, and the Jamestown Settlement, a minimum of three to four days would be ideal to get the most out of your trip. This will give you enough time to explore these sites at a leisurely pace and to participate in any additional activities or events that interest you.
If you’re a history buff and want to dive deeper into the area’s colonial past, you may want to consider spending an extra day or two exploring more of the museums, historic sites, and walking tours.
Tips for Visiting Williamsburg Virginia with Kids
- Plan ahead. There’s a lot to see and do in Williamsburg, so plan your itinerary in advance. Look for kid-friendly activities and events, and schedule enough time for each attraction.
- Consider a multi-day ticket. Colonial Williamsburg offers multi-day tickets that can save you money and allow you to experience the attractions at a more leisurely pace. You can purchase these online or at the visitor center.
- Wear comfortable shoes. Williamsburg is a walking town, and you’ll want to explore the historic sites on foot. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and dress for the weather.
- Pack snacks and water. Although there are plenty of restaurants and cafes in Williamsburg, packing snacks and water can be a good idea, especially if you have younger children who may get hungry or thirsty throughout the day.
- Take a break. It’s important to take breaks throughout the day, especially if you have little kids. Consider taking a mid-day break to rest, recharge, and refuel for the afternoon’s activities.
FAQ About Visiting Williamsburg Virginia
There are often many questions about different areas of the historic triangle and Williamsburg Virginia’s historical areas. I am including this information to help you with your trip planning.
What is the Difference Between Historic Jamestown and Jamestown Settlement?
Jamestown Settlement and Historic Jamestown are two separate but related sites in Virginia that are both significant to the history of the United States.
Jamestown Settlement is a living history museum located near the site of the original Jamestown colony. It includes a recreated fort, a Native American village, and replicas of the three ships that brought the first English colonists to Virginia in 1607. Visitors can explore the museum and participate in interactive exhibits that showcase what life was like for the colonists and the Powhatan people who lived in the area at the time.
Historic Jamestown, on the other hand, is the actual location of the original Jamestown settlement. It is an archaeological site where excavations have uncovered the remains of the original fort, the colonists’ living quarters, and other structures from the 17th century. Visitors can see the ongoing excavations and learn about the history of the site at the on-site museum and visitor center.
In summary, Jamestown Settlement is a recreated living history museum, while Historic Jamestown is the actual archaeological site where the original settlement was located.
What is the Historic Triangle?
The Historic Triangle is a region in southeastern Virginia that includes three important historic sites: Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown. These three locations are known as the “triangle” because they form a roughly equilateral triangle shape on the map.
Where is the Visitors Center to get tickets for Colonial Williamsburg?
The Visitors Center to purchase tickets for Colonial Williamsburg is located at 101 Visitor Center Drive, Williamsburg, VA 23185. It is adjacent to the Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center.
How do I get to Colonial Williamsburg from the Visitors Center Parking lot?
When you are arriving at Colonial Williamsburg you will want to park in the parking lot. There is a shuttle bus that will then take you to the colonial Williamsburg historical area. It is a short ride from the visitors center to the Colonial Williamsburg area.
Where can I visit for Free at Colonial Williamsburg?
There are some parts of the historic area that are open to the public without a ticket. These include the grounds of the Capitol building, the Public Hospital of 1773 building, and some of the original foundations and archaeological sites throughout the town. Additionally, there are several shops and restaurants located in the historic area that are open to the public without a ticket. You can walk around the Colonial Williams burg area with out a ticket as well and see some of the outside reenactments that are going on.