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Tips for Visiting Historic Jamestowne, Virginia With Kids

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Are you looking for an educational and exciting family vacation? Look no further than Historic Jamestowne in Virginia! This historic site is the location of the first permanent English settlement in North America. It offers a wealth of learning opportunities for both kids and adults. Read on to discover why this site should be on your family’s travel itinerary and our tips on how to make the best trip ever when you are visiting Historic Jamestowne with kids.

Historic Jamestowne with Kids

Visiting Historic Jamestowne with Kids

As a family, we love visiting and exploring historic sites. There is so much to learn and I find that the kids learn a lot more when they interact with history than when we just learn from a book. While visiting Historic Jamestowne is perfect for everyone, I think this is a must-see spot for those who homeschool. My kids had a blast learning the history and the story of Jamestown, talking to a park ranger, and talking to the archaeologist at the archaeological site.

I took the kids on a week-long trip to visit Williamsburg Virginia and it was one of the best trips we have gone on. We had so much fun at every stop that we made and while we were learning a ton about history none of the kids felt like they were doing anything other than having fun. One of our stops was visiting the Historic Jamestowne Settlement.

While planning our trip we learned that Historic Jamestowne was America’s first permanent English colony and it was open for visiting. We also learned that there is a location built (called Jamestown Settlement Museum) that was to share even more information about the early years of the English men who settled here in America in Jamestowne, Virginia. We added both of these locations to our travel plans and I am glad we did.

What is the Historic Jamestowne Settlement?

The Historic Jamestowne Settlement is located in Jamestown, Virginia and it is the site of the first permanent English settlement. It is a great place to learn history as you can see the actual buildings that have been partially uncovered. Here you are standing in the exact location of the 1607 James Fort.

Historic Jamestowne with Kids

What Makes Historic Jamestowne a Must-see place?

Historic Jamestowne offers a unique opportunity to explore the actual location of the first permanent English settlement in North America, which is a fascinating and historically significant place. The archaeological excavations and artifacts on display provide insight into the daily lives and struggles of the early Virginia settlers. Additionally, the knowledgeable guides and interactive exhibits allow visitors to immerse themselves in the history of Jamestown, making it a fun and engaging experience. Whether you’re a history buff or just looking for a unique adventure, Historic Jamestowne offers a one-of-a-kind experience that is both entertaining and educational.

cannon at Historic Jamestowne

What is the difference between Historic Jamestowne Settlement and Jamestown Settlement?

Historic Jamestowne also referred to as Jamestowne Settlement is the actual location of the first English settlement. This is the exact location the first settlers who came to America with the Virginia Company of London landed in the new world and made their home. This is the original arrival of English Colonists physically arrived to in the early 1600s. This site of the original colony is run by the National Park Service and is also a current archaeology area where if you are lucky you will get to see them actually digging for archeological findings. This location is run by the National Park Service.

Jamestown Settlement Museum is a reconstructed version of the settlement. The Jamestown Settlement is a privately-owned interpretive center that is located on Jamestown island. It is not the site of the original fort but is filled with all the hands on learning so the kids will understand and learn about what life was like during the time period. 

To fully understand and appreciate the history of Jamestown, I recommended visiting both sites as they offer unique and complementary interpretations of the settlement’s history. By exploring the original site and its archaeological discoveries at Historic Jamestowne and experiencing the recreated fort and interactive exhibits at Jamestown Settlement, visitors can gain a comprehensive understanding of the struggles and triumphs of the early Virginia settlers.

Is Historic Jamestowne good for kids?

Yes, Historic Jamestowne is a great destination for kids! This historic site offers a range of activities and exhibits that are sure to capture the imaginations of young visitors. Kids can explore the ruins of the original Jamestown Fort, see real archaeological discoveries up close, and learn about the brave colonists who first settled in this rugged and wild new land. With interactive living history exhibits, thrilling walking tours, and a wide range of educational programs, Historic Jamestowne is the perfect destination for families looking to learn more about America’s early history.

Why Is Historic Jamestowne Good for kids?

The Jamestown Settlement is a great destination for families and children for several reasons:

  • Educational Value. The Jamestowne Settlement provides an excellent opportunity for children to learn about American history in a fun and interactive way. Children can learn about the early Virginia settlers and their impact on American history.
  • Historical Significance. The Jamestowne Settlement is a significant historical site that played a crucial role in the development of America. It was the first successful colony of the early settlers.Visiting the site will help kids have a deeper appreciation and understanding of this important historical site.
  • Junior Ranger Program. The Junior Ranger Program is a free program offered by the National Park Service, which provides kids with the opportunity to learn about Jamestown while completing activities and earning a badge.

Things to do at Historic Jamestowne Settlement with Kids

There are multiple things that you will want to do when you are visiting the Jamestowne settlement with the kids. You will want to check the time schedules when you arrive so that you know when the tours will start for the ones that you want to do.

Take a walking Tour

Explore the secrets of 17th-century Jamestown and delve deeper into the groundbreaking research conducted by the Jamestown Rediscovery team with a walking tour. Choose from a variety of tours, including an introduction to Jamestown, an overview of James Fort’s archaeology, a journey through time with a living history interpreter, or a more in-depth discussion of specific aspects of Jamestown’s history. A walking tour is an excellent way to gain a deeper understanding of the historic site while experiencing the sights, sounds, and stories of the first permanent English settlement in North America. There are multiple tours each day and depending on the day that you are there different topics are covered, these tours were great and the kids were able to ask all the questions that they wanted to.

Go on the Jamestowne Settlement Walking Tour

While you are visiting the Jamestown settlement you will be able to take a tour where you will see parts of the original buildings. Guided tours are available at Historic Jamestowne and can provide a wealth of information that is accessible and interesting for kids. Consider signing up for a family-friendly tour that is geared toward kids and their interests. We had a fantastic park ranger on ours who was very helpful whenever the kids had any questions.

historic Jamestowne Settlement

See archaeologists digging for artifacts

If you are lucky there will be archaeologists digging to see what they can find. You are able to watch them. The archaeologist was fantastic in talking to the kids and sharing with them how they do their job and what items they had previously found. Note that they are not always doing digs, but they are working on many digs overtime at the original settlement site to find real artifacts.

Check out the statues and monuments

There are some really awesome statues and monuments that the kids will for sure love and will probably want photos. For us seeing the Pocahontas Statue and the Captain John Smith Statue were both a must.

Check out the Historical sites

There are quite a few buildings that have been left in their natural environment. While you can not see the full building because it is still partially underground you can see the actual buildings.

Participate in the Junior Ranger Program

The Junior Ranger Program is a free program offered by the National Park Service that allows kids to learn about the history of Jamestown. After completing the activities they will earn a badge. It’s a great way to keep kids engaged and excited during your visit. There is a different packet for each age group. They are split into ages 5-7, 8-10, and 11+ so the material is on par with the kid’s ages.

Visit the Archaearium Archaeology Museum

The Archaearium is a museum at Historic Jamestowne that showcases artifacts from the daily life of the settlers. There are many displays from the archaeological excavations of the site. The Archaearium museum showcases artifacts that are from the Jamestown rediscovery archaeologists’ excavations. It offers a fascinating glimpse into the daily lives of the early Virginia settlers. Kids will love seeing the real artifacts and learning about the history of Jamestown in a fun and engaging way.

Visit the Memorial Church

The church was built in the early 17th century, and it served as the first permanent church in Jamestown. The church was destroyed during Bacon’s Rebellion in 1676. It was rebuilt in 1907 as a memorial to the original church and the colonists who worshipped there. The church contains many historic artifacts, including a 17th-century baptismal font and an original brick foundation. Today, visitors to Historic Jamestowne can tour the church and learn about its historical significance.

Tips for Visiting Historic Jamestowne with Kids

  • Pack snacks and water. Having snacks and water on hand makes exploring much easier with kids.
  • Dress for the weather. Historic Jamestowne is mostly an outdoor site aside from the museum, so dress appropriately for the weather. In the winter months and spring, you may want to pack a sweatshirt.
  • Dress comfortably. You will be doing a lot of walking, so having comfortable shoes is a must.
  • Get a map. When you walk into the visitor center be sure to grab a map.
  • Check out the daily activities. You will want to check and see what tours and special activities are going on the day of your visit.

How long should I plan to visit on my trip to Historic Jamestowne?

The amount of time you should plan to spend at Historic Jamestowne largely depends on your interests and schedule. To fully experience all the site has to offer, it is recommended to plan for at least 2-3 hours. This will allow you to tour the James Fort site, visit the Archaearium Museum, explore the Memorial Church. It will also give you time to take in some of the other exhibits and programs available. If you have more time, consider taking a walking tour or visiting nearby attractions like Yorktown Battlefield. Overall, plan your visit to Historic Jamestowne based on your schedule and interests. Be sure to leave plenty of time to fully immerse yourself in this fascinating historical destination.

How Much is Admission?

Admission is $30 for adults and children are free.

What is included with admission?

With a valid receipt, your tickets to Historic Jamestowne are valid for seven consecutive days. Admission includes all public tours and programs. You will also get entrance into the following site:

  • James Fort Site
  • Memorial Church
  • New Towne
  • The Archaearium Museum
  • The Glasshouse
  • The Island Loop Drive
  • Yorktown Battlefield (unless otherwise noted)

Are there any discounts?

The best value when exploring the Williamsburg area is the historic triangle pass. It is $119.00 for adults and $53 for kids. This combination ticket gives you admission for 7 consecutive days to the following attractions in the area:

  • Jamestown Settlement History Museum
  • 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.

Is there a military discount?

Yes! If you are a veteran bring your ID card. You will pay $15 for yourself and up to 3 guests.

Things to do in Virginia with Kids

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