Colonial Williamsburg offers customized, hands-on school and group visits in the city where George Washington first took elective office, Thomas Jefferson learned law and Patrick Henry spoke out against the Stamp Act.
Make Colonial Williamsburg the next great adventure and be confident in giving the next generation what they need to write the script for their chapter in the American story.
Guided tour; tour times: 9 a.m.–noon or 1:30–4:30 p.m.
9 a.m. or noon
Step back in time with a Historical Interpreter and visit:
• The Capitol: The meeting place of Virginia’s executive, judicial and legislative branches of government. There in 1776, Virginia’s patriots voted for independence and a new state constitution.
• The Governor’s Palace: The palace was a domestic residence of seven royal governors and Virginia’s first two commonwealth governors, Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson. Tour this magnificent building and learn about the man who governed Virginia just before the Revolution.
With a Colonial Williamsburg guide, participate in hands-on activities that make learning about the past fun. Select activities that complement the age level of the group. Activities include:
• bucket making
• clothing demonstrations
• domestic chores
• colonial etiquette
• election of burgesses
• a mock trial
• colonial dancing
• colonial games
• grinding corn in the quern
• vote for or against independence
Students also will have the opportunity to visit trade shops to watch Colonial Williamsburg artisans as they create goods used and sold in the 18th-century city. Trade shops include brickmakers, silversmiths, weavers, bookbinders, blacksmiths, milliners, wigmakers and printers.
11:30 a.m. or 1 p.m.
Enjoy lunch at one of Colonial Williamsburg’s historic taverns. School group lunch menus and rates are available at Shields Tavern or the King’s Arms Tavern.
After lunch, the students can explore Colonial Williamsburg on their own.
• Visit Greenhow Store, an 18th-century shops.
• Visit a real 18th-century post office and bindery.
• Visit additional trade shops, such as an apothecary, the cooper, or the Palace kitchen.
• Take a stroll down Duke of Gloucester Street and meet costumed people of the past.
Check in at the Woodlands Hotel & Suites located adjacent to the Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center. The Williamsburg Woodlands provides a family-friendly, comfortable home away from home with plenty of activities and daily complimentary breakfast.
Enjoy a traditional tavern experience for dinner at the King’s Arms Tavern or Shields Tavern. Student group menus and rates are available.
After dinner and when the sun sets, the 18th-century city continues to beat with activity. Enjoy one of the interactive evening programs that take place throughout the Historic Area.
7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
• African-American Music — Discover the music, songs and dances of the 18th-century African American community, inherited and adapted from cultures of Africa and Europe. Within the community, there are opportunities for everyone to participate — by singing, dancing or playing an instrument. Students can help keep the rhythms, sing the songs and dance the dances adapted from the West African people in colonial America.
• Ghosts Amongst Us — Students can go inside some 18th-century sites rumored to be haunted, and meet the ghostly inhabitants. Each of these walking tours introduces a different cast of characters for a chilling evening! Due to subject matter, this program is not appropriate for young children.
8 a.m. — Start with a complimentary breakfast in the Woodlands Hotel & Suites breakfast area. Then begin the colonial journey by viewing The Story of a Patriot at the Visitor Center. Head back into the Historic Area and use the mid-morning to explore:
• Trade Shop Experiences — Visit the Cabinetmaker, Apothecary, Bindery, Tailor, Weaver and Shoemaker. At the Printing Office, students can print their own copy of the Declaration of Independence.
• Candlemaker: Students can make a candle to take home.
• Hands-on history: Students of all ages can try out various chores, lessons, toys and games at the Powell House.
• Outdoor games and fun: All along Duke of Gloucester Street
• Tour the Fifes and Drums Building: Learn what takes place “Behind the Field Music.”
Early morning or mid-afternoon
Stay in a Colonial Williamsburg hotel and enjoy complimentary, in-season shuttle service to many local sites. Colonial Williamsburg is just minutes from:
• Busch Gardens®: Fun is always in season at Busch Gardens Williamsburg with thrilling roller coasters, KIDsiderate® attractions and exciting events.
• Historic Jamestowne: Walk in the footsteps of Captain John Smith and Pocahontas at the site of the first permanent English settlement in North America. Engaging programs and tours, a visitor center, an archaeology museum and an on-site café provide a perfect day in a natural setting.
• Yorktown: Yesterday, today and tomorrow blend together as groups experience world-class history and the beautiful waterfront with outdoor recreation, riverfront dining and special events.