Colonial Williamsburg with Kids – How History is Made Fun

Wondering how to bring colonial times to life for your kids? While your youngsters may groan at the thought of studying the Revolutionary War or brushing up on 18th-century etiquette, a getaway to the world’s largest living history museum is sure to excite young minds.

Follow along to discover everything you need to know about Colonial Williamsburg for kids.

From a family-friendly carriage ride to rousing tours of the Historic Triangle, every inch of the Colonial Capital is packed with equal parts education and entertainment.

Enjoy the grandeur of the Governor’s Palace, or clap in time to the rousing melodies of the fife and drums.

Whether you want to explore bloody battle sites, don a waistcoat, or engage in some Pirate’s tall tales, Williamsburg always welcomes little ones.

Hotels Williamsburg VA

Before you get going on your colonial Williamsburg kids day of fun, you’ll need to secure some Huzzah-worthy accommodations. Ensure your family vacation kicks off without a hitch when you revere any of our premier Williamsburg hotels.

No matter if you seek refuge in the Historic District or wish to sleep just moments from Colonial Williamsburg, we provide a variety of lodgings for every budget and style. As always, make your booking worry-free knowing you are always guaranteed our lowest rates online.

Street with a horse and carriage and historical houses on it with large trees in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, USAAbout Colonial Williamsburg

Wondering what to expect on your Colonial Williamsburg visit? For the uninitiated, this massive interactive living museum features over 300 acres of iconic historic sites, taverns, and two world-class art museums. Spend days exploring the Capitol, or see what potions are brewing at the apothecary. Truly inhabit the colonial spirit when you dress up in a petticoat or breeches or opt to traverse this historic area via horse-drawn carriage!

Kickstart your time travel by purchasing your Colonial Williamsburg tickets ahead of time. Once you arrive in Williamsburg be sure to swing by the visitor center for more information and download your map.

Visiting Colonial Williamsburg with Kids

Colonial Williamsburg may lack roller coasters and cotton candy, but from older kids to tiny tots, heaps of activities, attractions, and yummy eats await at one of America’s first planned cities. Revel in riveting live performances and street theater, meet cuddly farm animals, or learn how colonial children tailored clothes:

  • Family Workshop: Tailor – show off that slip stitch and see how nimble fingers were put to work during the 18th century when you complete this family workshop. Learn a variety of useful sewing skills applicable to both cloth and leather.
  • Tarpley, Thompson & Company Store – the clothes make the man! Ensure you are primed for a day of colonial cheer, when you outfit your whole family with ready-made coats, waistcoats, breeches, petticoats, cloaks, mitts, caps, and more.
  • Meet Tradespeople – masonry, weaving, and carpentry oh my! Capture the imagination of your youngster, when you uncover the tools and techniques used by 18th-century blacksmiths, woodworkers, cabinetmakers, gunsmiths, and more.

Related Post: Visit Colonial Williamsburg – 13 Must-Try Activities

  • Discover rare breeds and animals – calling all animal lovers! While today these creatures might just seem cute and cuddly, in colonial times these rare breeds were an integral part of day-to-day life. Today the museum’s Rare Breed program works diligently to represent historic breeds that would have been prevalent in the colonies. Ooh and aah over Ringleted Leicester Longwool Sheep, or admire the gorgeous gait of the American Cream Draft Horse.
  • Watch the musical military – gather round to witness the spectacle and resplendent sound of a military march. From the flashy red and blue uniforms to the resonant boom of the drums, it’s no wonder this cacophony of sound was used as a melodic communication system.
  • Explore the Art Museums – colorful folk paintings, carved wooden dogs, and intricate German toy ships, dolls, and arks can be found on display throughout Williamsburg’s many art museums.
  • Go for a Carriage Ride – trade in that MetroCard for a fully equestrian form of transport when your entire family enjoys a picturesque carriage ride throughout town. Soak in the scenery as you choose from any number of historic transit options from the Stage Wagon to the Madison Carriage.
drummers marching in Colonial Williamsburg, VA, USA
Credit: Colonial Williamsburg via Facebook

The Colonial History Tour

Fiending for some more behind-the-scenes history? Paint your Williamsburg experience with even more color, when you hightail it to the Duke of Gloucester Street for the Colonial History Tour. The ideal sojourn for your own budding patriots, the whole family will relish the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of our founding fathers.

Uncover the intricacies of 18th-century Virginia as you learn fascinating facts and trivia regarding George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Patrick Henry. This almost 2-hour walking tour will also cover the origins behind some of today’s popular phrases and includes multiple stops at historic buildings. Best of all, the tour is free for kids under the age of 6.

Young girl watering a garden with a cast member at Colonial Williamsburg - Williamsburg, Virginia, USA
photo credit: Colonial Williamsburg via Facebook

America’s Historic Triangle Pass

Hoping to visit five historic sites over seven days? If your kids have the stamina there’s no reason to skip out on  America’s Historic Triangle Pass. This nifty purchase is the key to discovering America’s past in Williamsburg. You and your brood can take advantage of seven consecutive days of unlimited admission to:

  • Colonial Williamsburg
  • Historic Jamestowne
  • Jamestown Settlement
  • Yorktown Battlefield
  • The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown

Wander through our nation’s first permanent English colony at Jamestown. Take in recreations of authentic forts, ships, and a Powhatan Indian Village that depicts life in the early 1600s. For even more hands-on fun you can take a tour with a park ranger through the New Towne. Or watch master craftsmen at work.

Midday head over to the National Park of the Yorktown battlefield to walk across the hollowed ground of the final major battle of the Revolutionary War.

Pro Tip: Pack a picnic to enjoy at the Yorktown Beach area. You’ll get to savor your lunch al fresco with views of the York River.

man riding carriage in colonial williamsburg
Photo Credit: C Watts / Flickr

Great Hopes Plantation

Did you know that in the 18th century, nearly all Virginians lived on a rural farm? The Great Hopes Plantation is part of the Colonial Williamsburg area and delivers a dazzling look into the rural lives of our ancestors. This historic recreation of a Virginia farm showcases traditional agricultural techniques, activities, and more. Kids will love the actors in colonial dress. They can stroll around observing animal pens, tobacco fields, slaves’ quarters, and a carpentry shed.

Colonial Williamsburg Ultimate Pirate Tour

Arghh matey! Are your little ones a tad too young for ghost tours but still want a splash of something exciting? Why not treat them to the Colonial Williamsburg Ultimate Pirate Tour? Meet up with your very own Blackbeard for almost two hours of sightseeing, pirate lore, and historical facts.

In addition to touring the Capitol Building, your swashbuckling guide will regale you with stories featuring famous pirates and their relation to the renowned landmarks you’ll be passing.

People dressed in colonial clothing at Colonial Williamsburg in Williamsburg, VA, USA

Lush farmlands, rolling hills, and sweeping views of both the James and York Rivers. Virginia may be for lovers, but Williamsburg is pure colonial delight.

Enthrall young learners with historical reenactments, plantation visits, and hands-on family workshops.

Perfect your cross stitch, get close and cuddly with a Cleveland Bay Horse, or watch a blacksmith forge a horseshoe.

From seeing the rural lifestyle come alive with actors to watching awe-inspiring artillery demonstrations, children of all ages will be transfixed by Williamsburg’s endless offerings.

Ready to Do Colonial Williamsburg With Kids?

Don’t wait; book your Virginia getaway today!

Tell us, did we miss any of your favorite Colonial Williamsburg kids activities? What is your favorite Williamsburg historic activity?

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Written by Isis Maya Nissman

A New York native, Isis-Maya spent most of her professional life working in TV production until a vacation whisked her away to Central...

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