Educational Summer Vacation to Williamsburg with Kids

March 9, 2022

Southern charm, a rich colonial history, and plenty of world-class thrills make Williamsburg, Virginia an enviable destination year-round.

However, this cradle of American history is transformed into an oasis of both academics and adventure come summer break. So give your tired family vacation plans a little extra educational sparkle when you visit Williamsburg this summer!

There are plenty of pulse-racing pleasures to discover, from breathtaking roller coasters at Busch Gardens to high-speed water slides at Water Country USA.

After you make it to dry land, you'll be dying to dive into 18th-century life at Colonial Williamsburg or Jamestowne. Watch master blacksmiths at work, listen for the sound of fifes and drums, or marvel at the grandeur of the Governor's Palace.

Ready to plan your family-friendly foray to the Burg? Read on as we spill every last detail on how to have the best educational summer vacation with kids in Williamsburg.

Wide shot of the historic Governor's Palace in Williamsburg, Virginia, USA

photo credit: Christian Alvarez via Unsplash

Williamsburg Hotels

With so much top-notch historical entertainment and educational attractions to explore, it would be a shame to spend just a day in Williamsburg.

Eek the most awesome out of your Virginia stay when you reserve any number of our premier Williamsburg Hotels and Resorts. Whether you are seeking stylish lodgings just minutes from Busch Gardens. Or would rather swim laps at a sophisticated resort just a stone's throw from Jamestown. We have the accommodations to assuage even the pickiest of travelers.

As always, book your lodgings regret-free, knowing you are always guaranteed our lowest rates online. 

Related Post: Insider's Guide to Busch Gardens® Williamsburg

Amusement Parks & Water Parks

Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Whisk your gang of thrill-loving tykes away to Busch Gardens Williamsburg for an epic day of European-themed educational adventure. Explore over 400 acres of fun, featuring nine villages centered around six European countries.

Gaze at massive Clydesdale horses, soar sky-high on Apollo's Chariot, or jam out with your favorite Sesame Street friends. With over 40 kid-friendly rides and eight major roller coasters, kids of all ages will be clamoring to conquer every inch of this 17 century inspired park.

Dare to delve into the depths of the Black Forest on Verbolten, or hold tight for Busch Gardens' newest attraction - Pantheon! The world's fastest multi-launch coaster can reach raging speeds of 73 miles per hour and contains four launches, five air-time hills, and two inversions.

Summertime at Busch Gardens is especially sweet, as, after dark, the park lights up with enchanting illumination, fireworks, and more. 

Aerial view of Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, Virginia, USA

photo credit: Busch Gardens Williamsburg via Facebook

Water Country USA

Experience even more wild Williamsburg park fun when you purchase a combo ticket or day passes for both Water Country USA and Busch Gardens Williamsburg.

Sizzling Virginia summers offer the perfect opportunity to escape to the state's largest water park. Families will flip over the 43-acre surfin' safari-themed park featuring over 30 rides and attractions. So whether you seek a laid-back wave pool soak or a dynamic water coaster thrill on the Cutback, Water Country USA has an excitement for every level of swimmer.

Meanwhile, your little minnows will enjoy hours of merriment in the water playgrounds, kid-friendly slides, and splash areas. Big Kahuna's should stay tuned as come May 2022. Water Country USA will be debuting a brand new immersive ride experience called the Aquazoid Amp.

Related Post: The Best Way to Spend a Weekend in Williamsburg

Mark your calendars, as this kaleidoscope of crazy will feature an all-new special effects show, pulse-pounding music, and vibrant lighting effects. Daring guests will dive down 864 feet of fully-enclosed twisting tubes at speeds of 20 feet per second on this iconic attraction. 

Educational Williamsburg Historical Fun & Shopping

Colonial Williamsburg

Walk in the hallowed steps of our nation's forefathers, admire the skill of silver workers, and weave through over 30 historic gardens when you visit Colonial Williamsburg.

Our country's largest living history museum provides a unique chance to explore over 300 acres of reconstructed original colonial buildings, homes, and shops. Reserve a signature horse-drawn carriage ride, peruse the artisanal shops in Merchant Square, or admire British and American antiques at the many art museums.

Related Post: Colonial Williamsburg for Kids: How History is Made Fun

Here in the heart of Williamsburg, educational colonial history and the saga of the American Revolution come to life. Curious kids can participate in a witch trial, march with the fife and drum players, or learn about Navajo weaving at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum. Begin your journey through our nation's origins by parking at the visitor center and taking advantage of the complimentary shuttle buses to the Historic Area.

Tour the Public Armoury. Then savor a bite of colonial cuisine at the King's Arms Tavern. Or revel in the legacy of the oldest academic structure still in use in America at the College of William and Mary.

In addition, after nightfall, the entertainment doesn't end. Sign up for a spooky Haunted Williamsburg ghost tour. Listen up as your costumed guides weave stories of suspense and sinister tales. Of course, munchkins can still get in on the fun with a slightly less scary Ghost Walk Junior tour. 

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


Historic Jamestowne & the Jamestown Settlement

Ignite the spark of learning and bring colonial history off the page and into real life when you uncover the true stories of Pocahontas, Captain John Smith, and the Jamestown Settlement. Historic Jamestowne is located on Jamestown Island and is part of Colonial National Historical Park.

Here visitors from all over can embrace the archaeology and preservation of the first permanent English settlement in America. From stunning recreations of the original James Fort built-in 1607 to a Powhatan Native American town and replicas of the original settler's ship, this living history museum is well worth a stop on any Williamsburg itinerary.

Related Post: Visit Colonial Williamsburg: 13 Tips & Tricks for a Revolutionary Trip

Wander through gallery exhibits, watch an introductory film that outlines Jamestown's humble beginnings in England, or experience archaeology in action with their immersive Children's Program. Then, traverse Jamestown's picturesque grounds, and be sure to pose for a selfie with the Pocahontas statue, or keep your eyes peeled for a precious bald eagle sighting. 

boat on water for Jamestown Day

Photo Credit: Jamestown Settlement / Facebook

American Revolution Museum at Yorktown

For almost half a century, the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown has illuminated the beauty, hardship, and sacrifice of our nation's founding. Dig deep into our country's rousing pre-history and fight for independence as you witness films, period artifacts, impressive exhibits, and immersive environments.

Meanwhile, sit back and soak in the filmmaking magic of 'The Siege of Yorktown' or explore engaging activities based on recreated Continental Army encampments.

Engage with actors in period dress as you brace yourself for the cannon's fire. Or try your hand working the land on a Revolution-era farm. 

Related Post: What to Bring to Williamsburg: 5 Packing Lists for the Best Trip Ever

Yorktown Battlefield

Over 240 years ago, a bloody, almost month-long siege led to the birth of a free nation. The Siege of Yorktown (today known as the Battle of Yorktown) was the last major battle of the Revolutionary War.

Drive through this storied site when you explore all 16 miles of the historic Yorktown Battlefield. Commence your foray into our forefather's victory with a 15-minute orientation film before examining the museum's many exhibits, which focus on:

  • The 1781 Siege of Yorktown
  • The Battle of the Capes
  • The campaign table (used by British General Cornwallis during the siege)

Observe the many field tents utilized by General Washington. Meanwhile, snapping photos of the numerous fortifications and cannons that pepper the battlefield. Or join a real ranger for a guided walking tour that includes the 18th-century town.

Before leaving Yorktown, be sure to make time to swing by:

  • The Surrender Field
  • The historic Nelson House (home to a signer of the Declaration of Independence)
  • The Yorktown Victory Monument
Close up of the cannons on the surrender fields at Yorktown Battlefield on a cloudy day in Williamsburg, Virginia, USA

photo credit: Gloucester Point RV Resort via Facebook

Williamsburg Premium Outlets

Packing so much history into one summer vacation can fuel up that hunger! So satisfy both your cravings for gourmet eats and superior retail savings when you visit the Williamsburg Premium Outlets.

Looking to sneak in some back-to-school shopping? Hit up Brooks Brothers, Vineyard Vines, or Abercrombie. Or maybe you want to treat yourself to a luxurious lunch. This outdoor shopping oasis always delivers.

Conveniently located just off Route 199 of Richmond Road, the Outlets feature over 120 stores and ten dining options. Savor bites of Mediterranean flatbread pizza at Sofi's Table. Or stock up the addicting Uncle Dave's Kettle Korn for the drive home. 

Related Post: Current Festivals and Events in Williamsburg

Fox Wire Farm

Make like Old MacDonald and head to the farm. Enjoy a day of fresh air, pastureland, and boatloads of the fluffiest alpacas you ever did see! Located just outside Williamsburg, Fox Wire Farms contains approximately 200 acres of lush woodlands, creeks, and cuddly animals.

Kids of all ages will be in heaven as they tour the hydroponic fodder house and catch sights of:

  • 'guard' llamas
  • miniature donkeys
  • a retired Thoroughbred racehorse
  • chickens
  • pigs

Prepare for plenty of 'awws; as you make a beeline to the Maternity Barn to visit the mama alpacas and their heartwarming progeny.

Pick up a precious alpaca sweater, scarf, or toy doll to commemorate your country adventure. 

Wide shot of file alpacas with heads down eating green grass at Fox Wire Farms near Williamsburg, Virginia, USA

photo credit: Fox Wire Farms Alpacas via Facebook

Ready for a memorable educational summer vacation to Williamsburg?

Balmy temperatures, boatloads of historical fun, and adrenaline-pumping rides make the 'Burg a top-tier summer vacation locale.

Hear Revolutionary War cannons boom while crossing a real-life battlefield. Or tickle your spidey senses when you are regaled by ghostly stories at Colonial Williamsburg.

From awesome alpaca farm visits to spellbinding Fort James recreations. This summer, there are endless ways to absorb the thrills, chills, and hands-on learning skills of Williamsburg, Virginia. 

Tell us, how will you add educational fun to your summer in Williamsburg?

Leave us a comment below!

isis with mural in background

Written By Isis Maya

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

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