Colonial Williamsburg early next week with kids in the rain?
November 20, 2014 4:56 AM   Subscribe

My wife and the kids are flying out to Virginia on Sunday as part of Thanksgiving visit with relatives. They have a couple free days to do tourist stuff and she was wondering whether it would make sense to spend one of them visiting Colonial Williamsburg. The kids are 9, 6, and 3, and they have enjoyed visits to small historical sites run by our state historical society. Has anyone taken kids to Colonial Williamsburg? Would you recommend that others do so? Is it worth visiting even on a rainy day?
posted by Area Man to Travel & Transportation around Williamsburg, VA (16 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Yes, yes and yes. IMHO that is the perfect age grouping for kids at Colonial Williamsburg!
posted by DarlingBri at 4:57 AM on November 20, 2014 [4 favorites]

Part of the experience is that you go into the buildings and encounter historical reenactors. The ones that are open are marked with a Union Jack Flag.
posted by brujita at 5:02 AM on November 20, 2014

My parents had a timeshare in Williamsburg growing up and we went when I was all of those ages. I Loved it every single time (we went every year or so) and it is still one of my favorite places in the world.
posted by DoubleLune at 5:19 AM on November 20, 2014

We just went with a 13 year old and a six year old. It was a perfect family destination. I was truly surprised that it held their interest. for the nine year old I would suggest participating in the 'RevQuest' which is a scavenger hunt where you take on the role of one of George Washington's spies.
Highly recommended.
posted by exparrot at 5:36 AM on November 20, 2014

Weather report is currently calling for 60s-70s temperatures in W'burg on Sun/Mon/Tues next week, so I would say absolutely, go. That's warm enough that, if you do get stuck in the rain, at least you won't be freezing too. Tuesday looks like it's probably going to be clear, though, if that's an option.
posted by ashirys at 6:12 AM on November 20, 2014

One of my fondest memories as a kid of 9 is my family trip to Colonial Williamsburg. One of my fondest memories as a teenager was the road trip to William & Mary to see the Grateful Dead.

Colonial Williamsburg is a terrific place to take the kids. When I went, we met some parents who had dressed up in period clothes to bring their kids. I kept thinking at the time how cool they were and how uncool my parents were. Consider dressing up.
posted by 724A at 6:27 AM on November 20, 2014

They will LOVE it. One of my fondest childhood family trip memories, and the park's only gotten better since.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:40 AM on November 20, 2014

Yes, it would be great for kids. I recommend The Cheese Shop for lunch.
posted by Flamingo at 6:47 AM on November 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

Well, call me and I'll buy you a beer ..

Christmas town at Busch Gardens opens on Friday after Thanksgiving. However, it's often packed on that first day (get there early, or stay home, unless you like crowds).

There's the blue talon bistro turkey trot 5k on Thanksgiving morning. I think they'll do race-day registration. Our 7 and 5 year old will do the kids 1-mile fun run.

CW itself has lots of programs. See if the family has a good neighbor pass for additional discounts.

Our kids like the Jamestown Settlement (note, not the national park, which is also good, and right next door).

I could go on and on, but WBG is a neat town. Lots to do besides the CW stuff.
posted by k5.user at 7:02 AM on November 20, 2014

I live in Williamsburg, and have a 9 year old who loves to visit CW and the Jamestown Settlement. They're both great places for families, even when there's a chance of rain! Everyone else has kind pretty much covered the must-do activities, but I'd add the Raleigh Tavern bakery for a quick treat, and the maze behind the Governor's Palace. The Cheese Shop is a favorite - bring home a jar of house dressing!
posted by jenny76 at 8:07 AM on November 20, 2014

Your 9-year-old might want to read some of the Felicity American Girl books before you go. They are set in 1774 Williamsburg and help bring the history to life. My sister and I brought our dolls with us when we were younger and the reenactors interacted with them. I'd also recommend walking into the College. If you continue up the main street from CW, you'll hit the Wren building and the historic part of campus, then you can make a loop around the sunken gardens and see the Crim Dell, which is really pretty!
posted by wsquared at 8:31 AM on November 20, 2014

Definitely go, just bring good rain gear--rain jackets, umbrellas, and especially rain boots. The gravel walkways get *very* puddle-filled, and I don't know any kids who can resist jumping in puddles.
posted by msbubbaclees at 8:35 AM on November 20, 2014

My parents took me there first time around age 6 and I loved it. Still have the personalized horse-shoe which the blacksmith made for me. Loved the marching colonial soldiers, especially when they shot their cannons and muskets!
posted by Rash at 8:45 AM on November 20, 2014

I grew up in the Tidewater area and Colonial Williamsburg was, like Jamestown Colony, a staple of the elementary school field trip. I have fond if dim memories.
posted by Sunburnt at 11:54 AM on November 20, 2014

Williamsburg also has around 10 independent pancake houses.
posted by brujita at 12:05 PM on November 20, 2014

Yes, go! And get them tricorner hats. Tricorner hats for everyone.
posted by deludingmyself at 7:36 PM on November 20, 2014 [2 favorites]

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