It is no secret that we had a blast on our recent trip to Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia (USA). The kiddo is still talking about things she learned and I continue to be amazed by the impact that history coming alive can have on a family vacation. Our visit was truly a fun AND educational experience. For a WorldSchooling family, that’s music in our ears.
All that said, I recently sat down with Mackenzie and asked her about her favorite moments in the Revolutionary City. Here are her top picks:
Top 10 kids activities in Colonial Williamsburg’s Revolutionary City
- Rent the period costume. Yes, it will set you back $25 USD and, if you have a girl, you have to buy the bonnet (or go without one). But it’s amazing how everything is transformed once someone in your party is wearing period clothing. I say this because on the day we did rent the costume we noticed a difference in the way my kid was addressed, the level of interaction, and how much more “in character” the people around her behaved. It is worth the money to have the experience.
2. Visit the courthouse (when there is the least amount of people in it). Getting to play judge, jury, criminal, officer of the court and witness was definitely one of the highlights.
3. The silversmith offers a great lecture, on site in his shop, about the importance of silver and silver items during this time period. Mackenzie found it fascinating and was in awe.
4. Eat at one of the taverns. We tried the two that are open in the winter and both times we had “residents” come up to our table and start very informative conversations. We learned new card games, new dice games, why men wear the clothes they wear, how men “flirted” with women during this time period, and the importance of music in social settings. For my money I’d eat dinner which I found more enjoyable than the lunch sandwiches.
5. Attend the dance lesson/ demonstration, “Pleasures of the Dance”, at Raleigh’s Tavern. It is fun, active, and, of course, full of music, dancing and laughter. The steps are not that hard and once you start you will want to keep going. The kids in the group we learned with all loved learning the steps and getting to act it all out with the music.
6. During the summer months there is a kids archeology program that looks amazing. If you are visiting during the high season definitely look into the program and try to schedule your visit to coincide with it. This is one thing Mackenzie wants to come back and experience.
7. Learn about the various colonial games. Children and adults enjoyed dice games like “Captain’s Dice” and number games like “Shut the Box”. Ask one of the roaming tavern entertainers to teach you a dice game as you wait for your food or sit down with someone to learn to play Shut the Box.
8. Buy a useful souvenir. As a child, my favorite pastime was scanning the pages of my father’s Office Depot Catalogue. So it should come as no surprise to me that my own child loves all types of homeschooling supplies: books, notepads, pens, etc., etc. She loved the wide variety of colonial and American history/ revolution books available to her at the Revolutionary City. She bought a few and left many more that look amazing. If you have a child who likes to read, make sure you have a special spot in your wallet for all the options available.
9. Eat a local treat. Along with the food in the taverns and the hot chocolate at Charlton’s Coffeehouse, the kiddo loved tasting the chocolate “bars” from the time period. Food just adds so much to the experience and Mackenzie definitely ranks it as one of her top 10.
10. Take a horse drawn carriage ride. This should come as no real surprise but seeing the Revolutionary City from the window of a carriage is on Mackenzie’s top 10 list.
And there you have it, after four full days at Colonial Williamsburg’s Revolutionary City, the kiddos favorite moments and experiences. She gives the whole experience a thumbs up and anxiously waits for an opportunity to return and learn much more in the area.
Note: This post is the fourth of five that I am writing about our trip to Colonial Williamsburg and the Revolutionary City. If you would like to follow along for the whole adventure, please follow the links below to the other entries and enjoy.
IV. Top 10 Kid Activities in Colonial Williamsburg’s Revolutionary City