Things To Do in Williamsburg VA– I’m here to share with you adventures on my trip to Williamsburg VA. Please feel free to reach out of you have any specific questions about this travel trip or just general Things To Do in Williamsburg VA !!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored Travel Post Series with Greater Williamsburg. All opinions are 100% my own.
Family trips are important to me. They always have been and they always will be. As a mom of 5 (ages 12, 11, 10, 8 and 3), I love traveling because it’s the perfect chance to be together and create long-lasting memories. I still remember family trips that I took with my own family 30+ years ago! These memories still make me smile, still make me laugh and still make my heart soar. My parents were big doers when we were away, loved to be on the go and have us explore and discover new things. I have taken a page out of their “family travel” book and have become the same exact way with my kids, too.
Things To Do in Williamsburg VA
Last week during our April spring break, we took the kids to explore Greater Williamsburg. I was thrilled with the opportunity to bring the kids because I knew that there was so much to do there and I couldn’t wait to show my kids all that Greater Williamsburg has to offer. My kids really only knew Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, so it was really cool opening their eyes up to so much more! Even I was blown away by how much there is to do with your family. It was fascinating, fun and enjoyable for everyone, even our 3-year-old!
Throughout the next month, I’m going to be sharing our Greater Williamsburg trip and Things To Do in Williamsburg VA with you and giving you the full scoop! I highly encourage you to print out these blog posts or bookmark them because you’re going to want to head to Williamsburg for a visit after seeing all that my family of 7 did! To make it easier, I’m going to bring you through our 3 days, showcasing each day in its own separate blog post. Since we only had 3 full days to be away, we packed in as much as we possibly could. Next time we go (which will most likely be this summer or next spring) we will tack on an extra day or two. There’s that much to do!
Day #1: Things To Do in Williamsburg VA
Let’s kick off with Day #1!
We needed to make sure we started the day off with some food for some fuel! My kids are HUGE breakfast eaters, so the second we walked into Shorty’s Diner, I knew it would be a hit for them! Think any delicious traditional breakfast dish – and they had it. Pancakes the size of my husband’s hand! Eggs and omelettes that left you wanting to come back. Bacon, sausage and ham that my kids asking for extras! And grits, home fries (a special Shorty’s recipe!) and hash that left me wanting to be better in the kitchen! The menu was perfect and there was something for every breakfast palate. Not to mention, a bonus – breakfast is served all day. My kids actually asked if we could go back at night to eat again! It was that kind of good! On a personal note, heading there with 5 kids… the Williamsburg staff was so inviting and welcoming to families. Crayons and menus for the kids to draw on. Music to keep people happy. The waitstaff was quick and attentive. I was really impressed from the second we walked in… to the second we paid and left. This is a definite must-stop for breakfast when you’re visiting Greater Williamsburg and looking for Things To Do in Williamsburg VA on the food front.
First Stop: Things To Do in Williamsburg VA
First stop of the day for us activity-wise was the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. As a history lover, this was a virtual playground for me. I could’ve stayed here all day long and been a happy camper. This really should be a required stop for tourists to Greater Williamsburg because you get such an incredible sense of history and deep roots that Williamsburg holds.
What can you expect to see and learn here?
The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown tells anew the story of the nation’s founding, from the twilight of the colonial period to the dawn of the Constitution and beyond. Exciting new indoor galleries feature period artifacts, immersive environments, interactive exhibits and films, including “The Siege of Yorktown,” with a 180-degree surround screen and dramatic special effects.
In the outdoor living-history areas, visitors can witness artillery demonstrations, drill with wooden muskets at a re-created Continental Army encampment and explore a Revolution-era farm based on a real-life 18th-century family. The state-operated museum of the American Revolution is an excellent starting point for a tour of Yorktown.
We began by watching “The Siege of Yorktown” with the kids and they were completely enthralled. It really set the tone for the visit to the Museum and the boys had such a deeper sense of the importance of what was here and what they were about to discover and learn. From there, we walked throughout the indoor galleries and were all captivated by the artifacts and photos and exhibits.
It was wonderful to see my sons excited about the history that they were reading about and hearing about… they asked questions and they wanted to know more, which warmed my heart. One of the coolest things for them inside the galleries was getting to try on replica uniforms of the soldiers.
Things To Do in Williamsburg VA
Just seeing my sons in the jackets, it was one of those heart-stopping type moments for me. It really made you think about the sacrifices our ancestors made for us, and our freedoms. It was just fascinating and led to amazing discussions within my family.
As you can imagine, the outdoor living areas were a big hit for my kids. If you’re heading there with kids, get ready to set aside some extra time outside. We all loved walking through the Continental Army encampment and Revolution-era farm. These areas are incredible to tour and engage within… there were hands-on activities, from military drills to watering and weeding crops. The encampment, which represents a portion of an American regiment and includes tents for soldiers and officers as well as surgeon’s and quartermaster’s quarters, includes a drill field and an artillery demonstration area. It was fascinating to “see” how soldiers lived.
We couldn’t get over the small living space, which – as we were told – were actually like luxury to the soldiers because they were just happy to have something over their heads!
There was so much to see and do and explore at the American Revolutionary Museum at Yorktown, such an incredible place for families to visit and to take-away discussions for our family and their classrooms, too.
From the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown we headed to the Yorktown Battlefield. After learning so much about the history, it was important for us to actually go see where it occurred. I must say that engaging in history is such an incredible way to learn history. It’s one thing to read about it in a book, but to see and feel and hear… it’s an entirely different level of understanding. Seeing my 8-year-old ask questions and be so respectful at the Battlefield, it was extremely touching.
Things To Do in Williamsburg VA
So can you discover at Yorktown Battlefield with your family?
You are able to see firsthand what it took for the United States to be independent as you explore the site of the last major battle of the Revolutionary War. Here at Yorktown, in the fall of 1781, General George Washington, with allied American and French forces, besieged General Charles Lord Cornwallis’s British army. On October 19, Cornwallis surrendered, effectively ending the war and ensuring independence.
To embrace this kind of history with my family at Yorktown Battlefield… to really breathe it in was extraordinary.
To make our visit even more fun, interesting and personal for the kids, we enrolled them in the Junior Ranger Program right at Yorktown Battlefield.
The program was developed to allow families to learn together and is designed for children through age of 12. Each Junior Ranger Program takes about two hours to complete. Booklets can be picked up at the Yorktown Battlefield front desk or online. Experience the end of colonial America with the final major battle of the American Revolution to become a Yorktown Junior Ranger. Successful completion of the program earns a Certificate of Merit and a patch symbolizing the historic nature of the site.
I highly recommend that you participate with your family! Next time we visit, we’re going to take the car tour in the evening. We befriended a gentleman who worked at the Visitor Desk and he recommended us doing this with our family. It’s on my list for our next visit!
Things To Do in Williamsburg VA
To refuel for our afternoon adventures, we headed to Carrot Tree Kitchens for lunch. It was an adorable place to pop in for sandwiches and salads before our next adventure. The weather happened to be a little windy on the day we stopped in, so we ate inside… but there were tables and umbrellas outside for eating and enjoying for a gorgeous weather day.
From lunch we went onto our next BIG adventure, one that my husband was super excited about getting to all day long! Say hello to Yorktown Sailing Charters! We’re a boating family, so for us… this was magical! We’re used to being on the Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island, so this was a great treat!
What can you expect all aboard?
You (literally) step back into history when you join the crew of the Yorktown Schooners Alliance and Serenity. Lend a hand at setting sail, take the helm and steer the ship, or look for dolphins and osprey as you glide along the shores of the York River. You will relive sailings Golden Age as you cruise past the Victory Monument and Battlefield where our country won its independence.
This was the ultimate.
I repeat, the ultimate.
The kids all helped on-board, even my 3-year-old Victoria. It was a very windy day at sea, but it didn’t matter! For 2 hours we were on the sea enjoying and embracing.
The crew was MAGNIFICENT! As we were aboard, we learned, we played, we worked and we had FUN. We just had tons of fun! It was one of the most exciting activities for us to do because it was such a cool way to discover a different side of Greater Williamsburg!
After our sail, the kids were hungry (as were Dad and me!), so we dined at the Blue Talon Bistro for dinner. What immediately attracted me to the restaurant was that it was so quaint and beautiful and set right in Williamsburg’s historic downtown. We had a little time before heading to our reservation, so we walked around the area and just fell in love. The Blue Talon Bistro is all about “serious comfort food” and that’s exactly what we got! The kids were thrilled because we let them get Shirley Temples (remember those!?) and chocolate milk to start. We’re all about trying new things when we head to a new restaurant, but I couldn’t resist diving into a traditional chicken dish with mashed potatoes and veggies! It was INCREDIBLE! My husband ordered a pan-seared Duck Breast that he loved, a lick the plate kind of goodness. Our kids all ordered off the kids’ menu, which was perfect because they really did have something for everyone – burgers, pastas, grilled cheese, nuggets. Perfect for kids of all ages! It was so relaxing to dine here, the ambiance was fun and loud enough not to feel awkward with 5 kids there… and we just really had a fantastic first dinner in Williamsburg.
We closed out our first day in Greater Williamsburg with a visit to Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Believe it or not, I’ve never been to one before! I was just as excited as the kids! It’s family fun at its finest because you’re seeing unbelievable things right before your eyes. We couldn’t get over the fun facts and stats, photos and videos. And the props were out of this world cool! The replicas that were created of people, it was truly out of this world!
As we walked from room to room, it was even more exciting and cool. The boys were blown away! What I loved was how there were certain areas that were very interactive for kids (and adults!). We spent 2 hours exploring… it was super duper fascinating and we will DEFINITELY go again!
As you can see, we had an exceptional first day.
It was fun. It was exciting. It was fast-paced. It embraced historical perspective in an engaging way. It kept us wonderfully busy. Things To Do in Williamsburg VA – there’s tons and this is just Day 1!
Greater Williamsburg is a place where you can enjoy your family, learn new things, explore new places and just have FUN!!! When I’m on a family vacation, that’s what it’s all about… to create memories and have fun. I want my kids to remember these trips years from now and look back with the fondest of memories. Our trips aren’t always seamless with 5 kids, but I’ll tell you what… Greater Williamsburg is the place to have a great time while enjoying each other!
I created a fun video, too showcasing our day… check it out!
We spent our first 2 nights at Greensprings Vacation Resort in Greater Williamsburg. It was FANTASTIC!! It’s not always easy finding a hotel room that will fit all of us together and still be comfy, but we found this at the Greensprings Vacation Resort! It was luxury for us! We were all able to stay together and enjoy a comfortable and wonderful rest!
At Greensprings Vacation Resort, you will be able to enjoy some rest and relaxation, lounging in your own private whirlpool, or stretching out in front of the fireplace. You can take a swim in either the indoor or the outdoor swimming pools, or enjoy a game of tennis, even at night, on the floodlit tennis courts. Of course, there is also plenty of great golfing at the resort-adjacent Nicklaus-designed golf course.
Look at how gorgeous this resort is…
Thank you to Greater Williamsburg for giving us a 1st day that we will remember forever!
Keep following along throughout my Greater Williamsburg blog series, this is the first of three posts! And keep Greater Williamsburg in mind as you’re planning your summer vacation! You will have so much fun, we’re going to be heading back ourselves!!
What To Do With Your Family In Greater Williamsburg, VA – make sure you keep this bookmarked!