Wondering what to do with the kids this summer? Why not take a summer road trip to Williamsburg Virginia with kids, learning more about our early Colonial history.
A visit to Williamsburg Virginia with kids is the perfect family getaway. You can learn so much about our early Colonial settlers, exploring the historic triangle of Virginia.
If you’re not a history buff, Williamsburg is also home to a major theme park, a water park, and other fun activities for the whole family.
On the blog, I will share some of the main attractions that you can add to your weekend visit to Williamsburg with kids, along with some day trip ideas for a future visit.
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Williamsburg Virginia with kids ideas
Top things to do in Williamsburg Virginia: Historic Triangle
One of the top Williamsburg Virginia attractions is a visit to the Historic triangle.
Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestowne settlement and Yorktown comprise the Historic Triangle, and are all linked via the Colonial Parkway.
When visiting the historic triangle, make sure to purchase the America’s historic Triangle ticket to gain entry into all three museums.
The only exception is Historic Jamestowne, which has a separate entrance fee.
Colonial Williamsburg is a historical landmark and living history museum.
It is one of the most visited attraction in Williamsburg Virginia, and is the perfect family activity when visiting historic Williamsburg.
On your visit to Colonial Williamsburg, you can learn about how our early settlers lived back then in this amazing interpretation of a colonial American city.
There’s so much history to explore here and the kids will love the interactive and immersive exhibits.
Make sure to reserve a carriage ride, which is aways a hit with the kids.
There is also an amazing maze at the Governors Palace gardens, which the kids will definitely love getting lost in.
Let the kids get dressed in period costume for an immersive Colonial Williamsburg experience.
You can rent costumes for the whole family at the Costume rental shops, or purchase them at one of the shops at Colonial Williamsburg. It will definitely make your visit so much more amazing!
Jamestown settlement is a living history museum and re-creation of the original James Fort.
There are a few interactive exhibits including a Powhatan Indian Town, indoor and outdoor displays, and replicas of the original settlers’ ships the Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery.
The kids will have an amazing time learning more about our early settlers here.
We especially loved learning more about the Powhatan village with all the fun hands on experiences, such as learning how to carve a canoe, jewelry making, and much more.
It was also amazing getting to board the replica ships. The kids can take part in periodic demonstrations of what it was like to pilot and navigate the ships. It was a great way to learn what life was like for the settlers at sea.
Historic Jamestowne is the actual site of the original James Fort, whereas Jamestowne settlement is the re-creation. There is a separate entrance fee here but is so worth the visit.
Historic Jamestowne is the perfect complement to you Jamestowne settlement visit.
It was amazing to actually walk through the original James Fort site and learn more about the history with the free guided tours.
Historic Jamestowne is still an active archeological site and they’re still uncovering new things.
Explore Yorktown Virginia
Yorktown is most famous as the site of the siege and subsequent surrender of General Charles Cornwallis to General George Washington and the French Fleet during the American Revolutionary War.
It’s hard to imagine that a battle was once fought here. Yorktown is such a charming little town, and the beach here is so calm and serene, perfect for the little ones to wade in.
Visit the Yorktown Waterfront and Battlefield
- Make sure to explore the Yorktown Waterfront and find General Conwallis’ Cave. This is where he supposedly hid during the siege of Yorktown. You can also set sail on the York River aboard a Schooner located along the waterfront.
- Yorktown Battlefield is located nearby as well. Pick up a Junior Ranger booklet for the kids at the Visitors Center and go on a driving tour of the battlefield. Once the kids complete the activities, they can receive a Junior Ranger badge.
Visit the American Revolutionary museum
- For all you history buffs, a visit to the newly opened American Revolutionary museum should be in your itinerary when visiting Williamsburg.
- We loved exploring the living history museum, it was so interesting to learn how the soldiers lived back then.
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Get your thrill on at Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Need a break from all the colonial history? Busch Gardens is the perfect itinerary for the day to get your thrill on, and give your mind a little break!
Busch Gardens is themed after Europe, and is so much fun! For you thrill seekers, there are many roller coaster options to get your adrenaline going.
If you’re an active duty military family, Busch gardens offers free admission for up to four people. Additionally, if you are a Veteran, Busch gardens usually offers one free entry a year on certain days. If you miss the free tickets, Busch Gardens offers single day discount tickets.
Busch Gardens also has many kid friendly attractions for the younger thrill seekers as well.
Sesame Street world is the perfect place for the little ones. The rides here are thrilling enough for the little ones, and there is a little splash pad to cool off from the hot sun.
There is also a giant playground for the kiddos at the Land of the Dragons, complete with a tree house, climbing nets, and fun little kiddie rides, as well as a little splash pad for those hot summer days!
Keep in mind, there are height requirements for most rides. You can easily get measured at the England entrance, and receive a colored wrist band so you know which rides your kiddos can get on.
There are also quite a few rides here that will get you soaking wet. Make sure to pack sunscreen and extra clothes. We opted to wear dry fit clothing as they dry faster and crocs.
I highly recommend you pack your own rain jacket if you want to avoid getting soaked! The little plastic coverups are so expensive here.
The best tip for visiting Busch Gardens is to get here early to avoid the crowds and the lines, especially when visiting in the summer!
Christmas at Busch Gardens
Don’t miss visiting Busch Gardens during the holidays. The Christmas Celebration at Busch Gardens is a fun holiday event for the whole family.
Experience a winter wonderland at the parks with Christmas lights, trees and holiday decor. Plus there are many fun holiday themed shows, including a Christmas tree light show.
This years event goes from Nov. 13-Jan.3, with two sessions to choose from (10:00 AM – 3:00PM, and 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM). Make sure to visit the website to make reservations, and to purchase tickets online.
*Read our blog on some Fun Christmas getaways from Washington DC, including some fun holiday events in Williamsburg Virginia.
Where to eat in Williamsburg Virginia
There are so many choices of places to eat in Williamsburg Virginia. We love the restaurants and historic taverns at Colonial Williamsburg. The food is amazing and we loved the storytelling and candlelight amidst the colonial setting.
Merchant square is also the perfect place to grab a bite. We especially loved DoG street pub, which is a gastropub that serves craft beers and British influenced comfort foods.
Blue Talon Bistro serves French style brasserie fare, as well as some American staples. This is the only place I know that has raclette on their menu!
The Trellis Bar and Grill is another great place to eat at Williamsburg, with their seasonal American fare in a garden inspired atmosphere.
Satisfy your sweet tooth at Kilwins chocolates and ice cream shop for some caramel apples, homemade ice cream, and fudge.
Where to stay in Williamsburg Virginia
Recommended Hotels in Williamsburg Virginia
There are so many choices of places to stay when planning your summer road trip to Williamsburg Virginia. We always stay at one of the Colonial Williamsburg Resort hotels in the area.
You can book a stay in one of the colonial houses in Williamsburg, and many other hotels all within walking distance to the historic town.
Griffin Hotel was one of our favorites, as it is located in a quiet area, and just a short walk away from the historic area in Colonial Williamsburg.
The Williamsburg Woodlands Hotel is another great option within the Colonial Williamsburg Resort area as well. This hotel is located by the Visitors Center, and is just a walk away from the historic center.
The Wyndham Garden Williamsburg Busch Gardens Hotel is perfect if your also planning a visit to Busch Gardens, as it it located just a short drive away. There is an outdoor pool and free breakfast here as well.
More Williamsburg Virginia hotel options here:
Other Williamsburg Virginia attractions:
- Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Williamsburg
- Water Country USA
- Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf
- Copper Fox Distillery Williamsburg
- Yankee Candle Village
- Williamsburg Premium Outlets
- Great Wolf Lodge
Day trips from Williamsburg
Fort Monroe National Monument
Located just a short drive from Williamsburg is the Fort Monroe National Monument. Fort Monroe is a decommissioned military base in Hampton Virgina.
You can learn more about the military history of Fort Monroe on a visit to the Casemate Museum on a free self guided tour, or take a walking tour of some of the historic sites. There is also a cool lighthouse here that was built in the early 1800’s that you can admire.
There are also miles of pristine beaches here that the kids will surely love, and a boardwalk that stretches over 3 miles, perfect for a family bike ride or just a leisurely walk admiring the views.
If you’re craving some beach time, Virginia Beach is just an hour away. There is so much going on at the boardwalk in Virginia Beach.
You can rent a Surrey Bike and ride along the three mile boardwalk and take in the beach views, it’s so much fun.
The kids will love all the fun sculptures along the way, including the giant statue of King Neptune. There are also fun little playgrounds, if the beach and sand isn’t enough to keep them busy.
There are quite a few restaurants and cafes along the boardwalk serving some yummy seafood! Some of our favorite places are Waterman’s surfside grill, Ocean 27 and their outdoor patio seating, and duck donuts and all their made to order yummy donuts!
Cape Henry lighthouse
Just a short drive away from Virginia Beach is the Cape Henry lighthouse. This historic lighthouse was built in 1792, and was the first federally funded public works project of the newly formed United States government.
Cape Henry lighthouse is situated near the “First Landing” site where English settlers first set foot on their way to settle in Jamestown.
A second lighthouse was built and completed in 1881 a short distance away after concern arose about the stability of the first. Both towers of the light station were designated a National Historic Landmark in 1970.
Plan your family summer road trip to Williamsburg Virginia. There are so many fun activities for the whole family and memories to last a lifetime.
*Check out this post for more ideas on some of the best US vacation destinations for kids.