Whether you’re planning a long weekend or extended holiday, Williamsburg, Virginia offers history, excitement, and adventures for your entire family. Choose a Williamsburg vacation rental close to the historic center, or select more spacious accommodations in a peaceful setting. Spend the day outside biking, hiking, and canoeing, or spend time exploring local museums and galleries. Create an itinerary using this list of the top nine things to do with your kids in Williamsburg.

1. Historic Williamsburg

old historic house
Source: Flickr/Joe Ross

Williamsburg makes it easy for visitors to experience what life was like in Colonial America. With a visit to Historic Williamsburg, your family members will feel like they’ve stepped back in time. Staff members dress up in period costumes, so you’ll see politicians, shopkeepers, and other interesting characters walking through town. Enjoy a self-guided tour, or sign up for a guided tour for a greater educational experience. Enter the businesses you pass by to learn more about the need for wigs and other popular items, and then stop by the stables to speak to a blacksmith, who will explain exactly how to make horseshoes.

2. Busch Gardens

roller coaster ride
Source: Flickr/Jeremy Thompson

Spend a day of thrills at Busch Gardens, an amusement park with fun attractions for people of all ages. Your teens and tweens can tackle some thrilling roller coasters, including the Loch Ness Monster and the Griffon, while your smaller kids enjoy a show at the Sesame Street Forest of Fun. Make time to see the Pet Shenanigans show, where trained cats and dogs perform tricks for the audience. The park features themes of different countries, including a German area with a beer garden. There, your entire family can enjoy German sausages and cheese, and adults can enjoy a refreshing German beer.

3. Yorktown Battlefield

battlefield trees
Source: Flickr/kmf164

In 1781, the final battle of the American Revolution occurred at the Yorktown, and it was here that Lord Cornwallis surrendered to George Washington. Today, Yorktown Battlefield is part of the National Park Services, and your family can spend an afternoon visiting this historic site, walking around the battlefield and learning more about the battle. You can also enjoy a family picnic lunch while there. This park offers reenactments of the famous battle, so check the schedule before planning your trip.

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4. Water Country USA

waterslide waterpark
Source: Flickr/Brian Shamblen

Grab your beach towels and sunscreen, and head to Water Country USA, where you can cool off in the heat of the summer in one of the park’s wave pools or float along the lazy river. At Cow-A-Bunga, your tots can play in shallow water, shoot water guns, and climb on the playground equipment. You can also arrange for a swimming lesson. The park offers a couple of water slides for thrill-seekers, including the Jet Scream and Big Daddy Falls. Hit one of the many concession stands in the park when hunger strikes.

5. Jamestown Glasshouse

glasshouse
Source: Flickr/sikeri

In the early 1600s, the colonies began to try industrialization and manufacturing at the Jamestown Glasshouse. Visit the original building, and take a tour of the property. During the tour, you can see the remains of the original furnaces and watch a demonstration on the traditional methods of glass-blowing. The craftsmen are always willing to answer questions as they explain the process of creating candle holders, pitchers, and vases. Stop by the gift shop, and purchase a piece of hand-blown glass to take home as a souvenir.

6. Yankee Candle Village

candle village
Source: Flickr/Amy Meredith

Indulge in a little retail therapy at Yankee Candle Village. This 45,000-square-foot shopping event includes fun activities for kids. In the Wax Works section, kids can make a jar candle and a wax mold of their hands. Before leaving, stock up on some tasty fudge or gourmet popcorn from Popcornopolis to enjoy back at your vacation rental.

7. Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum

art museum
Source: Flickr/Desiree Williams

Visit the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum to enjoy some unique artwork. Using bold colors and everyday items, local artists and craftsmen create sculptures, paintings, and many other interesting items. This museum houses one of the largest collections of folk art in the United States. Your kids will enjoy seeing the Down on the Farm exhibit, where a dog named Prince explores the world in paintings, sculptures, and toys. The museum also has an exhibit for folk musical instruments from the 19th and 20th centuries, including fiddles, banjos, and dulcimers.

8. Colonial National Historic Park

forest trees
Source: Flickr/Nicholas A. Tonelli

Enjoy fresh air and beautiful views at Colonial National Historic Park, which sits along the York River. Pack a picnic lunch before leaving your vacation rental, and enjoy a family meal as you watch the boats float by on the river. Take a tour of Green Spring, a colonial mansion that once belonged to Sir William Berkeley, a colonial governor. Take some photos at the Cape Henry Memorial, where it’s believed that settlers first set foot in Virginia. The park also offers walking paths through the forested area with streams that run beside them.

9. Horseback Riding

horseback riding
Source: Flickr/Virginia State Parks

Schedule a trail ride at Carlton Farms or Drinkwater Equestrian, and enjoy a fun day of horseback riding in the back country. During the summer months, Carlton Farms offers a half-day camp for kids to learn more about caring for horses, riding, and safety. Inexperienced riders can take a lesson before heading out for a trail ride.

 
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