What a wonderful trip we had over Thanksgiving to Colonial Williamsburg. Our kids, ages 5 and 8 were probably just the right minumum age to really soak up the atmosphere and we'll definitely come back when they are older and more interested in some of the longer tours and exhibits.
A great tip that we got from a friend was to bring dress-up costumes from home. They rent costumes at the welcome center, but they are a bit pricey. Also, the boys' costume doesn't amount to much more than a big blouse-type shirt, a messenger bag-type pouch, and a big wooden gun that has to be hauled around. We had this three cornered hat from a previous trip to Mount Vernon, though they sell them all over in Williamsburg. Our daughter concocted this outfit from her dress-up box. As we walked around the historic area, costumed re-enactors went out of their way to speak to the kids in character and complement them on their fine hat or their handsome cloak. Being in costume also really helped the kids get lost in their imaginations, playing in the yard of a house with hoops and sticks or, in this case, writing letters with quill and ink.
Another highlight of the trip was the various merchants such as blacksmith or wigmaker. These shops were open with real craftsmen and women doing real work and talking about what they were doing. Visitors could wander in and stay as long as they were interested. Our kids hung around in some of these shops for quite a long time just watching, listening, and asking questions.
The town of Williamsburg outside of the historical park was fascinating and fun as well. The next time we go, we will bring our bikes and ride around the campus of the College of William and Mary to do a little more exploring.
Camping near Williamsburg is not ideal because there are no campgrounds very close by, but we enjoyed ourselves at the American Heritage RV park, about 10 minutes away, and there was plaenty of RV parking at the Williamsburg visitors' center so it was nice to be able to come back to our home base when needed.
I know that there are other attractions in the area including a Busch Gardens amusement park and a Great Wolf Lodge with a waterpark. Perhaps we'll check these out on a future trip, but for this one, we really enjoyed just being able to explore the historical area over a couple of days, relax and play around the campground, and of course, stuff ourselves silly with Thanksgiving feast food. A lovely long weekend trip to celebrate Thanksgiving.