Travel Virginia

Williamsburg with kids – things to do

Hi friends. Can you believe it’s almost fall??!?! Well I guess that still gives me some time to talk about our 2nd stop from our summer road trip. If you’re planning a trip to Williamsburg with kids, then you’re in luck because that’s where we went. There’s so much to do and it’s absolutely gorgeous. It’s full of history, and even has theme parks! So let’s dive in…

Colonial Williamsburg - Williamsburg with kids -

Where to stay in Williamsburg with kids

The Historic Powhatan

We booked our stay through my in-law’s timeshare, but you can go on their website and book there as well. Our room was more like a small apartment, and even included a washer and dryer. There’s lots of activities to do like swimming (indoors and out), mini golf, basketball, resort planned activities, and even an activity center with arcade games. We stayed for 2 nights on our road trip up, and about 3 extra days on the way back. We ended up getting sick on the way back so didn’t get to do the activities we planned. I didn’t take too many pictures here either, but here’s one of Kelsey poolside, and then making a friend outside our room.

Things to do in Williamsburg with kids

Williamsburg is a part of the historic triangle, and where a lot of middle schoolers take their 8th grade field trips, so you know there’s plenty of things to do in Williamsburg with kids. A lot was free too, unless you want to go inside buildings or theme parks.

Colonial Williamsburg 

This is one of the most visited attractions in Williamsburg, and Queen Elizabeth II even visited back in 2007. Colonial Williamsburg is a historical landmark and a living history museum, which means that there are people that dress and reenact that era of life. It’s spread out over 300 acres, has 88 original buildings, and then some that are reconstructed. It’s free to roam the outside, but you can purchase tickets to go inside the museums if you want. There are live demonstrations and reenactments outside, which are free to watch, so we opted to explore outside.

Merchants Square

This is the shopping center in the heart of Colonial Williamsburg. The streets are lined with really cute shops and restaurants. It’s nice to just stroll, window shop, and of course dine. also says, “With its conception dating back to 1927, Merchants Square is recognized as one of the earliest, if not the first planned shopping districts in the United States.” So that’s pretty cool.

William & Mary

Surprisingly enough, my kids love to explore historical buildings and sites. William and Mary is the 2nd oldest institution of higher education aka college or technical school. It was founded in 1693, Conde Naste and Travel + Leisure named it one of the most beautiful college campuses in the US, and there’s an impressive list of notable people who attended the college, including four presidents.

Jamestown-Scotland Ferry

Now we’re venturing out a bit into the historic triangle, but it’s not that far and it’s well worth it. If you’re in Williamsburg with kids, then I highly recommend this little adventure. Riding the ferry is free, however, I’m going to explain how it works so you’re not super confused like we were, so bear with me a bit here.

How to get to the Jamestown-Scotland ferry

To get to the ferry from Jamestown, type in 2110 Jamestown Road, Williamsburg into your GPS. It’s by the Jamestown Settlement, and there are signs to get there once you’re close by. The road to get in will look like it’s gated off and you’re about to enter a military base or something, but you’re not. There may be a line depending on when you get there, so you just have to wait in your car.

waiting for the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry -

How the Jamestown-Scotland ferry works

There are 4 ferries that make up the Jamestown-Scotland ferry, and each can hold a different amount of cars and people. And here’s the kicker – you have to drive your car onto the ferry. So don’t go thinking you can just walk on, which is what we thought, and we were low on gas, and totally freaking out once we got in line and couldn’t turn around.

Once the ferry is ready to load you up, you’ll be guided onto the ferry platform, and you’ll be instructed where to park. Once all the cars are loaded, parking blocks get placed behind your tires to help prevent them from moving around. At that point, you can leave your car and walk around or go up into the tower. I was really nervous about getting out because I didn’t know if you were allowed to, but other people did so we did too.

What you can do on the Jamestown-Scotland ferry

We hung out in the tower for a bit, but it was really loud and hot, so we started heading back to the car. Meanwhile we were sweating our “you know whats” off, there were people hanging out outside. You’re allowed to stand outside too! There were views of the Jamestown settlement, and we even saw an Osprey nest!

Once you get closer to the Scotland, which is the other city on the side, you have to get back into your car and get ready to drive off the ferry. Once we got gas on the other side, we turned around and got back in line to head back. I’m not really sure what there is to do in Scotland, VA, but it looked like a lot of farmland, and I did hear that it’s a great place to look for bald eagles.

Jamestown Settlement

We only did a quick pit stop here to ask how to get to the ferry. It does look like a really cool place to explore, and it’s also a living history museum. It’ll definitely be one of the places we go back to check out when we visit again.

Drive the Colonial Parkway

This is a 23 mile drive that links the historical triangle together. It starts in Jamestown, then you drive through Colonial Williamsburg, and finally end in Yorktown. It’s one of 31 All-American Roads, which have to meet certain criteria to get that title. Six to be exact – it ranges from scenic quality to recreational quality. You can catch views of the river, see some pretty brick bridges, and just really beautiful scenery. They also have pull-offs on the route with plaques that tell you about the history of the spot you’re on or looking out at. We did this drive after we got off the ferry, so it was really nice to wind down this way and get the kids sleepy from the drive.

Other things to do in Williamsburg with kids

There’s still a lot we want to do in Williamsburg, so we’re planning on going back and explore the historic triangle some more. Here are some other things to do in Williamsburg with kids that we didn’t get to do, but will plan on doing next time.

Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Freedom Park

Water Country USA

Wrapping up our trip

The one thing I find myself telling people about Williamsburg is that it’s really pretty and we’re definitely going back. It was a bummer we got sick on our way back and couldn’t explore what we originally had planned, but on the positive side, it gives us a reason to go back. Let me know if you’ve ever been, and be sure to checkout some more of our travels here. Catch you later!

Williamsburg with kids -



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