Colonial Williamsburg: Where History Comes Alive!

We just got home from our vacation in the Williamsburg area. This has always been one of my favorite places to visit, especially during the holidays. Colonial Williamsburg is gorgeous all year round, but I love when the area starts decorating for the holidays. We unfortunately were there just a little bit too early for the colonial door decorating. It was still an amazing trip though! 

Colonial Williamsburg: Where History Comes Alive!

What is great about Colonial Williamsburg? The kids have a great time and learn too! It’s been a while since I bought the pass to go into the trade exhibits and see the tours. We decided to get a single day pass, which was $41 an adult and $22 for each child. You can buy a 3-day pass online for just a little bit more, but we were limited on time there and wanted to visit Busch Gardens, Jamestown, and Yorktown as well. We wanted to get everything in while we were in the area! 


We took the tour of the Capitol and the tour of the Governor’s Palace. Both were great tours and the kids enjoyed seeing the inside of the buildings and learning about the life of people during the colonial times and the government system back then. I personally liked the Capitol tour the best. I learned some things that I did not know (or did not remember) about our founding fathers. 

Tours in Colonial Williamsburg

Trade Exhibits 

Checking out the trade exhibits is so fun! The kids absolutely loved it. We saw the weaver, the shoemaker, the gunsmith, the wigmaker, the blacksmith, the joiner, and much more! I learned in the trade exhibits about shoemakers versus cobblers. I asked if the shoemaker was also called a cobbler and I got in trouble. Apparently, the shoemaker had to apprentice for 7 years and they make the shoes, and a cobbler does not need training and just fixes shoes. I love that I can still learn things every time I go there. The kids really loved seeing people dressed in colonial attire, which truly brought history to life for them!

Trades in Colonial Williamsburg


It’s fun checking out the shops in Colonial Williamsburg. The kids got a few toys and books, and I got a few things as well. Kendal really wanted a Colonial Hat and Drew wanted a Musket (pretend of course). I usually don’t like the idea of guns, but in this case I thought it was okay since he was learning about the Revolutionary War and soldiers of the time period. We also got some delicious chocolate too! Also, Merchant Square has some shopping that is more than just colonial items. There is a William & Mary Bookstore, candy shop, and stores with gorgeous decorating ideas. 

Shopping in Colonial Williamsburg


There are many taverns to choose from on the old street. We decided to eat lunch at Chownings. They had some traditional stews, hot apple cider, and other dishes of the times. It’s always fun to check out the taverns! Kings Arms is another one of my favorites.

Chownings Tavern

Colonial Williamsburg: Where History Comes Alive

Best Way to See Williamsburg (Tips)

1. Head to the Visitor’s Center first. Get your tickets there, watch the Story of a Patriot Movie, and plan out your route.

2. It’s important to have a plan of what you want to see. Use the maps of the colonial town to see what is open (many trade exhibits are closed on certain days). If you want to see ALL, then it’s probably best to get a 3-day pass and spread out your tours/visits.

3. Use the shuttle from the Visitor’s Center to get to downtown. Very easy to catch (one comes every 8 minutes) and parking can be hard in downtown and costly. 

4. Make sure to get on a list early for lunch. The taverns are first come, first serve. For dinner at the taverns it’s best to make a reservation.

5. Check out the list of events going on. You can plan to see a colonial reenactments, live conversations and parades.

Just Hanging Out in Williamsburg



  1. So fun!! I love family vacations that are fun and educational!!

  2. Looks like a great place!! Love the pictures – especially the last one. So fun!!

  3. I remember those wonderful trips to Williamsburg. Looks like you had a great time. The last photo will probably be the most memorable for kids… hee-hee. Very cute!

  4. You know, I don’t live very far from Williamsburg but I don’t think I have ever been. My husband has been and he said he loved it.

  5. I have never been to Williamsburg, but it looks like the perfect place for my family and I! I love anything that has a historical aspect to it!

  6. That looks like so much fun!!! I love all the pictures, I wish we lived near there to go visit!!

  7. Looks like an amazing place to visit some day!

  8. Great destination. I haven’t been in years, since my kids were, well… kids, but I’d love to take my grandkids. Thanks for all the info and photos and idea for a wonderful destination!

  9. What a great trip, we have always wanted to visit. Thank you for sharing

  10. Now I REALLY REALLY want to go there!!! I have heard OF this but never heard ABOUT this. It is right up my alley though since I like history and this particular time period. You gave a lot of important tips – I would never have thought to make reservations for food and to save on parking by taking the shuttle. I would LOVE o plan a trip here when it coincides with my son learning about this in school!! (I could use a refresher on the history here too) Sounds affordable and fun!

  11. Wow, a 7 year apprenticeship is a long time, that was interesting to read.

  12. I love family vacations like this. My family would really enjoy Wiliamsburg!

  13. This looks like a wonderful place to visit for fun and some history! Fun + learning = awesomeness! Love the photos!

  14. we would like the trade stuff the best too i think!

  15. We love taking trips like this! Looks like a great trip! We haven’t been there yet, but it’s on our list!

  16. I love that picture of the kids just hanging around. I want to visit Williamsburg again.

  17. We went last year and had an awesome time!! We only spent one day in Williamsburg (other days spent at the Forts) and it definitely needs 3 days to see everything. FYI, in September or October is Home School month and the prices are DRASTICALLY reduced for home schoolers. :D A year later my kids still ask when we are going back!

  18. Wow, that is beautiful and sounds like such a wonderful experience!

  19. I’m glad you mentioned that about the taverns being first come, first serve. That is good to know. I was going to go last summer but it was those over 100 degree days and I just knew it was too much.

  20. I visited WIlliamsburg back in 8th grade. Your pictures reminded me of the trip and how much I would love to go back for a visit. Thank you for sharing your great trip!

  21. That looks so neat! I would love to take my kids there someday. Hands on learning is always the best.

  22. What a great family vacation!!!! I loved looking at all your pictures!

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