Williamsburg, Virginia, is not just a destination for history buffs; it's also a fantastic place for kids to have a memorable and enriching experience. With its charming colonial streets, interactive living history museums, and a plethora of family-friendly attractions, Williamsburg offers a treasure trove of activities tailored to entertain and educate children. Young adventurers can step back in time and explore the past at Colonial Williamsburg, embark on thrilling adventures at Busch Gardens Williamsburg, or immerse themselves in hands-on learning at the Virginia Living Museum. There's no shortage of fun-filled opportunities in Williamsburg, making it an ideal destination for families seeking both entertainment and education for their little ones.
Make childhood boredom history...in historic Williamsburg! Here are our top picks for fun family activities, with something fun for every interest and age.
Quick View: Best Things To Do with Kids in Williamsburg
- Colonial Williamsburg
- Go Karts Plus
- Duke of Gloucester Street
- Freedom Park
- Williamsburg Premium Outlets
- The Jamestown-Scotland Ferry
- The Historic Kimball Theatre
- Fox Wire Farm
- Historic Jamestowne
- Go Ape Tree Top Adventures
- Yorktown Battlefield
- James City County Marina
- Segway Tours
- Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum & 4D Theater
- Virginia Beach
- Jamestown Settlement and American Revolution Museum at Yorktown
- Virginia Living Museum
- York River
- Ghosts of Williamsburg Candlelight Tour
Get your family ready for some time travel, a ghost tour and more!
1. Colonial Williamsburg
Source: Colonial Williamsburg Historic Area
Let’s start with the obvious -- Colonial Williamsburg, a historic district and living-history museum where actors in period costume depict daily Colonial life, is an absolute must-see. Because there are so many things to do, it can be overwhelming, and that’s why we appreciate the suggested interest-based itineraries on their site, ranging from “family fun” to “fashionista” and “first-timers.” Some Colonial Williamsburg standouts includes its decorative art museums, historic dining options and ox wagon rides.
2. Go Karts Plus
Source: Go-Kart Plus
Annnnd, the not so obvious: It’s a far cry from the historical reenactments of Colonial Williamsburg, but it sure is a fun thing to do with kids. Let them race in NASCAR-like cars, play miniature golf, try blaster boats, take aim in the shooting gallery, and pan for gemstones and fossils. Whew!
3. Duke of Gloucester Street
Back to the historical stuff! Williamsburg is a great walking city. Grab the kids and take a stroll through one of the town's most famous areas. Named after a certain member of the British nobility, Duke of Gloucester Street is packed with 18-century architecture, from the Wren Building to the Capitol. After President Franklin Roosevelt visited the area back in 1934, he dubbed it "the most historic avenue in all of America."
4. Freedom Park
If your kids are sick of museums and go-karts, declare freedom! Freedom Park, that is. Ride 20 miles of bike trails, take a hike, or check out the butterfly haven of the Williamsburg Botanical Garden.
5. Williamsburg Premium Outlets
Source: via Pexels
A lot of things can go wrong on vacation. Luggage gets lost, clothes get stained, unpredictable opportunities for which you did not pack for may arise. And sure, some folks just like to shop. Head to the Williamsburg Premium Outlets to stock up on shoes, sunglasses, clothes and more. Pull up the official site once there – it lists all the different sales going on.
6. The Jamestown-Scotland Ferry
Source: Daily Press
Why? Well, for starters it's free and operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including all major holidays. And it's a special way to see more of the colonial area and see the real Jamestown the way settlers saw it! (Also, locals say it’s a great way to beat traffic going into Williamsburg.)
7. The Historical Kimball Theatre
If you want to take in some entertainment when in town, look no further than the historic Kimball Theatre. Originally opened back in 1933, the venue is home to stage productions, musical performances, speakers and more. There's a 410-seat theater with a stage for live productions and a 35-seat screening room to enjoy. The best part? It's conveniently located in the center of the city, by Merchant's Square.
8. Fox Wire Farm
Fox Wire Farm is located just outside Williamsburg. There, you can enjoy over 200 acres of farmland, pastureland, woods and creeks. It's also home to 100 Huacaya alpacas. And that’s not all. There's also a "guard llama," three miniature donkeys, one miniature horse, four full-sized horses, four Jersey steer, four Nigerian Dwarf goats, nine barn carts and tons of chickens, ducks and pigs running around. Talk about a full house!
9. Historic Jamestowne
Why read about the past when you can experience it for yourself? Historic Jamestowne gives families the opportunity to see history unfold right in front of their eyes! The cultural heritage site features live demonstrations of what life was like when the settlers first landed. Explore the real history of Pocahontas, discover artifacts used during colonial times and search for the founders on your own family tree. The kids can even uncover their own buried treasure while there! A typical visit lasts anywhere from 2 to 3 hours but you're free the spend the day uncovering the town's rich history.
10. Go Ape Tree Top Adventures
Source: GoApeUSA Twitter
Located just one hour outside of Williamsburg, this outdoor adventure park will send you flying through the treetops. Literally. Their adventure experiences include dangling obstetrical, Tarzan swings, zip lines and more! The kids are bound to love this one.
11. Yorktown Battlefield
Source: National Park Service
Welcome to one of the most important sites in American Revolutionary history! The Yorktown Battlefield is best known for having hosted Siege of Yorktown, the last major battle of the American Revolutionary War. It may not have been such a fun place to hang out at back in 1781, what with all the active canons and all, but fast-forward 200+ years and you'll find it's actually a pretty nice spot to hang around. The park features trolley rides, historical films, museum exhibits and tons of other attractions. It also contains some incredible natural resources, like wetlands, shorelines, forests fields and more.
12. James City County Marina
Source: Visit Williamsburg
Why spend all your time on land when there's over 80 miles of water to explore! The James City County Marina is just a short drive from Williamsburg and provides access to the Chickahominy River. Visitors can rent kayaks, take a boat tour, go fishing and more.
13. Segway Tours
Source: Pixabay segway
Exploring a new place on foot can be a lot of fun, until it's not. Skip the blistered feet and swollen ankles and get yourself a pair of wheels. Head into neighboring Yorktown and enjoy a two-hour guided Segway tour of the town! You'll be taken around the waterfront area, the bluffs overlooking the river and historic village along Main Street! We will note that the minimum age for riders is 14. If you have little kids running around, you may want to leave them with a sitter for this excursion.
14. Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum & 4D Theater
Source: Pixabay museum
Kids like weird stuff, right? Well, at least some of them do. If your pack gravitates towards that kind of thing then you'll have to check out the Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum and 4D theater. After all, it's the only place in Williamsburg where you'll find shrunken heads, two-headed critters, vampire killing kits and more! When you're done getting your minds blown head over to the theater and give your body a treat. The 4D effects include blasts of air, water mists and other exciting sensory experiences. What's not to love about that?
15. Virginia Beach
Source: Pixabay neptune statue
Of course, we can't forget about Virginia's sprawling coastline. How do you think the settlers got here? Virginia Beach is just about an hour and a half away from Williamsburg. Walk the boardwalk, playing the sand, enjoy the street performers, outdoor cafes and other attractions scattered around the surrounding area! There's a lot of history to take in when visiting Virginia, so it's important to schedule some chill-time. Where better to do that but the beach!
16. Jamestown Settlement and American Revolution Museum at Yorktown
Source: historyisfunorg Twitter
The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown offers so many ways to learn about and immerse yourself in history – from hands-on learning (grinding corn, digging out a canoe or trying on armor) to 3D movies (spoiler alert: the seats move and you can feel the cannons firing). There is something for everyone – and way too much to mention here. Set aside a whole day for this one!
17. Virginia Living Museum
Source: VLMuseum Twitter
Virginia may be for lovers, but the Living Museum is for animal lovers and dinosaur enthusiasts! It’s home to more than 250 species of animals found in Virginia, and it’s a sanctuary for orphaned, non-releasable or injured animals. Outdoors, they have the Dinosaur Discovery Trail with 16 life-like dinosaurs, paleo camp, dig pits & dinosaur fossils.
18. York River
Source: York River State Park
The York River opens up to an amazing state park that contains more than 25 miles of hiking, mountain biking and equestrian trails. There are also fresh and saltwater fishing spots, boat rentals, picnic shelters and more! The visitor center displays make navigating your way around easy. It's the perfect way to punctuate all that educational stuff Williamsburg has to offer. Grab the kids and explore one of the area's most celebrated natural attractions.
19. Ghosts of Williamsburg Candlelight Tour
Source: Pixabay ancient architecture
Seek out the spirit world on this family-friendly tour, based on the book The Ghosts of Williamsburg by L.B. Taylor, offered nightly at 8 p.m. Stroll through the cobblestone streets of Colonial Williamsburg while hearing eerie stories and spooky folklore from local guides.