Colonial Williamsburg

We recently moved to the Tidewater/Hampton Roads area of Virginia with the Army and I know it is going to be a great experience if nothing else for the field trips. We also just went through the death of a close family member that resulted in a longer than planned spring break, essentially ending our school year in February 2022 instead of May as I had planned. In order to make sure that we stay on track we are starting our 2022-2023 school year June 1. The kids aren’t thrilled. As everyone is getting ready for summer we are getting ready for a new year. I’m super thrilled because I love a routine, summer is lacking in that…I don’t love the heat so school during the hot months to open up some fun days in the fall and winter is A-OK with me.

This year we are studying Vikings- current times in history and a unit study on the Constitution. I can’t think of a better place to be than Virginia to study Jamestown, Colonial America, the constitution, Presidents, our country’s government. We plan to take full advantage of everything DC and this area has to offer. Over Memorial Day weekend Colonial Williamsburg offered free entry for Military and their dependents, so no brainer we took advantage. I wanted to line up the field trips with what we were studying but also life is expensive so we need breaks when we can.

We visited CW in 2009 so I figured researching ahead of time was much needed and I’m so glad I did. It’s always nice to have a game plan ahead of time, a budget, set expectations, and know what the snack situation is…hanger is the ender of all good days. CW allows you to bring in your own food and drinks and there are so many benches and lawns to enjoy picnics or let little ones burn off energy.

We started our day at the weavers where we learned how clothing was dyed and what was used to make the colors. FUN FACT: urine (usually of young boys, too young to drink) was used in developing the dye and helping it to adhere to the cloth!

We then went to the guard house where we learned about the uniforms and the recruiting tactics of the British and Colony Armies. If you know my husband in real life you know he can spend hours talking about military uniforms!

Then we visited the Market House where the kids tested out some games and school supplies.

The little doll that Charlotte is playing with is called a Hotch Potch and he helps teach letter formation…we brought him home.

When we stopped for our snack break we watched a slave wedding that ended horribly when the slave owner announced he didn’t recognize the wedding and that the slave would be taken to auction regardless.

We stopped and chatted with the blacksmith, the shoemaker, the printing shop, the milliner. Then we took a tour at the capitol where we learned the inner workings of the courts where felonies were tried and learned that much of that system was used to make the court system we are used to seeing today.

When it was finally time for lunch we tried the Chowning’s Tavern Garden. The food was really good, not too bad in price since it was our only meal purchased thanks to the snacks. A meal was roughly $14 and that included an entrée, chips, and slaw. I added a local beer and we enjoyed the thatched cover that provided plenty of shade.

After lunch we had some fun recreating a picture we took when Clayton was 16 months old.

Other than the free tickets (amazing enough), CW also offers a Liberty Lounge where military and their dependents can enjoy clean bathrooms, AC, water, tea, coffee, comfy chairs and great conversation with fellows service members past and present.

We made one final stop at Wythe Candy to grab some snacks for the road. It was the best day, great weather, low crowds. I hope the kids retained what they learned so when we reach that spot in out studies they can have those references. Thanks Colonial Williamsburg for a great day and great first field trip of the school year.

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