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The spirit of Thanksgiving is kept alive in the home of living history! There’s no better place to celebrate the Pilgrims’ original harvest festival than where the dawn of America truly took place. Visit the historic triangle and take in the 18th century city of Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Battlefield, to experience all of the Williamsburg Feasts and Festivals.
Travel back in time to celebrate the true tradition of Thanksgiving! We have some exciting events coming up to get into the spirit of this American holiday. Stay with King’s Creek this November and experience Williamsburg’s seasonal activities!
The Virginia Thanksgiving Festival is an annual event hosted by the Berkeley Plantation, held on the first Sunday of November. This tradition can be traced back to 1619, when Captain John Woodlief and his crew of 35 men landed on the James River shores.
This event will host fun activities like historical re-enactments, performances by coral and dancing groups, parades, fife and drum corps, entertainment, colonial games, arts & crafts, jewelry and food vendors, corn maze, storytelling, and a silent auction. Bring the family out for these activities and immerse yourself in the history of the first Thanksgiving in the New World!
Visit Jamestown Settlement during Thanksgiving weekend, November 28th-30th! Learn more about the First Thanksgiving as you discover how the English colonists and the Powhatan Indians gathered, preserved and prepared their food!
Once you finish up at the Jamestown Settlement, head over to the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. Here you can learn about our nation’s founding, from the start of the colonial period through the Constitution and beyond. Once you’ve explored enough history to work up an appetite, stop by the Jamestown Settlement Café. They will be offering a traditional Thanksgiving dinner from 11 AM until 4 PM! This is an excellent option to celebrate the original harvest through Williamsburg Feasts and Festivals.
Explore Colonial Williamsburg
The First Thanksgiving was staged to celebrate the Pilgrims’ first harvest in the New World. The colonists were accustomed to regularly holding “thanksgivings”— days of prayer to show appreciation for positive outcomes like the end of a drought or military victories. The feast on this day has since been carried on as a national tradition, recognized on and off since 1789!
What better way to capture the essence of Thanksgiving than to immerse yourself in Colonial Williamsburg? Visit historic sites, meet the skilled tradespeople and learn from our Nation Builders! When you stroll through the historic halls and streets, you are able to connect with America’s history in a way unlike any other. Experience the meaning of the First Thanksgiving for yourself, and bring our nation’s story to life!
Historical Dining Traditions
While Williamsburg has exciting happenings for every season, Thanksgiving is an especially festive time of year! Bountiful feasts can be found at a number of local during the holidays. Eat, drink and give thanks with your friends and family in the colonial capital this year!
Visit Christiana Campbell’s Tavern, Shield’s Tavern, King’s Arms Tavern, or Chowning’s Tavern for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner! Holiday dining will take place from 11:00 AM – 7:45 PM, reservations are required.
Educational activities and entertainment will also take place in Colonial Williamsburg the week of Thanksgiving! Join the historic area for traditional songs and hymns of the holiday, and witness President George Washington officially proclaim Thursday, November 26th, of 1789, a day of public thanksgiving and prayer. You can’t help but get swept up into the magic of the holidays with the rich history, the abundance in food and the memories made when you visit Williamsburg.