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Outdoor Fun in Colonial Williamsburg

If you and your family are totally over being cooped up inside, there’s good news! Colonial Williamsburg’s new safety protocols go above and beyond to keep you safe. Plus, you don’t even have to go indoors to trace the footsteps of the very people who built our nation. Here is some outdoor fun in Colonial Williamsburg  to do with friends and family! 

Colonial Garden

Have a green thumb, or just interested in knowing more about gardening? Explore this beautiful colonial garden (and even get your hands dirty!) and it’s full of yummy vegetables, heirloom roses, fruit trees and herbs. Garden historians will demonstrate 18th-century growing and harvesting techniques with specialty tools and answer any questions you have. Learn about the herbs and vegetables that were commonly grown for food and the types of flowers that ornamented the landscape.

Wythe House

Visit the elegant home of prominent attorney and thinker George Wythe, whose head was full of ideas that shaped the Revolution and even our lives today. Imagine the conversations that took place within these four walls. Explore the yard of the Wythe House. Discuss Enlightenment thinking and the ideas that shaped the Revolution and the ways that free and enslaved people on the property engaged with those ideas. 

Carpenter’s Yard

Homebuilding is the common ground of colonists and the people of today! Each of Colonial Williamsburg’s homes, shops, sheds, dairies, smokehouses, kitchens, and storehouses are all examples of the handiwork of skilled carpenters. Learn how experts use hand tools to turn trees into lumber, cut and raise heavy logs to build frames, and enclose new structures with siding and roofing.

Military Yard

This military storehouse is a long-standing symbol of the Crown’s commitment to the common defense and to the expansion of its empire. Come explore the Magazine Yard and discover how Virginia’s diverse peoples shaped an empire and defined a new nation.

Randolph Yard

Explore the kitchen building and yard where 27 enslaved people lived and worked. The Randolph House, one of Williamsburg’s oldest surviving buildings, was once home to Peyton Randolph, the first Continental Congress President. This is also a stop on Colonial Williamsburg’s ghost tour, as this building has seen many deaths in its 300 years!

Custis Square

Take a guided tour through Custis Square, where archaeologists have begun a 5-year exploration of the 4-acre home and early 18th-century gardens of planter and statesman, John Custis IV.  Learn what our previous excavations have revealed about him, and talk with archaeologists in the field about what they’re learning from the current project!  Site tours meet at the gate at the corner of Francis and Nassau Streets. Tours begin at 9:30am, 11:00am, 1:30pm. Capacity for each tour is limited to 10 guests. 

Play House

Watch stories of the 18th century dramatized on the Play House Stage! With an abundance of creativity and just a few props, this troupe of entertainers will delight your family with engaging productions. Check the marquee by the stage for daily performances!

My Story; My Voice

When you think of all the individual stories that make up life in early America, it’s quite extraordinary! That’s why Colonial Williamsburg historical reenactors share a compelling story from the life of an 18th-century person through “My Story; My Voice.” Stories are followed by a talk with the actor-interpreter where they share their process for bringing a voice from the past to life.

Haunted Williamsburg

Williamsburg is famous for its one-hour candlelit walking ghost tours, where you’re taken to haunted sites throughout the town as you hear unnerving 18th-century ghost stories told by costumed storytellers. Haunted Williamsburg is the only tour with exclusive access to historic outdoor spaces. The tour begins at the Play House Stage on Palace Green and is suitable for ages 8 and older. All kiddos must be accompanied by an adult. 

We hope you enjoy these ideas for outdoor fun in Colonial Williamsburg! If you’re not able to get to Colonial Williamsburg, there are always virtual tours!

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