Williamsburg, VA was this country’s first city that was actually laid out as a blueprint before it was constructed in 1699. It was a part of the Virginia Colony which had the first English-speaking settlement at Jamestown. Williamsburg was the actual second capital of Virginia when it went by the name Middle Plantation, Virginia. It was renamed in honor of the King of England at that time, King William III. The city had a huge celebration in 1999 for its 300-year anniversary.
There are so many Williamsburg attractions to choose from for families, that it is difficult to know where to begin:
Governor’s Palace: This historic stop gives a royal perspective to the original government of the American Revolutionary era in Williamsburg. The design of the building was supposed to give an air of British sovereignty rule, high authority, and royal wealth with the displays of royal swords and guns as well as the grand ballroom. Seven of the state’s first royal governors lived and ruled here as well as the two of the first governors of Virginia that were voted in by the people.
Busch Gardens-Williamsburg: This kid-oriented attraction has something for all age levels from the Sesame Street Forest of Fun with Elmo’s Castle and Oscar’s Yucky Forest to the Around the Park area with theme rides that represent the global regions of the world from the Kinder Karussel from Germany to The Battering Ram Italian oversized gondola. There is also a water playground in the Land of the Dragons an interactive tree house with climbing nets and an obstacle course. Busch Garden Williamsburg discount tickets are available.
Water Country USA: This is the state’s largest water park attraction and includes a multitude of water slides, a lazy river, and raft riding. There are specially trained life guards on staff that can give children of any age level swimming lessons. You may have older kids that are interested in being a lifeguard and can take an actual course for certification. You can stay all day or overnight and add a private cabana that is located right next to the wave pool and beach. There are also rides on site as well as a shuttle that will take you to the other attraction just minutes away—Busch Gardens Williamsburg.
Williamsburg Botanical Garden: This is an all-day attraction that opens at 7 am and closes as the sun sets. It is also free to everyone. The most popular attraction is the Butterfly Garden which culminates each year into the Butterfly Festival in early August when the insects begin to hatch. In addition to the Butterfly Garden, there is the Wildflower Meadow, Herb Garden, Bulb Garden, Fernery, the Pollinator Palace, Wetlands, English Perennial Garden, and eleven more unique gardens to see.
Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum: Kids love the uniqueness of this attraction where one ticket will get you entrance to four different venues: the Odditorium, the 4D Movie Theater, Ripley’s Impossible Laserace, and the Catfish Cove Miniature Golf game.
Veteran’s Park – Kidsburg: This location gives adults as well as kids an opportunity to relate to and enjoy their surroundings. The 19-acre park is a Vietnam Veteran Memorial as well as a 30,000 sq. ft. playground called Kidsburg which has separate play areas for kids from ages 2-5 and another area for kids 5-12. There is a swashbuckler’s ship to play on, swings, and a zip line. Older kids can go on the nature trail, use the beach volleyball courts, basketball courts that light up at night and the tennis and pickleball courts. There is also a multitude of open space for picnicking.
Great Hopes Plantation: This is another historic site to explore that was moved from another location in Virginia and replicates what a Southern plantation would have looked like in the 18th century. The buildings include a southern plantation dirt-floor kitchen and smokehouse. While the crop is tobacco it is cultivated at the tobacco house on the site, and there is a log house that houses the plantation’s workers. The main house has only three rooms which include the kitchen area. You can watch as the entire workings of the farm take place just like you were walking through on a day in the 1700s.
Big Daddy Falls: You will actually be experiencing a white-water rafting adventure here with your whole family as you navigate through water cannons, rapid drops, water tunnels, and twists and turns on a raft that comfortably and securely fits seven people.
Room Escape- Williamsburg: Take one evening and experience a mystery adventure where your family works together to beat the clock by solving puzzles and intricate codes in order to complete a variety of missions so that you can escape the room you are in. All you have to do is book online by choosing one of the mystery rooms, show up and solve the puzzles.