Saturday, October 5, 2013

Government Shutdown Activities: Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg visitors interacting 
with period actors/interpreters.
If you have driven to the DC area, it's only a couple more hours to Colonial Williamsburg, a privately operated historical attraction that Barack Obama's National Park Service doesn't own or control, and hasn't tried to close down -- yet. It, like Mount Vernon, the attraction we first recommended for stranded tourists, is an amazing historical exhibition --  fascinating, entertaining and instructive. Colonial Williamsburg is made up of about 20 blocks of preserved and restored Colonial Americana, with the Governor's Palace and the Virginia colonial Capitol (George Mason, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry served there in the 18th century) thrown in for good measure. Guides and period actors/interpreters abound. Visit only if you want to be astounded by our roots, the founding of our country, and the people behind it.

The Colonial Williamsburg web site sums it up,
Colonial Williamsburg is open during the government shutdown.
The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is a privately funded, not-for-profit organization and is not affected by the federal government shutdown. All activities and events will go on as planned.
As with Mount Vernon, when we lived back east we purchased annual passes at Colonial Williamsburg and visited repeatedly.

Here is the Foundation's overview,

Historic Area Overview
The Historic Area of Colonial Williamsburg stretches over 301 acres, and includes 88 original 18th-century structures. Hundreds of houses, shops and public outbuildings are reconstructed on their original foundations. Some buildings are open to the public, while others are private residences and administrative offices. Learn more about the restoration of Colonial Williamsburg.
  • Bruton Parish Church


    The church, the tavern, the market, the theater; these are the places where early Viginians met their neighbors and exchanged all manner of currency. You can gather there, too, and listen to the echoes of 18th-century life.
  • House and garden

    Family Homes

    Nose through the homes of the elite gentry class and everyday middling sort. Period furnishings and knowledgeable costumed interpreters let history surround you in three dimensions. See where Virginia's first signer of the Declaration of Independence, George Wythe, slept. Experience the connection between life and land at Great Hopes Plantation. Walk the rooms where middling gaolkeeper Peter Pelham and his family spent their days.
  • Aerial view of the Governor's Palace


    Mere brick and mortar contained the combustion of ideas that were catalyst to the American Revolution. The opulent Governor's Palace was the embodiment of British order in the colonies. The Capitol was witness to the vote for America's move to independence. The Raleigh Tavern's neutral setting encouraged free debate. The Magazine held the colony's guns and ammunition, standing as a literal symbol of self-reliance.
  • Shields Tavern

    Modern Places

    Modern amusements are echoes of colonial ones. Follow in the footsteps of early patriots to dine, see a show, or browse shops. Explore these modern places and find timeless pleasures in a historic setting.


Historic Trades

Practicing tradesmen make Colonial Williamsburg's Historic Area a living town, ringing with clanging hammers and tinged with the smoke of industry. Visit the blacksmith, see what the milliner is working on, smell what's cooking in the kitchens, and more. Eighteen trades are practiced with 18th-century methods and tools.
Geometric garden


Plants and blooms authentic to Virginia in the 18th century unfurl with the seasons in Historic Area gardens. Take a walking tour of gardens both decorative and functional, or stroll at your own pace to see what's blooming.
Tour the Town

Tour the Town

An interactive tour of the Colonial Williamsburg experience. Use Tour the Town to explore the Historic Area and Colonial Williamsburg's properties.


The restored area measures about a mile long and half a mile wide. There are continuous shuttle buses looping from the parking area, circling the town, with multiple stops along the periphery, as well as in the city proper.

Here are some of our experiences,

Entertained by a Colonial Williamsburg fiddler.

The girls picked up matching doll bonnets at Market Square.

A period craftsman stitching at the book bindery.

Touring in a covered horse drawn carriage.

Colonial horseman.

Early Spring along the village green.

Our then 9-year old playing the harpsichord in the cabinetmaker shop.

Visit Williamsburg.  Enjoy!

No comments:

Post a Comment