Fun Things to Do in Williamsburg
From gravity-defying thrill rides to Revolutionary re-enactments to waterlogged slideboarding, Greater Williamsburg defines “fun.” Here are 10 ways to liven up your visit.
1. Have a blast at Busch Gardens.
Dare to be an adrenaline junky. The thrills are inescapable on the park's rollercoasters, including the 2015 addition Tempesto, the twisting, turning favorite of daredevils. There's also Apollo's Chariot, the 73-mph hyper-coaster with a drop of 210 feet, and Griffon, the floorless dive coaster.
Sit back and enjoy the old soft shoe. There's a live show for every taste. At Roll Out the Barrel, singers, dancers and acrobats – yes, acrobats – perform musical alchemy about the brewers of a German village. A different cast of characters, from "Sesame Street," is waiting at the Sunny Days Celebration. And those are just two of the multiple daily offerings.
Take a walk with the wild side. At exhibits like Highland Stables, Eagle Ridge and Wolf Haven, marvel at nature's bounty, everything from the Arctic wolf to the red fox to the Scottish tradition of border collies herding blackface sheep.
2. Live a Revolutionary life in Colonial Williamsburg.
There’s nothing like walking down Duke of Gloucester Street in Colonial Williamsburg and imagining you’ve traveled back in time.
Join the Revolution. Become a colonist in a re-enactment and decide whether to storm the Governor’s Palace with your fellow traitors.
Arm yourself with the right tool. Visit Anderson’s Blacksmith Shop and Public Armoury and watch red-hot iron forged into Colonial-era tools and weapons.
Dine in another century. Choose from a handful of historic eating establishments, ranging from Chowning’s Tavern, an 18th-century alehouse, to King’s Arms Tavern, a genteel establishment offering Southern comfort food.
Shop like a colonist. Select from a long list of shops, offering everything from silver at Golden Ball to historic plants, herbs and flowers at Colonial Nursery to 18th-century fashion at the Mary Dickinson Shop.
3. Settle at Jamestown, the first English colony in America.
Revisit history. At Historic Jamestowne, you can talk with archaeologists about their excavations on the site of the ill-fated colony. Then slip over to the Archaearium, a museum that houses some of the 2 million artifacts uncovered since the Jamestown Rediscovery Project began in 1994.
Become a colonist. Swing by Jamestown Settlement to relive what those who dared cross the Atlantic experienced. Climb aboard replicas of the three ships that made the voyage in 1607. Visit the re-creation of a Powhatan Village. Walk through the re-creation of the original triangular fort and interact with interpreters who will make you feel like you've gone back four centuries.
4. Shop and save at the Williamsburg Premium Outlets.
Get a good deal. With a focus on "premium," this isn't just another outlet destination. Williamsburg Premium Outlets showcases designer brands, including Polo Ralph Lauren, Kate Spade, Aeropostale, Brooks Brothers, Calvin Klein, DKNY, L'Occitane, Movado, Oakley and The North Face. It’s hard to leave empty-handed.
5. Get into the “spirits” of Williamsburg.
Quench your thirst. Stop at Williamsburg Winery, Virginia’s largest, to sample its red blends as well as Chardonnay, Viognier and dessert wines. If you prefer malts to grapes, stop by Alewerks Brewing Company, makers of a long list of seasonal and year-round ales, stouts and porters, or the Virginia Beer Company, which features up to eight draft selections in their taproom. And for an unusual experience, sample mead, the ancient fermented honey-based drink, at Silver Hand Meadery.
6. Get wet and pampered at Great Wolf Lodge.
Go for thrills and frills. Where else can you join your child on a water slide, then each go to your own spa? Great Wolf Lodge offers watery adventures for all ages, from slideboarding to the super-fast raft ride Howlin’ Tornado to the lazy fun of Crooked Creek. Once you've ridden the rapids and surfed the waves, check out the spas: the Elements Spa Salon for adults and the ice cream-themed Scoops Kids Spa for youngsters. There's something for everyone in the family.
7. Splash into adventure at Water Country USA.
Go screaming over the edge. With names like Jet Scream, Big Daddy Falls and the newest, Colossal Curl, Water Country USA pushes the boundaries of fun. But the park isn't just about the water coaster rides; you can chill in the Surfer's Bay Wave and the Kritter Korral, which features fountains and splash pools for the little ones.
8. Get your wow on at Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
Be amazed. As with all Ripley’s museums, you can see things here that you can't see anywhere else – from the multi-legged frog and the giant string ball to the stuffed albino African lion and the Marvel comic book made with ink from the ashes of its deceased writer, Mark Gruenwald. The 350 exhibits prove that truth is indeed stranger than fiction.
9. Roll along on a Segway in Yorktown.
Stand tall. Hop on the newest way to explore Yorktown via guided Segway tours and see the historic town in a whole new way. Fun for the whole family, Patriot Tours & Provisions takes you on a one- or two-hour excursion covering the waterfront and historic Main Street. Enjoy the views along with the guide’s stories of the city's Revolutionary and Civil War battles.
For a more rural itinerary, Patriot runs Segway tours through New Quarter Park, 545 acres of forests, meadows, ravines and tidal wetlands close to historic Williamsburg. It's off-roading like you've never experienced before.
10. Get artsy-craftsy in Williamsburg.
Express your creativity. Dip your own candles, wax hands and jar candle at Wax Works in Yankee Candle. More than just a store, Yankee Candle Village is an experience the whole family will enjoy, especially a year-round visit with Santa and daily “snow” showers.
Unleash your inner artist. At Paint on Pottery, you can paint your own design on a wide selection of figurines using your choice of glaze, brushes and special materials. Fire your piece in the kiln and pick up your creation a few days later.