Got Spring Fever?

Calling All Thrill-Seekers, Food Connoisseurs, History Enthusiasts, and Explorers

A Cure for Spring Fever is on its Way as Another Spring Break in Greater Williamsburg Nears

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. – February 11, 2020 – As the frigid temps rise to make way for the first delicate blooms of the season, Greater Williamsburg is preparing a lineup for spring 2020 that is certain to send another ferocious winter out like a lamb. From heart-stopping new attractions to serene sunset sails, Greater Williamsburg is not compromising on fun come this spring season. Repeat guests and newcomers alike will easily find an itinerary that suits their traveling style, while they immerse themselves in the many dimensions that have come to define Greater Williamsburg and the colorful tapestries that connect the old with the new. 

Below is a sampling of the 2020 spring happenings in Greater Williamsburg. For additional details and to plan your stay, visit visitwilliamsburg.com

Let the Adventure Begin…

Busch Gardens® Williamsburg is renowned for both its beauty – voted “World’s Most Beautiful Amusement Park” since 1990 - and its top-rated roller coasters. This year when the park opens March 15, daredevils will get to experience the most anticipated coaster of 2020. Pantheon® is the fastest multi-launch coaster in North America. Featuring four launches and 2 inversions, this coaster, located in the park’s Festa Italia village, will reach a top speed of 72.5 mph, a height of 178 feet, and a drop of 95 degrees, sure to challenge even the bravest riders. 

If a seafaring expedition is more appealing, the Yorktown Sailing Charters is offering historical sightseeing cruises and romantic sunset voyages on board the Yorktown Schooner Alliance. Mariners in training can lend a hand at setting sail and take the helm to steer the ship. As passengers glide along the shores of the York River, they’ll be on the lookout for dolphins and osprey or relive the Golden Age of sailing as the ship cruises past the Yorktown Victory Monument and Battlefield, where the USA won its independence. From April 5-18, “Pirate Cruises” will be offered and children can attend Captain Mayhem’s School of Piracy, where they will learn to raise sails, tie knots, steer the ship, and get tattooed – the removable kind of course!  Pirate Cruises will take sail again starting Memorial Day weekend.

Spring Break in Greater Williamsburg is Ubiquitous with Kids and Family…

Everyone’s favorite yellow bird and cookie gobbling monster are back along with all of their friends at Busch Gardens® Williamsburg Sesame Street® Kids Weekends, every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from April 3 through May 10. Families can join Elmo, Cookie Monster, Rosita, and others in a party just for little ones. These family-friendly weekends will feature shows, games, and more for all to enjoy. 

If getting fit with the fam is on the agenda this spring break, look no further than the DoG Street Pub Running Club. Celebrating their sixth anniversary and 312 runs, DoG Street invites the entire family to celebrate with them March 16 in a family-friendly 5K along with raffles, vendors, and most importantly, cupcakes. The party begins at 5 p.m. while the run commences at 6 p.m. Similarly, on April 4, the Victory YMCA will host its 5K, 10K and Family Fun Run at Riverwalk Landing in Yorktown between 8 a.m. and noon Run past historic landmarks such as the Yorktown Victory Monument, Cornwallis’ Cave, and Surrender Field and bring the kids for fun, active play, and educational activities. 

Families who prefer cycling together can get their fill at the 15th Annual Dominion Energy Cap2Cap Bike Ride May 9. Participants can choose from four scenic ride options: Suncrush Century Ride, Virginia Credit Union Half-Century, Quarter Century, and Sentara Family Fun Ride. New for 2020, riders will have the option to start and finish at Dorey Park in Henrico County or Chickahominy Riverfront Park in James City County. Both locations will feature an exciting post-ride celebration with a live band and vendor expo. 

For miniature history buffs, Colonial Williamsburg has created a new children’s activity guide in the form of a stitch book, inspired by the commonplace books of the 18th century. Much like a journal, people would record thoughts, ideas, or quotes that caught their interest. As they travel through Colonial Williamsburg this spring, young guests will get to collect pages for this book that will inspire them to engage in discussions and interpretations at the sites they encounter and provide them with further activities that they can take home. 

Pirate fans of all ages will get to play out all their swashbuckling fantasies at Pirates Invade Yorktown, April 25 and 26. This action-packed event will include lessons and legends from pirates’ lives in the 17th and 18th centuries, as well as hands-on activities and a treasure hunt for the pint-sized seafarers. Everyone will get a chance to explore a pirate encampment, attend pirate school, witness a pirate trial, and observe exciting cannon demonstrations. Complimenting this event, Yorktown Market Days will hold a Pirate Invasion Market April 25 in Riverwalk Landing. 

Serious gamers need not worry during school vacation because New World VR has them covered Monday through Friday with a game pass for $100 per person. Teens and tweens will be thrilled to know they can play any virtual reality game in-house any time all week long. To keep things fair, New World will keep half-hour rotations on seated and standing stations. Free beverages and pizza for $5 extra will be on offer and extended hours of 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. will be in operation. Children under 10 must be accompanied by an adult. 

What’s a Vacation without Indulging in the Local Cuisine and Libations…

Kicking off spring break, Mobjack Bay Coffee Roasters and Petite Café will host a Backyard Oyster Roast Saturday, April 4, from noon to 4 p.m. In addition to the roasted oysters, guests can nibble on corn on the cob, petite sandwiches, and potato salad. Tickets are $35 a person and $15 for 20 years and under with the cost including one glass bottle drink, coffee, tea, or water. Wine and beer will be available for purchase.

Culture Fix is bringing its newest weekend festival to Downtown Williamsburg in April with Scrumptious, a four-day event involving all things food, drink, music, and art. A free community concert will kick-start the festival on April 25 with music by Slapnation and food trucks by Matchsticks BBQ Company and FoodaTude. The festival continues with Foodapalooza: A Festival of Taste April 26 and a line-up of foodie events on April 27 including the Williamsburg farmers market and Truly Scrumptious, and Young and Hungry. The mega weekend concludes April 28 with the 56th Annual Art on the Square and the Williamsburg Craft Beer Festival.

Beer aficionados will be pleased to know that the Virginia Beer Company is celebrating its fourth anniversary in March, and the week leading up to this momentous event will be filled with new beers on tap before culminating into an all-day beer and music festival March 28. Local restaurants will also partake in the 4-Year Freeversary along with entertainment for all ages and beers that have never before been released. 

A stop at the local markets is always a must-see on the itinerary. The Sister Cities French Market on April 18 celebrates the spirit of the Saturday market in Port-Vendres, Yorktown's sister city since 1990. The market features French music, wine, and traditional market products such as freshly baked bread, pastries, chocolates, macarons, crepes, and authentic beignets. Shoppers can also enjoy a wine garden featuring French wines, a silent auction, and student exchange raffle. 

No vacation or weekend away is complete without a stop at the ice cream shop, and kiddies, or perhaps the young at heart, will be delighted to know that Baskin-Robbins is charging a mere $1.70 per scoop all day long on the 31st of every month to celebrate 31. 

After satisfying epicurean cravings, a more intellectual approach to food will also be available as The Watermen’s Museum reopens March 31 with an exciting new exhibit called Bay to Belly. This collaborative project with Thomas Nelson Community College will examine the “foodways” of the Chesapeake, looking at everything from harvesting and packing seafood to local recipes and family traditions passed down over the years. The exhibit will be set up in the Carriage House until April 10 before moving to Thomas Nelson Community College, and then to other museums around the Chesapeake Bay for up to 18 months before returning to Yorktown. 

Spring Break Doesn’t Mean Taking a Break from Going Green… 

The month of April has become synonymous with Earth Day, and Yorktown is getting a jump-start with a very special Go Green Market on April 11 to mark the opening of their Market Days Season at Riverwalk Landing. The market will promote environmental sustainability, so be sure to bring your reusable bags for shopping. There will also be a limited supply of free giveaways, educational children’s crafts, activities, and games, in addition to more than 40 local artists, vendors, food trucks, live music, and a special chef cooking demonstration. Markets run weekly through Oct. 3 except for May 2, July 4 and Oct. 3. 

Ditch the car and hop on the free Yorktown Trolley, one of the best ways to see Historic Yorktown. Friendly guides offer helpful information about each stop so visitors can focus on the scenery, history, and their next dining experience. The designated route goes from Yorktown Battlefield Visitor Center to the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, making several convenient stops along the way. Each trolley is ADA accessible and Trolley #4 features an interactive tracking system with an ETA app that can be downloaded. This new addition to the fleet also has an infotainment system, individual adjustable air vents, and a stabilized chassis system making for a smooth and comfortable ride around town. 

There’s No Escaping the Past…

Greater Williamsburg is teeming with chronicles of America’s past. There is no better place to come face to face with the origin of our nation and the birth of democracy. Beginning April 1, Colonial Williamsburg will present intersections in front of the Raleigh Tavern, where a dramatic look at members of Williamsburg’s diverse community will take place, delving into the ordinary and extraordinary moments of their lives as a significant milestone in the American Revolution unfolds. Visitors can engage and discover how this American story converges with their own. 

If an education in U.S. history includes spine-tingling chills, then look no further than Colonial Ghost Tours, LLC.  Ranked as one of the top 10 ghost tours in America, Colonial Ghosts will provide a tour with genuine hauntings and not merely “orbs” on cameras. Stories are based on research, eyewitness haunting interviews, and a ghost story book connected to factual and historic events. A booking discount of 10% off is being offered through April 5 with a special code. 

Come this spring, Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown are presenting a variety of experiences for all ages. These living-history museums tell the story of the nation’s beginnings through engaging experiences in gallery exhibits and recreated outdoor settings. An array of special exhibitions, events, and programs are offered throughout the year including the below: 

  • Through March 22: “Forgotten Soldier” Special Exhibition, American Revolution Museum at Yorktown – Discover personal stories of enslaved and free African Americans on both sides of the American Revolution and their contributions toward establishing an independent nation.  
  • March 7 – April 26: “18th National Exhibition of the American Society of Marine Artists” Special Exhibition, Jamestown Settlement – Since its founding more than 40 years ago, the American Society of Marine Artists has presented its prestigious National Exhibition every three years in museums across the country, highlighting the works of artists representing the best in American marine art by juried competition. The special exhibition also features a “paint out” at the ships' pier March 7 (weather dependent).
  • March 21-22: Military Through the Ages, Jamestown Settlement – More than 500 military reenactors and modern-day units show how uniforms, weapons, and military tactics evolved through the centuries.
  • April 7-11: “The Tempest,” Jamestown Settlement, 7:30 p.m. – This tale of revenge and redemption on a magical island, believed to have been inspired by the wreck of the Jamestown-bound ship Sea Venture in 1609, blows into Jamestown Settlement in celebration of the month Shakespeare was born. An evening ticketed event.

Travelers can also find a variety of ways to plan a visit this spring to America's past with the following packages:

  • American Heritage Annual Pass
    An annual pass to Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown provides unlimited admission to each museum, valid for one year and includes daytime museum exhibits and special events. 
  • History Is Fun!
    A combination ticket to Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown provides unlimited admission to each museum for seven consecutive days when purchased online. 
  • Jamestown and Yorktown Four-Site Value
    One ticket for seven consecutive days of unlimited admission to Jamestown Settlement, Historic Jamestowne, Yorktown Battlefield, and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. 
  • America’s Historic Triangle
    One ticket for seven consecutive days of unlimited visits to five historical attractions – Jamestown Settlement, Historic Jamestowne, Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown Battlefield, and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown. 
  • Williamsburg Flex
    One ticket for seven consecutive days of unlimited visits, spring to midfall, to six attractions – Jamestown Settlement, Historic Jamestowne, Colonial Williamsburg, Yorktown Battlefield, American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, and Busch Gardens – and can be packaged with lodging. From mid-May through Labor Day, the Williamsburg Flex ticket includes Water Country USA as a free bonus. 

Antique collectors and avid gardeners fear not because a history lesson awaits. Historic Garden Week will take place in Williamsburg April 21 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and offers shuttles to a transitional waterfront home, writer’s cottage, conservatory, and home that was designed for aging-in-place. In addition, garden experts will be available at a mini-symposium to answer garden-related questions. On April 28, the world-famous Antiques Roadshow comes to Colonial Williamsburg in its 24th season. Often described as a mix of adventure, history, and treasure hunt, the Antiques Roadshow is certain to draw in both fans and newcomers. 

A Taste of Music and the Arts…

Spring in Greater Williamsburg is truly a feast for the senses. Travelers can take a step back from the nonstop action and relax at one of the area’s music festivals or artistic performances. Virginia’s only almost year-round arts and street festival is held on the second Sunday of every month from March through December. 2nd Sundays Williamsburg allows visitors to stroll the streets of Colonial Williamsburg while taking in unique arts, handcrafts, and live music in a fun, family-friendly atmosphere.

For a historical perspective at music, each spring the annual Drummers Call takes place in Colonial Williamsburg. This weekend-long showcase of 18th-century military music explores the important roles played by fifers and drummers in programs featuring Colonial Williamsburg's Fifes and Drums, alumni, and corps visiting from across the nation.

The Jug Broke Theatre of Colonial Williamsburg has expanded its cast and will be performing at the Play House Stage beginning April 1. Engaging audiences with a few props and an abundance of creativity, this troupe of entertainers will delight with their family-friendly dramatizations inspired by the 18th century. 

Shopping to Bring the Memories Back Home…

Purchasing a unique souvenir that serves as a reminder of an extraordinary Greater Williamsburg vacation is essential. The Gallery at York Hall features paintings, pottery, jewelry, stained glass, quilts, and other pieces from more than 300 local artists and includes several exclusive Yorktown prints, ornaments, paintings, and other memorabilia. A portion of every purchase supports performing and visual arts in Historic Yorktown so you can feel good while you shop. If a one-of-a-kind boutique in a beautiful setting sounds like the perfect retail experience, visiting the Merchants Square may have to be added to the agenda. Between April 24 and 26, shoppers can linger longer and dine in the heart of Merchants Square during their epic spring Sidewalk Sale. 

For more ideas about adventures in Greater Williamsburg, explore the 10 most popular attractionsfind some family fun and plan your next visit now. 

 

 

 

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