When planning our drive up to Washington, DC, a friend sent me a link to a Groupon coupon for a cheap 2 night stay in Williamsburg. Well, we knew we’d need a hotel anyway, so why not stop for an extra day and have some fun? (Plus, we could call it educational and therefore, “home school field trip” HA!)
Little did we know that the closest thing to a cold front we’d have this winter happened THAT WEEKEND. As in, I have no coat (we shipped all of our heavy winter stuff ahead) and it STARTED TO SNOW WHILE WE WERE THERE. Isn’t that lovely???
But here is the GREAT, GREAT news about Williamsburg, especially if you are a homeschooler. They have “homeschool weekends!” Usually on an off-season week, and the prices were ridiculously low. As in, hubby and I paid $10 for full admission, and both of our kids got in FREE because they were under 6.
I will say, that cold nasty weather made that particular visit not so much fun. Not many “outside” events were happening, and being off-season, not as many shops/events were open as normal. Hubbie and I loved it, and it probably went over the girls’ heads mostly, since we really hadn’t started studying any sort of real history at the time.
Our three favorite stops:
1) The Jailer’s house. Our oldest was fascinated by the jail, and the shackles on their feet. She was also particularly interested in the “throne” (ie. the potty you had to climb up to). She wanted to know that if their feet were shackled (the shackles were bolted to the floor to keep them from being stolen) how did they climb up there to the potty? Thank goodness the guide seemed to have answered that question before, as frankly I didn’t have a clue what to say!
2) The dress shop. I love this, being right in line with my costumed background. And since my mom used to be a seamstress, I really could appreciate the craftsmanship. My girls weren’t so interested, unfortunately, as this was one of the few shops with heat and I would have preferred to stay a bit longer!
3). Lunch. Lunch at the tavern (sorry, can’t remember which one) was AWESOME. We loved it. Super pricey, but since we cheaped out on everything else, it seemed fair to pay a “Goodness gracious!” amount for lunch!
As the day went on, and the weather got worse and worse, and little girl attitudes got worse and worse, we jumped the bus back to the visitor center, stopped at the gift shop (I have an addiction to gift shops and can’t ever seem to pass them up), and headed back to our hotel.
Where we ended up with over three inches of snow on the ground by morning. And that was the only snow we saw all winter!
I am already trying to plan our trip back to Williamsburg this fall during their next homeschool week, since we’re going to be in the area, and hopefully we’ll see more and the girls will “get it” more, since we’re starting to read/study a little bit of American history (American Girl books, Little House on the Prairie, etc.).
Here are some resources, if you would like to build Colonial Williamsburg into your homeschool experience (or not!):
Colonial Williamsburg Education Link and Info: http://www.colonialwilliamsburg.com/discover/educate/
Colonial Williamsburg Homeschoolers Link and Info: http://www.colonialwilliamsburg.com/plan/groups/homeschoolers/
(PS. This fall’s homeschool experience is from September 8-22, 2012!)
Lesson Plans, Worksheets, Teacher Resources, Kids Zone, etc.: http://www.history.org/History/teaching/groupTours/SchoolandYouth/plan.cfm