Imagine taking your student group on a trip back in time. Not only to stroll past historic buildings, but to become immersed in history by engaging and interacting with real people portraying people of the past and teaching history through the demonstrations, reenactments, and stories of our struggles to become Americans. Colonial Williamsburg offers guests unique opportunities to discover 18th-century life in colonial Virginia. By experiencing this restored and living 18th-century town, you have the opportunity to learn firsthand, about the roots of American independence.
Williamsburg was the political, social, and cultural capital of Great Britain’s largest, wealthiest, and most populous colony. The Hall of the House of Burgesses at the Capitol echoes with the voices of Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and other Virginia leaders who debated the issues of freedom and liberty for Virginians.
Stores, shops, and taverns along Duke of Gloucester Street, the main thoroughfare, bustle with activity. At the Golden Ball Silversmith Shop, watch skilled craftspeople turn bars of silver into goblets, pitchers, and other exquisite objects. The silversmith is one of nearly two dozen trades that demonstrate the daily work of many 18th-century working Americans.
Stop in at the Pasteur and Galt Apothecary Shop and learn about the latest 18th-century health care techniques. At the Courthouse, you might be invited to be a witness, defendant, or judge in a re-creation of a court case from the 1700s. And while you’re there, remember to have your picture taken in the stocks or pillory!
Across the street is the Magazine, scene of the Gunpowder Incident of April 1775, in which British marines removed the colony’s powder under orders from Lord Dunmore, the royal governor. This incident galvanized the colonists and threatened to launch Virginia into war.
Throughout the town, you’ll feel the uncertainty and concerns of people living during a time of revolution. At the newly reconstructed Anderson Blacksmith Shop and Public Armoury, talk with a blacksmith, tinsmith, or soldier and learn about the needs of a country at war. At the Magazine you may be enlisted to join Williamsburg’s independent company, given a “weapon,” and drilled in the finer points of marching.
Find yourself fully in the colonial past as you learn an 18th-century dance, take part in a witch trial, or march with the Fifes and Drums. Become a part of daily life at Great Hopes Plantation and discover how most Virginians lived—on small plantations outside the city. Interact with farmers, carpenters, and slaves and share in their daily chores, like grinding corn or tending the animals. Young guests will especially enjoy the James Geddy House and Foundry, where they learn about 18th-century family life and household activities from costumed interpreters their own age. They may even be invited to try their hand at writing with a quill pen or playing a colonial game.
Before your school group leaves home, please be sure to visit our website for tips to make your trip special, engaging, and safe. We look forward to seeing you. Group pricing is available. To plan a trip or make reservations, call 1-800-361-7241 or visitVisit the Website