When most people hear the word history, they automatically think back to days spent memorizing dates and facts, long lectures on never-ending battles and boring textbooks. But history should be fun, and students should look back on their education with fond memories.
That’s where Virginia’s Colonial Williamsburg comes in. It is an educational adventure unlike any other and the perfect trip for any student group. At Colonial Williamsburg students get to see history come alive, to join in on the action instead of reading it from a textbook. Students can unleash their inner colonists as they become a citizen of Revolutionary City, interact with costumed interpreters and discover firsthand what it was like to be a colonist during the Revolutionary War.
A Revolutionary Change of Clothes
The first thing to do once your group arrives at Colonial Williamsburg is to get into character. Get dressed up in an 18th century reproduction costume. Girls have a variety of dresses and sashes to choose from and boys have their picks of shirts. All of the costumes are made locally and come in a wide variety of colors. These costumes put students into the moment and make the stories they will learn all the more relevant. Along with the costume, students will receive an introductory letter to Revolutionary City filled with activities to do around town.
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There is a multitude of fun and educational activities just waiting to be discovered once everyone is dressed and ready it’s time to explore Colonial Williamsburg.
Watch History Come Alive
At Colonial Williamsburg, students have the opportunity to interact with some of history’s most famous faces and the everyday people who helped win the Revolutionary War. Talk with the townspeople, tradespeople, shopkeepers, political figures and others who faced challenges in everyday life set against the backdrop of the Revolution. After exploring the various landmarks and learning the stories of the American colonists, make sure to join the troops as they march to Yorktown for battle.
Get in touch with your sneaky side at Rev Quest: The King’s Advance one of the programs offered to student groups. The state of Virginia is in trouble as the British Army quickly heads its way. Governor Jefferson has come up with a way to head off the troops and continue fighting the Revolutionary War. He needs a vast network of spies and that’s where you come in. Change the course of history with your espionage skills, complete tasks on the streets of Williamsburg and help the governor win the war.
Stop by the Brickyard to learn how the brick and mortar are turned into the beautiful buildings around Williamsburg. Participants in the program Level and Plumb will be able to work with period-correct tools and learn basic masonry skills. They will learn how the brick and mortar are made.
Get your hands dirty at DIG! Kids, Dirt and Discovery. Students learn the ins and out of archaeology as they get their hands dirty in this hands-on excavation. The 50-minute activity provides an introduction to digging, screening and lab work. Make sure to grab a bucket and a trowel before you head out to dig for real artifacts.
For those who enjoy scary stories, Tavern Ghost Walk is the perfect activity. Follow a costumed interpreter through the taverns and historic buildings of Colonial Williamsburg. Learn about the ghosts that still haunt these areas and the rich folklore of the Revolutionary City.
At Sword Play, prepare for an evening of entertainment and fun. Mr. Hallam’s Traveling Players presents an exciting show that includes blades and fisticuffs. Watch as they show off weapons of the 18th century coupled with the actors’ amazing skills.
Or head to the center of town to participate in Williamsburg’s newest program, Rare Breeds. Various rare breeds of animals such as sheep, ox and poultry will make the trek from the barns and pastures in order to give students a better opportunity to interact with them. Meet the animals and ask guides questions about how the breeds have survived the past 250 years. Actor-interpreters will periodically ride up on horseback to talk with students and answer questions. Students can also join a number of hands-on activities that involve bones, hides, horns and wool. This outdoor exhibit is the perfect combination of learning and fun.
Learning should be about more than memorizing facts and reading from a textbook. And that is why Colonial Williamsburg is the perfect location for any student travel group. It provides an education adventure unlike any other, because at Williamsburg the students are leading the charge for learning. They are the ones who interact with various guides and participate in activities. Go back in time as Colonial Williamsburg transports you and your students into the middle of the Revolutionary War.
So what’s next? Make sure to contact Colonial Williamsburg by using one of the methods below. If you’ve taken a trip to Williamsburg before, make sure to let us know about it in the comments below!