Spring Break in Jamestown


Ahhhh…Spring break for the kiddies.

Depending on the age of your kids, this could mean several things: Too much time to get into trouble, thanks to that recently acquired driver license; too much time in front of the television; or too much time pestering you because they’re bored.

One way to avoid the wasted days of stay-at-home spring breaks is to take a trip. If you’re lucky enough to be able to get away during your kids’ spring break, may we recommend a spring break family vacation that is both entertaining and educational, (but you don’t have to tell the kids that). Head to Williamsburg, Virginia and go see the nearby historic, living history museum that is the Jamestown Settlement.

Why Jamestown?

Jamestown Settlement, like its original colony, is bustling with activity all the time, making it a great place to take the kids during a spring break vacation. The environment of 17th-century Virginia is brought back to life in the Jamestown exhibitions. The galleries and exhibits take visitors through a timeline of events that led to the colonization and success of Jamestown. Hundreds of artifacts from Europe, Africa and Colonial Virginia are integrated into the displays, adding to the display’s authenticity. Every 30 minutes, the documentary 1607: A Nation Takes Root traces the steps taken by those who formed first permanent English colony on continental soil.

Jamestown Settlement ReenactmentIf the kids are getting squirmy after sitting through 30 minutes, take them outside to let off steam. You and the kids can board replica 17th Century ships, the Susan Constant, Godspeed and Discovery, trek through a replica of the fort built by the settlers and tour a Powhatan village. The Riverfront Discovery Area is bustling with activity and activities for kids as well. Visitors will learn about European, Powhatan and African activities that centered around the water. All exhibits and activities are manned by actors dressed in clothing from the 17th Century, making the setting all the more realistic and entertaining.

If your children are interested, or your oldest is too cool to participate in interactive activities, introduce them the Jamestown Settlement podcasts. Let them stroll around Jamestown with you (not too close, of course) and listen to their MP3 player. Programs cover topics such as international trade, the expansion of Jamestown and Pocahontas. The well-read narratives are both compelling and easy to follow.

At the end of the spring break day, once you’ve seen the ships, city buildings and colonial work stations, grab a bite to eat at the Jamestown Settlement Café. With a menu that includes salads, Brunswick Stew, sandwiches, Angus burgers and even pizza, there will be something to please every pallet.

Make sure to save time, too, to cross the James River to James Island. That’s where you’ll find Historic Jamestowne, actual site of the original Fort James and subsequent colony. You’ll see building remnants and new archeological discoveries (discovered in an ongoing dig) that complement and reinforce what you’ve learned earlier in the day.

It might not start out as your kids’ idea for a spring break , but it well could end up one of the most memorable family vacations you’ll ever take.