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June 12, 2009

Interactive family programs invite youngsters to learn what life was like on the eve of the American Revolution

“A Kid’s Summer Program” offers a wide range of programs for the budding revolutionary. Young guests to Colonial Williamsburg can learn how families lived on the eve of the American Revolution. Running June 22-Aug. 23, most programs are offered seven days a week and take place in Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area and the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg.

The programs center around two main areas of the town-sized Historic Area. Downtown—Near the Capitol features the premier family site, the Benjamin Powell House, with special activities at the Gaol (Jail) and the popular Revolutionary City® program. The second area is Uptown—Near the Palace, Courthouse and Magazine features “Games and Toys for All Girls and Boys” on Palace Green from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m. and “The Geddy House” and “The Magazine—A Hub of Military Activity” from 2-3:30 p.m. daily. All About Town invites you to explore other sites and programs scattered around the Historic Area, including Great Hopes Plantation, the Brickyard and “Dancing at Home.”

Some programs only run on specific days, and a schedule of events may be obtained in the Visitor Center. The schedule includes:

Downtown—Near the Capitol

  • Mother Goose’s Riddles and Rhymes Tour, 9:15 and 9:45 a.m. Explore the Powell family’s property with Mother Goose in mind. Children must be accompanied by a ticketed adult. Free reservations can be made at any ticket sales location. Approximately 45 minutes. Recommended for children between three and seven years of age.
  • Benjamin Powell House, open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. An original house where kids and families of all types get their hands on history. Lessons, chores and games galore!
  • Gaol, open daily, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This original building housed the gaoler, his family and a variety of prisoners from pirates to prisoners of war. Discover something particular or peculiar about the prisoners’ cells.
  • Revolutionary City, 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
  • Get Revved! in front of the Raleigh Tavern, 10:45 a.m. Join the interpreters and learn how best to enjoy the premier attraction, Revolutionary City. Find out when and where you are in history and how to interact with what is going on in front of, behind, beside, all around you.
  • Delightful Diversions for Families 2:30 and 3 p.m., Charlton’s Coffeehouse backyard, Tuesday-Sunday. A hodgepodge of fun for everyone. Different activities and programs alternate throughout the week.
    Uptown-near the Palace, Courthouse and Magazine
  • Colonial Garden, “From Seed to Harvest.” Open daily, weather permitting. Follow the seasons and lend a hand at the Colonial Garden across from Bruton Parish Church.
  • Games and Toys for All Girls and Boys, Palace Green. Open daily, weather permitting. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 1:30-4:30 p.m. Try your hand at an 18th-century game or enjoy a toy that one of your great-great-great-great-grandparents played with. Even our Founding Fathers were children once!
  • Geddy House, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Wednesdays). James Geddy, his wife and five children lived in this house and worked in the attached silversmith shop. Find out about their lives.
  • Wythe House, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Tuesdays). George Wythe was a staunch patriot. He was a lawyer, teacher, plantation owner and signed the Declaration of Independence. You may have heard of one of his students—Thomas Jefferson, who wrote the document his teacher signed.
  • KAPOW! – Kids and Parents Orientation Walk – led by kids for kids, 10:15 and 11:15 a.m. in front of the Greenhow Lumber House Ticket Office. Hands-on orientation to the world of colonial kids and to the world of kids’ programs in Colonial Williamsburg’s Historic Area and Art Museums.
  • Magazine—A Hub of Military Activity, 2-3:30 p.m. daily Join the army! Practice the manual of arms with your drill sergeant. Develop your soldiering skills to be ready to defend Virginia against the Redcoats.
  • Oh, WOW—Orientation Hangout, Williamsburg Our Way. 2-3:30 p.m. beside the Greenhow Lumber House Ticket Office. Daily, weather permitting. Stop by and enjoy some hands-on activities while we help you figure out how best to enjoy everything Colonial Williamsburg has to offer.

    All About Town

  • Great Hopes Plantation, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed Wednesdays). A visit to this working farm gives you a feeling for how most of Virginia lived more than 200 years ago. Take a walk across the footbridge from the Visitor Center and turn off the path to step back in time.
  • Dancing at Home. Join in a dance lesson of the colonial style. Through Aug. 13.
    Tuesday—1:30-3 p.m., Powell House during tours;
    Wednesday-1:30,2 and 2:30 p.m., Raleigh Tavern; and
    Thursday—1:30-3 p.m., Wythe House during tours.
  • Theater for the Young, Playbooth Theater, 1:30 p.m. Saturdays only. Join our troupe of actors onstage as you, the young Revolutionary citizen and theatrical apprentice, take the stage in a fun, fast-paced play about a Virginia patriot and the adventure he shares with his friends and countrymen.

    Additional activities that are back by popular demand include:

  • The Apprentice! Tour, 9:30, 9:55 and 10:20 a.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. See ticket for starting location. On this guided tour, visit three trade shops and decide just what you want to be when you grow up. The tradesmen and women share some of the arts and mysteries of their trades providing an exclusive interactive experience to prospective “apprentices.” You receive a bag with descriptions of the trades you visit, along with a marbled paper cover to bring them all together. Each trade you visit provides you with a memento to take home. At the end of the tour you will have what you need to decide what trade you want to pursue. Tickets are $15 for adults and children age 6 and over and $7.50 for children under 6, in addition to any Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Let’s Go to the Farm (formerly The Apprentice Goes to the Farm), 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. See ticket for starting location. This popular tour takes young guests and their families where most of the free and enslaved population lived in Virginia before, during and after the American Revolution. At Great Hopes Plantation, children may help work the crops, draw and carry the water, help with building, see some livestock and learn about the life of 18th-century small farmers and their enslaved workers. Young guests receive a bag with descriptions of the life skills they experience, along with a marbled paper cover to bring them all together. Tickets cost $15 for adults and children age 6 and over and $7.50 for children under 6, in addition to any Colonial Williamsburg admission ticket. All children must be accompanied by an adult. See ticket for starting location.
  • Work and Play, All in A Day, 10-11:45 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays every 15 minutes. Join us for a special tour at the James Geddy House and discover what kinds of work and play make up the day for the silversmith’s children. (Space is limited.)

    A Colonial Williamsburg ticket provides access to these programs. A separate ticket is needed where indicated.

    Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Within the restored and reconstructed buildings, historic interpreters, attired as colonial men and women from slaves to shopkeepers to soldiers, relate stories of colonial Virginia society and culture – stories of our journey to become Americans – while historic trades people research, demonstrate and preserve the 18th-century world of work and industry. As Colonial Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution guests interact with history through “Revolutionary City®” – a dramatic live street theater presentation.

    Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s Web site at

    Media Contact:
    Penna Rogers
    (757) 220-7121

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