2013 Christmas Decorations in Colonial Williamsburg

I hope you get to see the decorations for yourself, but if you can’t make it, here is my video tour. Enjoy!


Special Price for Colonial Williamsburg Annual Pass

Until May 31, 2013 you an purchase  a Colonial Williamsburg season pass for the price of single day admission — a 35 % savings.

The Salute to Virginia Pass includes:

• Unlimited admission to 35 exhibition sites and 19 Historic Trades shops

• Access to Colonial Williamsburg’s three  museums

• Shuttle bus service

• Special walking tours (reservations required)

• 25 percent discount on other tours, evening programs and carriage rides

• Seasonal discounts on admission tickets for family and friends

• 10 percent discount on Busch Gardens and Water Country USA single-day admission tickets

 Passes are $41.95 for adults and $20.95 for youths and are valid through the end of the calendar year.

For more information or to purchase Salute to Virginia Passes, visit www.colonialwilliamsburg.com/salute or call (800) 447-8679.

2012 Christmas Decorations in Colonial Williamsburg

I hope you get to enjoy the decorations in the historic area for yourself. If not, here’s my video tour. The music includes “What Child Is This?,” “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “In the Bleak Midwinter,” “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear,” and “The Holly and the Ivy.” Merry Christmas!

2012 Grand Illumination Schedule and Map

Thanks to Colonial Williamsburg and the Virginia Gazette for publishing the schedule of events for tomorrow’s Grand Illumination. Click the images to see larger PDFs. See you there!

2011 Williamsburg Christmas Decorations

I hope you get to see the decorations in Colonial Williamsburg for yourself, but if you can’t get here, enjoy my video tour. The soundtrack includes Greensleeves, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, and In the Bleak Midwinter. Merry Christmas!

Family Activities After the Thanksgiving Feast

Having the whole family in town for Thanksgiving? You’ll need to plan some activities for the non-football fans. There’s always shopping on Black Friday, but if that’s not your thing, try these ideas:

  • For theme park fun lovers, Busch Garden’s Christmas Town is open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (Nov. 25-27, 3:00-10:00 p.m.)
  • Visit Colonial Williamsburg
  • Catch a performance of Coyote Run‘s Celtic Solstice Celebration at the Kimball Theater on Merchants Square. This popular local band is back in town for their annual Thanksgiving weekend concert. Read last year’s review. Call 1-800-447-8679 for tickets: $20/$17/$14.
  • Get a copy of The Art-Full Tree by local authors Jan Gilliam and Christina Westenberger. It’s available at Colonial Williamsburg and Barnes and Noble locally, as well as online. The book shows you how to make Christmas ornaments inspired by objects in the museum’s collections from household materials and supplies readily available at craft stores.
  • Visit the Williamburg Antiques Mall for a trip down memorabilia lane with your older relatives. You can also score some vintage Christmas gifts. Be sure to laugh lovingly at the people circling for parking spots at the Premium Outlets on your way to the other side of the railroad tracks. (Closed Thanksgiving Day)
  • Get some exercise at Freedom Park, at the intersection of Longhill and Centerville Roads. There’s a brand new interpretive center where you can learn about Hotwater Plantation in the 1650s and one of the earliest free black settlements. With more than 20 miles of wooded trails, you’ll be hungry for turkey leftovers in no time.
  • Head to Jamestown Settlement for their new exhibit The 17th Century: Gateway to the Modern World. You’ll learn how explorers helped transition from the old world of Mediterranean and European centers of commerce to the globally connected world in the 1600s—with lots of gorgeous paintings and artifacts for illustration.
  • Check out the paintings of Amy Hautman     and ceramics by Lynn Trott at This Century Art Gallery.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Expect “Dark” Scares at Howl-O-Scream this Fall

2011 Howl-O-Scream Cast at the Busch Garden's Members' Preview

2011 Howl-O-Scream Cast at the Members' Preview













It was worth getting soggy in today’s rain to romp around Busch Gardens on Members’ Appreciation Day. We were treated to free breakfast in the Festhaus while we waited for the Howl-O-Scream preview and unveiling of the new rollercoaster planned for 2012: Verbolten! You won’t see me riding Verbolten. I’ll heed the warnings not to go into the Black Forest. Bad things happen there.

I’ll let my friends try Howl-O-Scream first, because I’m a horror show weenie. The park directors report that folks have been begging for scarier stuff, so this year, they’re pulling out the stops. Parents are cautioned that after 6:00 p.m., the themes will be “very dark” and to use discretion before letting kids attend. For family-friendly “silly scares” attend Howl-O-Scream during the day.

Fireworks Every Friday on Palace Green, Colonial Williamsburg

This year was the first time in 35 years that the Fourth of July fireworks at Colonial Williamsburg were canceled due to heavy rain. Happily, CW has decided to celebrate with fireworks and music in their Salute to the Nation program, every Friday at 9:00 p.m. on Palace Green, through August 26th.

Explore Artifacts at the Archaearium

Summer in Tidewater, Virginia abounds with outdoor activities. Thankfully, we also have fun indoor activities when we need to take a break in air-conditioned comfort. The Archaearium (a museum for archaological artifacts) is one of the best places to cool off, learn something, and have fun doing it.

Visit the Archaearium at Historic Jamestowne on Saturday, July 16 between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. to “help the archaeologists sort through the smallest excavated material to find animal bones, shells and seeds that give us clues to life at Jamestown. Bly Straube, senior archaeological curator, shows guests some cool artifacts displayed at the Nathalie P. and Alan M. Voorhees Archaearium, and they can try our Artifact Quest scavenger hunt too. There also will be crafts to do and many exhibits to explore during this daylong adventure.” Included with $10 admission fee.

Kids 8 – 12 can also sign up for one of two summer camp sessions. Find more information at Historic Jamestowne’s calendar.

Win a 2-night stay at Great Wolfe Lodge, Williamsburg

Great Wolfe Lodge is holding a Slideathon to benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters. Purchase a $20 raffle ticket at http://www.gwlslideathon.com/faf/home/default.asp?ievent=476663 for your chance to win:

1st Prize:
Two night stay at the Great Wolf Lodge, Williamsburg, for 6 people. Includes 6 Water Park Passes.
Dinner for 6 at the Loose Moose Restaurant or Jungle Jims Restaurant
In-room Amenity
$40 in Arcade tokens
Cabana rental during stay
1 Spa service in Elements Spa
6 rounds of mini-golf & VIP access to Gr8space
6 Busch Gardens Tickets
[Read more…]