11 Reasons Every Parent Should Add Williamsburg, VA, To Their Summer Plans

boy zipline williamsburg vaWilliamsburg is in the “buzz.” Buzzfeed.com, that is. I couldn’t agree more with this popular site’s advice for parents: Bring your kids to Williamsburg for a great vacation!

Check out 11 Reasons Every Parent Should Add Williamsburg, VA, To Their Summer Plans for your self and see what all the buzz is about.

Grand Illumination at Colonial Williamsburg is Dec. 6, 2015

Fireworks at the Grand Illumination, Colonial Williamsburg, VA 2012

Fireworks at the Grand Illumination, Colonial Williamsburg, VA 2012

I love Christmas and am so lucky to live in Williamsburg. We celebrate it in many wonderful ways. My favorite is Grand Illumination, which happens on the first Sunday of December each year. I like to start the day shopping in Merchant Square, followed by a late-afternoon walk through the historic area when the sun is low in the sky and illuminating the old brick and gorgeous door decorations in soft winter light.

Here’s 2015 schedule of events for Grand Illumination, Colonial Williamsburg.

Then I enjoy dinner in one of the taverns with friends and family as we wait for the fife and drum parade … and the grand finale of amazing fireworks. It’s Colonial Williamsburg’s best gift to the community and they do it well. See you there!

Fireworks and 4th of July Schedule at Colonial Williamsburg

The most common question I get this time of year is, “what time do the fireworks start?”  Not until well after the sun sets – 9:20 p.m. Colonial Williamsburg posted this schedule for 4th of July events  and you can get pricing for the special meals they’re offering on their site.

10 a.m. Salute to the States behind the Courthouse
Noon A Declaration of Independence at the Courthouse
4–7:30 p.m. Independence Day Celebration: Food,
Fanfare & Fireworks
Casual come-and-go evening at the Williamsburg Lodge
Reservations required
5:30–7 p.m. Colonial Williamsburg Fifes and Drums Perform on Market Square
5–9 p.m. Historic Tavern dining available
Reservations required
8–9:30 p.m. Virginia Symphony Orchestra performs in front of the Governor’s Palace
Reservations required for exclusive seating
9:20 p.m. Fireworks begin
Fireworks at the Grand Illumination, Colonial Williamsburg, VA 2012

Fireworks at the Grand Illumination, Colonial Williamsburg, VA 2012

The second most common question is “where should we park?” Well, the locals know some clever spots, but truly, we’re in the same situation as you. The least stressful plan for out-of-towners  is to park at the Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center and ride the shuttle busses. It’s not glamorous, but the drivers will get you there and then, you won’t spend an hour on Lafayette Street or Richmond Road or Francis Street trying to get back to the interstate.

Yes, it’s worth it!  Each year I go, I’m impressed at the fine show Colonial Williamsburg gives us. See you there!

The Psychological Chicanery of Eric Dobell

Williamsburg Native readers are well aware of the excellent resources at our award-winning Williamsburg Regional Library, so the wonderful musical and theatrical programs offered there are no surprise. However, an unusual program at 7:00 p.m. on April 4, 2013 may raise an eyebrow, and is certain to produce some good laughs. And it’s free, thanks to the Library’s sponsorship.

As his web site explains:

Erik Dobell can read minds… really.

This is because Erik Dobell is a Mentalist. A Mentalist is someone who uses psychology and chicanery to create the illusions of psychic powers. Body language, sleight of hand, suggestion and good ole’ fashion lies are Erik’s tools of the trade. With a mastery of these techniques Erik can perform such feats as:

  • Read the inner thoughts of your audience.
  • Cause solid objects to bend and move in the hands of complete strangers
  • Perform impossible predictions with your president, CEO or other guests of honor.

Erik Dobell isn’t psychic, but it’ll seem that way.

Erik Dobell, Mentalist

Chalk Festival at New Town

Chalk street drawing, New Town Festival, Williamsburg, VA There were several good entries in the Chalk Festival, most of them not 100% done as of 3:30 today. My favorite was Holly Winslow’s little red airplane, which looked 3-dimensional when viewed through a smart phone camera. There were activities for kids, good music, and about 10 vendors. Stop by around 5:00 to see the finished drawings.


Charity Golf Tournament to Support Youth Football and Cheerleading

The James City Jaguars Youth Football and Cheerleading organization (ages 6-14) is holding a charity golf tournament at Ford’s Colony on May 3rd, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. They have 150 football players and cheerleaders from the city of Williamsburg. All proceeds from the event will be used for new equipment and uniforms for the players and cheerleaders. The registration form and details are at www.jamescityjaguars.org. Businesses can


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!

Fireworks for a Salute to the Nation

A Williamsburg Native reader asked if Colonial Williamburg is still shooting fireworks on Friday nights. I found current information on Colonial Williamsburg’s web site for the “Salute to the Nation”  program. They also have a calendar that you can search by date or event.

The fireworks will go off between 8:30 – 8:50 p.m. this Friday, August. 24, 2012, weather permitting. It looks like this is the last blast for the season, so don’t miss out. We’ll have to wait until Grand Illumination on December 2nd for the next celebration with fireworks.

First Night Williamsburg 2012

First Night has a great line up of performers this year. You can purchase your $15 admission button at about 20 locations in town. The  First Night web site does a great job of showing the performers, schedule, parking/shuttle  options, so be sure to check it out. The weather forecast is for clear skies and temps around 40 degrees—perfect for enjoying the fireworks at 11:30. See you there!

Final 2nd Sunday of 2011 on Prince George St.

Enjoy a small-scale, low-key outdoor art show and festival from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. this Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011 on Prince George Street. 2nd Sundays Williamsburg is featuring artist Rob Ingalls of Yorktown and 35 other artisans. There will be hayrides for families through Colonial Williamsburg, Celtic-style music, kid’s crafts, and other fun activities.