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.

Ice Skating at Colonial Williamsburg

What fun to see people of all skill levels enjoying the new skating rink on Duke of Gloucester Street in Colonial Williamsburg, VA. You can check the hours of operation and buy tickets online at Colonial Williamsburg’s site.

$12 Tickets to Busch Gardens Christmas Town Available Certain Dates

If you plan to visit Busch Gardens Christmas Town on certain days this season, you can purchase tickets for only $12 online. That’s a savings of $15 off the regular $27 price. You must redeem the tickets November 21, 22, 23, 30, Dec 5, 7, 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, or 30, 2014.

$12 tickets to Busch Gardens Christmas Town 2014

Williamsburg Community Pool

I have fond memories of riding my bike to Williamsburg Community Pool and playing with my friends in the sun, so I was glad to see today’s article in the Virginia Gazette.

When you need a place to swim laps, play with the family, or just chill out, without the extra travel time needed for Water Country USA, this is great option.

New family memberships are $295 for the season and returning families pay $320. It’s well run and maintained, plus it’s convenient to shopping for a few errands on the way home when you’re feeling refreshed.

Williamsburg Community Pool, photo by Ann Effimetz

Bounce House

If a bounce house at a festival is fun, then what is a whole warehouse filled with bounce houses? Super fun! That’s what my 3 and 2-year old nieces thought today at Bounce House Inflatable Playground at 3032 Richmond Rd. in Williamsburg. They ran from house to house, climbing, sliding, and giggling the whole time. At $10 each for toddlers, it was a great way to run off some steam and prepare for naps in the car for the long ride home.

The weekend rate for kids 5 – 12 years old is $13. They also have bumper cars for an extra fee. I was impressed with the cleanliness of the place and was told by the staff that they carefully vacuum and sanitize the vinyl houses. With adirondack chairs for the adults, family-friendly restrooms, and a snack bar, it’s a fun outing.

Bounce House, Williamsburg, VA


Bounce House, Williamsburg, VA

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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


Another Great Turkey Trot 5K to Benefit Local Charity

I had so much fun cheering my friends when they ran in the Blue Talon Bistro 5K Turkey Trot a couple of years ago that I decided to check it out again this year. They’ve almost doubled the number of participants in two years! I’m not surprised, because it’s great exercise and entertainment for the whole family on Thanksgiving morning. Registration money benefits the Williamsburg Area Meals on Wheels program, a very worthwhile organization.

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.

Free “Beat the Bully” Workshops for Families

Williamsburg Native was contacted by Master Joseph Ash of BAEPLEX Family Martial Arts Center with news of his free workshops for families. Teaching kids how to be more confident and to know how to respond to predatory behavior is a valuable community service. Attending a workshop also sounds like a great way to learn more about martial arts and to see if it’s right for your children.


From Master Ash’s press release:


BAEPLEX Family Martial Arts Center invites parents to bring their children to the school’s FREE Beat-the-Bully Workshops, August 5, 12, & 19 from 5 – 5:45pm at both locations 3435A John Tyler Hwy and 7500A Richmond Rd.


According to many government and institutional studies, thousands of children stay home from school everyday because of their fear of bullies. This is an opportune time for children and parents to arm themselves with current mental and physical skills to avoid Bullies this coming school year.


BAEPLEX emphasizes that the purpose of martial arts is not to teach children how to fight, but, in fact, quite the opposite. It’s learning the skills to project an attitude of self-confidence that deter bullies before they even challenge children, to become more aware of one’s surroundings and to report such incidents to the appropriate adults.


“This is definitely one of those issues where knowledge is power and now is the time. As we approach another school year, I would like to open my schools to all area families so we can share our knowledge and skills about making our community a much safer place for children to play, go to school and walk the streets,” says Master Ash.


“Our Beat-the-Bully Workshops will also include other personal-safety skills, such as abductor and Internet predator awareness, self-defense and developing the self-confidence to put these skills into action.”


Please contact BAEPLEX for more information about attending these FREE Workshops;

(757) 229 – 2237 or (757) 645 – 4030.



Master Joseph B. Ash

Baeplex Family Martial Arts



(757) 229-2237