Shop for Williamsburg Favorites

I’m a fan of Colonial Williamsburg and Amazon.com, so I decided to create a little shop on Williamsburg Native with some of my favorite items that are available on Amazon. They have a lot of books from Colonial Williamsburg’s vast publication list, but I’ve listed just the favorites I keep on my shelf to share with guests. You’ll enjoy them and they make great gifts, too.

Amazon’s selection of household items isn’t as extensive, but I still found some favorites, so check out my shop for ideas. Ditto for jewelry – but you’ll probably want to see that before you buy it, anyway. Nothing beats a trip to the Golden Ball on Duke of Gloucester street to get your silver or gold bracelet hand-engraved. Then stop at the Raleigh Bakery for a gingerbread cookie and a cup of cider.

Antique Show & Flea Market

I last shot video at this show 4 years ago, so I thought I should update my post to show you their current offerings. There was something for every flea-market enthusiast at this well-attended show, although not as many higher-end offerings as I recall in the past.

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!

RESCHEDULED: Fall Antique Show & Flea Market, Oct. 8, 2011

Our unusually rainy September put the damper on some fun outdoor events, including the Virginia Gazette’s Fall Antique Show & Flea Market.  The event has been rescheduled for Saturday, Oct. 8, from from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Shops at High Street, 1430 Richmond Road. You’ll find more than 100 vendors with antiques, collectibles, jewelry, furniture, books, art and crafts.

Here’s video from the 2009 event when it was held at New Town:

Gorgeous Flowers and Plants at Cooke’s Gardens

My yard looks so much better after a trip to Cooke’s Gardens on Saturday (and a lot of troweling, planting, and watering on Sunday). Whatever you need to make your outdoor living space more appealing, they’ve got it: flowers, plants, shrubs, trees, fountains, spas, Weber grills, furniture, hardscape materials, mulch, and landscape designers to help you with a plan. The staff at Cooke’s is very friendly and knowledgeable, which means that I learn something every time I go. I’ve gotten my gardening supplies there for years, but in the interest of full disclosure, my company made them a new web site this year – thus, this is not a totally unbiased recommendation, but I think you’ll agree with me once you pay them a visit

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New Williamsburg Wedding Guide

I was thrilled this week to get my advance copy of The Williamsburg Wedding Guide, published by Three Dog Ink. I had the privilege of writing three articles for the publication last fall. This beautiful and useful magazine will be at news stands, bookstores, coffee houses, salons, and upscale clothing stores very soon. Be sure to pick up your free copy for the best advice on venues, photographers, caterers, planners, salons, fashion, and more. There’s even an article on the first colonial wedding (hint: it was not Pocahontas and John Rolfe!)

Cover of Williamsburg Wedding Guide

So Many Choices for Christmas Shopping

It looks like Merchants Square is the place to be again this Saturday. On Saturday only, parking in the garage on Henry Street and the lot at Henry and Francis Streets is FREE.

35 vendors will be at the special holiday Williamsburg Farmers Market from 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.. You’ll find gifts, food, and musical entertainment.

There’s another Christmas Bazaar at the Bruton Parish Hall to benefit animals at the Heritage Human Shelter. You can buy baked goods, gift baskets, attic treasures, tote bags, aprons and gifts for your pets. When you get hungry from all of that shopping, the Soup Kitchen is featuring soup from 15 local restaurants and bread from Baker’s Crust.

If that hasn’t convinced you yet, the Dickens Street Theater guarantees lots of laughs to keep you energized for shopping.

Tell the kids to finish their lists, because Santa will be there, too!

However, if the shops at Merchants Square are a bit too upscale for your pocketbook, don’t forget an old tried-and-true, but often overlooked resource: The Williamsburg Outlet Mall at the intersection of Richmond and Centerville Roads. I’ve gotten some surprisingly fashionable bargains there the last few years while others were circling for parking spaces at the Premium Outlets! This Saturday they’re having an Indoor Street Festival with food and entertainment from 10 – 5.

Holiday Art & Craft Shows

If the crowds on Duke of Gloucester Street are too much for you this weekend, you might try walking across South Boundary Street to Trinkle Hall on the campus of the College of William and Mary for a big Arts & Crafts show. It’s at the rear of the Campus Center across Jamestown Road from the Wren Building. They have a lot of vendors with a wide variety of items. The show is Dec. 4, 9 – 5 and Dec. 5, 10 -5.

Or you could take a drive to the “country” for the Woman’s Club of Toano Country Christmas show. It’s from 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. on Dec. 4 at 7965 Richmond Road in Toano, next to the fire station. They’ll have crafts, floral arrangements, fresh greens and wreaths, jewelry, decoys, a quilt raffle, and handmade items for sale. Also a bake sale and lunch are available. Proceeds benefit the club’s scholarship fund.

Make your own holiday wreath

After you attend the Williamsburg Christmas Parade and buy your handmade girl scout ornaments Saturday morning, head over to New Quarter Park from Noon to 2 p.m. for a special program where you’ll learn to make your own decorations from pine, boxwood, apples, and other live material. [Read more...]

Buy Fun Christmas Ornaments to Support Two Good Causes

You might want to stop in at the Bruton Parish Church Gift Shop Saturday morning. Girl Scout Troop 4344 recycled used light bulbs by creating fun Christmas tree ornaments. They’re selling them at the Holiday Bazaar from 9:00 a.m. – Noon on Saturday, Dec. 4. The Bruton Parish Gift Shop is run by church volunteers and proceeds support mission work all over the world. This is a chance to support two great groups. You can see more about the gift shop at their web site.