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A Magical Yuletide in Williamsburg: Traditions, Decorations, Music, Food and Festivities

Program Number: 7046RJ
Start and End Dates:
12/2/2013 - 12/7/2013;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Williamsburg, Virginia
Price starting at: $775.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Holidays
Meals: 15; 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Kosher; Gluten Free    

From holly to history, music to merriment, candles to colonists, experience a colonial Christmas! Lectures, discussions and hands-on activities present the historical, cultural and religious significance of this magical season to colonial society’s “upper, middling and lesser sorts.” Examine music, foods, and festivities from the 17th and 18th centuries that are continued in modern customs and traditions. Come savor the seasonal beauty and festive charm of Yuletide in Williamsburg.




Highlights

• Expert-led field trips introduce Colonial Williamsburg’s historic homes, trade shops and more.
• Marvel at the world-famous decorations, learn how they are made and create your own to bring home.
• Dine in true 18th-century fashion at a colonial tavern and experience talented musicians, interpreters and even a cook!



Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles per day over brick, cobblestone and uneven ground.




Date Specific Information

12-2-2013

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Coordinated by Road Scholar.




Williamsburg (Virginia)

One of America’s first planned cities, this one-time capital of the New World was laid out in 1699, and today, the historic community serves as a well-preserved center of American Colonial history, from nearby Jamestown to impeccably restored buildings.



Accommodations
Modern hotel near historic area, indoor pool and fitness center.
Meals and Lodgings
   Clarion Hotel Historic District
  Williamsburg 5 nights
 Clarion Hotel Historic District
Type: Hotel
  Description: The Clarion Hotel Historic District features 143 well-appointed guest rooms. On-site recreational offerings include a fitness center, an indoor heated pool with whirlpool and a game room. The hotel also offers great food and entertainment at the Bourbon Street Restaurant, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Walking distance to Colonial Williamsburg and two miles to Busch Gardens.
  Contact info: 351 York Street
Williamsburg, VA 23185 USA
phone: 757-229-4100
web: www.clarionwilliamsburg.com
  Room amenities: Room Amenities: Free high speed Internet access in all guest rooms and public spaces; dual-line speaker telephone; iron/ironing board; in-room movies; coffee maker; hair dryer; in room safes at no additional charge
  Facility amenities: Facilities: 24-Hour Front Desk, business center, guest laundromat, dry cleaning service, fitness facility, game room, lounge, indoor whirlpool and indoor pool.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: $69p+ ($89+ sp. event wknds) Make arrangements directly with the hotel. Limited rooms available at the discounted Road Scholar rate. Rate not available if hotel is sold out. Reservations require credit card guarantee. Cancellation must be made 48 hrs prior to arrival to avoid charge.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: $69p+ ($89+ sp. event wknds) Make arrangements directly with the hotel. Limited rooms available at the discounted Road Scholar rate. Rate not available if hotel is sold out. Reservations require credit card guarantee. Cancellation must be made 48 hrs prior to arrival to avoid charge.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
4:00 pm Program registration begins/ 4:00 pm Check into your room/ 5:00 pm Start of Prgm. You will be staying at Clarion Hotel Historic District that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends at 11:30am with box lunch available. You will be staying at Clarion Hotel Historic District the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Free parking at hotel.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Williamsburg
  Nearest city or town:  Richmond
  Nearest highway: Interstate 64
  Nearest airport:  Williamsburg/Newport News Airport (30 minutes)
  From End of Program
  Location: Williamsburg
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Williamsburg

 

From Bus Terminal

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Triangle Taxi
phone: 757-564-6969
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

varies depending on gas prices; call for rates
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

10 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

2 miles

   

Williamsburg is served by both Amtrak and Greyhound, which both arrive at the same Transportation Center. For bus information, call 1-800-231-2222 or go to www.greyhound.com. Additional taxis are available to transport to hotel; all rates are the same.

 

Williamsburg

 

From Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Triangle Taxi
phone: 757-564-6969
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

varies depending on gas prices; call for rates
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

10 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

2 miles

   

Williamsburg is served by both Amtrak and Greyhound, which both arrive at the same Transportation Center. For bus information, call 1-800-231-2222 or go to www.greyhound.com. Additional taxis are available to transport to hotel; all rates are the same.

 

Newport News

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Oleta Coach Lines
phone: 757-253-1008
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

varies depending on gas prices; call for rates
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

20-30 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

about 20

   

Although this is a smaller airport than Richmond or Norfolk, it is the closest and most convenient in terms of getting from the airport to the hotel and back. Besides the van service listed above, several taxi companies are also available in the ground transportation area of the airport. Alternatives include Marrow Transit (757-564-5466) or Triangle Taxi (757-564-6969). When using Oleta or Marrow, be sure to mention that you are a Road Scholar participant.

 

Richmond

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Groome Transportation
phone: 800-552-7911

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

varies, depending on current gas prices; call for rates
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

about an hour depending on traffic 

 

Distance:

 

about 45-50 miles

   

Alternate transportation from/to airport available through Oleta Coach Lines van service (757-253-1008) or Marrow Transit, a private car service,757-564-5466. Call for rates and reservations.

 

Norfolk

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Oleta Coach Lines
phone: 757-253-1008
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

varies, depending on current gas prices; call for rates
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1-1.5 hours, depending on traffic 

 

Distance:

 

about 45 miles

   

Travel from this airport to the hotel (and back after the program) includes passage through the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel which is frequently congested, causing long delays. The trip may well cost in excess of $100 per person one way. We recommend using Richmond or Newport News Airports if possible. Alternate transportation includes Marrow Transit (757-564-5466) or Cary Airport Connection (757-963-0433). If using Oleta or Marrow, be sure to mention that you are a Road Scholar participant.

 
Driving Directions
  From Norfolk/Newport News Travel WEST on Interstate 64 toward Williamsburg. Take Exit #242A/Route 199. Go approximately one mile and take the exit for Route 60. Stay to the left when the exit ramp splits. At the stop sign, turn LEFT onto Route 60 West. The Clarion is approximately 1.2 miles down on the right, shortly after the road narrows to two lanes.
  From Richmond Travel EAST on Interstate 64 toward Williamsburg. Take Exit #242A/Route 199. Go approximately one mile and take the exit for Route 60. Stay to the left when the exit ramp splits. At the stop sign, turn LEFT onto Route 60 West. The Clarion is approximately 1.2 miles down on the right, shortly after the road narrows to two lanes.
  From Southside Virginia via the Jamestown Ferry Cross the James River on the Jamestown Ferry, exiting the ferry onto Route 31/Jamestown Road. (There is no toll for the ferry.) Follow Route 31/Jamestown Road toward Williamsburg for approximately 4 miles. Turn RIGHT at the traffic light at Route 199. Follow Route 199 for approximately 3.5 miles and take the exit for Route 60. At the end of the ramp, turn LEFT at the traffic light onto Route 60 West. The Clarion is approximately 1.2 miles down Rt. 60 on the right, shortly after the road narrow to two lanes.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrival/Class
(Monday, December 2)
   
 Afternoon: Program Registration, Welcome and Room Check In, begins at 4:00pm. Class: "Williamsburg and Colonial Williamsburg" An introduction to the colonial town and its restoration, undertaken through the vision of a local minister and the generosity of John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
 Dinner: Dinner
 Evening: Program Overview and Road Scholar Introductions
   
Accommodations: Clarion Hotel Historic District
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Colonial Williamsburg guided excursion
(Tuesday, December 3)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at your leisure
 Morning: Class: "A Jamestown Christmas" Learn about the very earliest and more austere customs of this holy season as they would have been practiced by the first English settlers in the New World. Class: "Christmas Traditions of the Past" Take an in-depth look at the holiday traditions of the colonial era. Learn about the songs, the ceremonies and the hearth side celebrations that were observed by our ancestors and that echo even today in some of our customs.
 Lunch: Lunch
 Afternoon: Field Trip: "Colonial Williamsburg and Its Decorations" Walk the length of historic Duke of Gloucester street in the company of two expert guides. Focus on the one hand on the homes, shops, and public buildings. At the same time investigate the remarkable decorations that adorn those buildings. Your guides will describe events and townspeople along with the materials and techniques used to create the wreaths and sprays. Class: "The Joys of Christmas" Learn about the history of the holiday customs as they developed over the centuries, mixing traditions from many European countries as well as those adapted by African Americans based on their own heritage.
 Dinner: Dinner
 Evening: Free time to use at your leisure or to return on your own to Colonial Williamsburg where many holiday events will be underway.
   
Accommodations: Clarion Hotel Historic District
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: College of William & Mary Wren Building excursion and concert; Individual exploration of Colonial Williamsburg
(Wednesday, December 4)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at your leisure
 Morning: Class: "Traditional Williamsburg Christmas Decorations" Now that you have seen the wonderful decorations in the Restored Area, learn the details of how they are put together. The class covers the types of materials that are used, why they might have been chosen, and demonstrates how the wreaths and other displays are created. Field Trip: "College of William and Mary's Christopher Wren Building" First explore this 300 year old building, the oldest continuously used academic building in America. Then enjoy a concert of colonial Christmas music performed in the Wren Chapel by a talented musician.
 Lunch: Enjoy the ambiance of a colonial tavern as you eat lunch and are entertained by strolling musicians and other historical characters.
 Afternoon: Independent Exploration: "Colonial Williamsburg" Building on the overview of the Historic Area that you enjoyed on Day Two, take time now to return the shops and homes that are of special interest to you. This time will extend into the early evening when the candles come on in the windows, the cressets are lit, and perhaps even a strolling musician or two will add to the magic of your experience.
 Dinner: Dinner
 Evening: Performance; "Big Wigs, Old Goats, and Loose Women and a Christmas Wassail Toast" Delight in the antics of a talented historical interpreter as she entertains you with tales of the common folk, then toasts you with a traditional English drink.
   
Accommodations: Clarion Hotel Historic District
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Musical performance; Colonial Williamsburg Museums
(Thursday, December 5)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast
 Morning: Performance: "Colonial Instruments and Music" Enjoy the talents of a costumed musician as he plays and explains instruments, both expected and unusual, of the eighteenth century. Field Trip: "Dewitt Wallace Museum and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum" After a brief guided walk through the galleries displaying some of the extensive collections of colonial artifacts belonging to the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, stroll through the exhibits on your own to focus on the displays that most catch your interest.
 Lunch: Lunch
 Afternoon: Free time to return to Colonial Williamsburg on your own or explore some of the other historical sites in the area.
 Dinner: Dinner
 Evening: This time may again be used to relax or to enjoy some of the special holiday events in the area.
   
Accommodations: Clarion Hotel Historic District
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Evening Entertainment
(Friday, December 6)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at your leisure
 Morning: Class: "Christmas Past and Present" This lecture traces holiday traditions through the centuries from the colonial period into modern times as new customs are added and old ones are adapted to changing times. Class: "Eye Witness Perspectives of Christmas in Williamsburg: 18th-20th Centuries" Take a more personal look at the yuletide across time by considering the words of people living in Williamsburg during 300 years. Share your own family traditions, both those inherited and those newly begun. This look at holiday observances will help tie the old to the new, bringing a new richness to our own holiday observances.
 Lunch: Lunch at the hotel
 Afternoon: Workshop: "Its Your Turn: Hands On Decorating" Having now seen and learned about holiday decorations, you have the opportunity to assemble your own table center piece. A wide variety of natural materials, candles, and florists' items are available for inclusion in your creation!
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel
 Evening: Performance; "African-American Music and Christmas Customs" Delight in the singing and storytelling of an amazing woman as she takes you on a journey across the years through the eyes of African-Americans, slave and free, as they celebrate the yuletide in Virginia.
   
Accommodations: Clarion Hotel Historic District
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6:
(Saturday, December 7)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Class: "Foodways from the 18th Century" Learn about the foods, tools, and methods of the colonial cook. Investigate the role of food in the holiday traditions. Participate in the concoction of a simple but delicious dessert of the time period.
 Lunch: Box lunch available after class for your trip home End of Program
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Williamsburg Tidewater Area: Williamsburg/Jamestown and Yorktown
Our Road Scholar programs are filled with fascinating and informative classes, field trips, excursions and extracurricular activities. The day-by-day itinerary details what you will see and do. The schedule includes a free afternoon during the week to pursue your own interests; otherwise, there will be only a few hours of unstructured time per day. Because the Road Scholar schedule is so full, there will be little opportunity for independent exploration of other sites in the Williamsburg area. We suggest you consider taking time before or after the program to enjoy local attractions. The Colonial Williamsburg website, www.history.org, includes a detailed calendar of events that you might want to investigate. Websites for other area attractions such as Jamestown and Yorktown will have additional information. For additional information, visit www.wm.edu/LearningOdysseys
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


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