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22934
Virginia

Colonial Christmas at Williamsburg & the James River Plantations

Sing Colonial carols, design historical decorations and enjoy a holiday dinner with period personalities on this time-travel deep-dive into the history of Christmas in America.
Rating (5)
Program No. 22934RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,599
Virginia

Colonial Christmas at Williamsburg & the James River Plantations

Sing Colonial carols, design historical decorations and enjoy a holiday dinner with period personalities on this time-travel deep-dive into the history of Christmas in America.
Length
6 days
Starts at
1,599
Program No. 22934 RJ

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climate
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itinerary
Please Note:
The itinerary for this program is different on certain dates.
Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Dec 9 - Dec 14, 2021
Starting at
1,599
Itinerary Note

Due to restrictions related to COVID-19, this date will not be able to take part in Decorations Workshop or Colonial Tavern dinners.

Dec 13 - Dec 18, 2021
Starting at
1,599
Itinerary Note

Due to restrictions related to COVID-19, this date will not be able to take part in Decorations Workshop or Colonial Tavern dinners.

Dec 5 - Dec 10, 2022
Starting at
1,699
Dec 8 - Dec 13, 2022
Starting at
1,699
Dec 12 - Dec 17, 2022
Starting at
1,699
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Dec 9 - Dec 14, 2021
Starting at
2,099
Itinerary Note

Due to restrictions related to COVID-19, this date will not be able to take part in Decorations Workshop or Colonial Tavern dinners.

Dec 13 - Dec 18, 2021
Starting at
2,099
Itinerary Note

Due to restrictions related to COVID-19, this date will not be able to take part in Decorations Workshop or Colonial Tavern dinners.

Dec 5 - Dec 10, 2022
Starting at
2,299
Dec 8 - Dec 13, 2022
Starting at
2,299
Dec 12 - Dec 17, 2022
Starting at
2,299

At a Glance

Travel back in time to Colonial Williamsburg as reenactors make history come to life for Christmas. Explore the historical and cultural significance of Christmas in the 18th and 19th centuries and find out how music, traditions, festivities and food have evolved from early America to what we know and love at Christmastime today. Observe and then make historical decorations, sing music of the era with costumed singers and learn about religious customs of both free and enslaved people. And at the end of your week of celebration, sit down with period personalities for a festive meal in a colonial tavern!
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Considerable amounts of walking and long periods of standing.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Enjoy a private organ concert in the College of William & Mary’s historic chapel, sing along with well-known musicians and meet African American and colonial interpreters.
  • From Colonial Williamsburg to the James River plantations, visit seasonally decorated homes spanning four centuries of history.
  • Create your own Colonial decoration using traditional techniques, prepare a Colonial treat and savor both a lunch and a festive farewell dinner in Colonial taverns.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Dean Shostak
In 1991, Dean Shostak became involved in the revival of the rare and beautiful glass armonica, invented by Benjamin Franklin in 1761. Today, he is one of eight glass armonica players in the world, and the only musician since the 18th century to use a flywheel and foot treadle as Franklin originally designed. Dean began his musical career in Colonial Williamsburg at the age of 14, and after graduating from the University of Virginia, began to study 18th-century instruments such as the pocket violin and the hurdy-gurdy. He has now incorporated spectacular new and antique glass instruments into his show, including the glass violin and crystal handbells. Dean has emerged as a nationally acclaimed touring artist, and his music has been featured on numerous television and radio programs including Voice of America, The Weather Channel, The Discovery Channel, NPR's All Things Considered and Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Dean Shostak
Dean Shostak View biography
In 1991, Dean Shostak became involved in the revival of the rare and beautiful glass armonica, invented by Benjamin Franklin in 1761. Today, he is one of eight glass armonica players in the world, and the only musician since the 18th century to use a flywheel and foot treadle as Franklin originally designed. Dean began his musical career in Colonial Williamsburg at the age of 14, and after graduating from the University of Virginia, began to study 18th-century instruments such as the pocket violin and the hurdy-gurdy. He has now incorporated spectacular new and antique glass instruments into his show, including the glass violin and crystal handbells. Dean has emerged as a nationally acclaimed touring artist, and his music has been featured on numerous television and radio programs including Voice of America, The Weather Channel, The Discovery Channel, NPR's All Things Considered and Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.
Profile Image of Stephen Christoff
Stephen Christoff View biography
Stephen Christoff has been a musical fixture at Colonial Williamsburg for more than 15 years. Since 2006, he has performed his one-man show called "Seller of Songs" at the Hennage Theater in Colonial Williamsburg to sell-out audiences and rave reviews. In 2007, Stephen was a member of a collaborative performance team that played over 100 performances of "American Musicworks," a signature show designed for the Dewitt Wallace Galleries folk art exhibition, and also performed for the Jamestown 2007, Godspeed Sail and Landing Party Festival. He has headlined at locations including Mount Vernon, Chestertown Tea Party Festival, Virginia's Yorktown Celebration Festival, The National Portrait Gallery, The Library of Congress, The Black Swamp Arts Festival and Disney's Epcot Center.
Profile Image of Tom Marshall
Tom Marshall View biography
An instructor in the Music Department at the College of William and Mary for more than 20 years, Tom Marshall has been performing private concerts for Road Scholar participants at the historic Wren Chapel for many years. He has served for two decades as a harpsichordist for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation where he has performed numerous works of the concerto grosso style in original orchestrations, on original instruments. He is featured on many of the historical recordings issued by the foundation. A long-time member of the American Guild of Organists, he has served as organist for the Williamsburg United Methodist Church since 1977. Tom performs frequently with the Virginia Symphony, numerous baroque chamber ensembles, and organ and harpsichord recitals throughout the United States and Europe. He has made seven study tours in Europe to examine and play many surviving keyboard instruments from the 15th to the 19th century.
Profile Image of Carson Hudson
Carson Hudson View biography
Carson Hudson is an Emmy Award-winning screenwriter who has dedicated his career to bringing the music, lore and history of America to life. After in-depth research of entertainment forms from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, he began learning traditional performance practices and sideshow secrets. Since then, he has researched, written, performed and directed more than a score of productions and programs for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. This work earned him an Emmy and several Telly Awards in screenwriting. In spite of this, Carson still manages to find time to deliver engaging lectures on Revolutionary and Civil War military history for Road Scholar programs.
Profile Image of Anne Conkling
Anne Conkling View biography
A native of Pennsylvania with family roots deep in that state, Anne Conkling attended American University before finally settling in Williamsburg, Va. She has a passion for anything historical, particularly from the period 1500-1875. Her interests include colonial Virginia, the role of the Anglican Church in colonization, royal charters, political life cycles, and the roles of women of all races. Anne has written for various newspapers and publications, is a historical interpreter at Bruton Parish Church, and a teacher of historical interpreters at Jamestown Island.
Profile Image of Ann Parker
Ann Parker View biography
Ann graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in Religion. She is a retired Education Specialist with School and Group Services for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, serving in that capacity for over 20 years. In addition to her expertise in 18th century political, social, and economic history, Ann chose to specialize in Colonial Foodways and Family Life. For ten years, she was a Coordinator and Program Developer for Colonial Williamsburg and has been an instructor and group leader for Road Scholar programs since 2006.
Profile Image of Bunny Rich
Bunny Rich View biography
Bunny Rich has worked for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation for 34 years. Among her many interests, she has concentrated on Colonial family life, cooking and clothing, often interpreting at the Powell House. Bunny also has served as a leader for VIP guests ranging from Bill Clinton to David Brinkley. A native of York County, Bunny can trace her roots on the Virginia Peninsula back to the 1630s.
Profile Image of Lee Rose
Lee Ann Rose View biography
Lee Ann Rose has found a way to use her theatre degree and her love of history into a career that has spanned 20 years at Colonial Williamsburg and now has allowed her to step out creating her own company called, Shades of Our Past. At her time at Colonial Williamsburg, she has played Martha Washington and coached other character interpreters and Nation Builders. When she is not performing, she is working on a book about Martha Washington's children.
Profile Image of Kate Tilley
Kate Tilley View biography
A Pennsylvania native, Kate Tilley received a bachelor’s in theatre from DeSales University with concentrations in acting and costuming. In 2009, she turned her costuming attention to historical clothing in the colonial time period and began an internship with the tailors at Colonial Williamsburg. As a historic clothing technician at the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Kate served as a mentor for new staff in the historical clothing services department, team leader for day-to-day activities at the Jamestown Settlement Costume Shop.
Profile Image of Christi Pancoast
Christi Pancoast View biography
Originally from Ohio, Christi has been a teacher in Richmond, Virginia for over two decades. She is a self-proclaimed travel junkie, lifelong learner and people enthusiast. In her free time, she enjoys Zumba, yoga and being with her friends.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Christmas in Williamsburg
by K. M. Kostyal
Christmas in Colonial and Early America
by World Book
Colonial Williamsburg Decorates for Christmas: Step-by-Step Illustrated Instructions
by Colonial Williamsburg
The Artful Tree: Ornaments to Make Inspired by the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum
by Jan Gilliam and Christina Westenberger
We Were Marching on Christmas Day
by Kevin Rawlings
A Very Virginia Christmas
by Wilford Kale





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If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.