4759
Williamsburg (Virginia)
Travel Back in Time to Virginia: The Birthplace of a Nation
Discover Colonial Virginia as you examine early American artifacts, learn traditional parlor games, participate in spirited debates and build lasting memories with your grandchild.
Rating (5)
Program No. 4759RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
849
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6 days
5 nights
15 meals
5 B 5 L 5 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Registration, Life in Old VA, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Williamsburg
D
Williamsburg Hotel Historic District

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 4:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, and other important information. If your arrival is delayed, please ask for your packet when you check in. We’ll begin our “time travel” into colonial days with a viewing of the classic film Story of a Patriot to get an overview of life in the Virginia colony on the eve of great change. Through the film, we’ll learn about events that were taking place in the years leading up to the American Revolution and begin to see the different points of view that were held by colonists pondering their relationship with Mother England. The group leader will assist participants in a review of the main points of the film at the conclusion.

Dinner: In our private dining area at the hotel, enjoy a buffet meal with multiple main dish choices, side dishes including seasonal vegetables, dessert, and beverage choices including coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures including contact numbers for key staff, and answer any questions you may have. This is an active program with some strenuous physical demands. Grandparents must stay with grandchildren during all activities and children cannot be left unsupervised with faculty, unless specified. Unless otherwise indicated, transportation will be primarily by motorcoach necessitating the ascension and descent of a few steps. On several evenings, special meal selections for kids will be included. Free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. Please be aware that program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. While grandparents get to know each other and become familiar with the week's schedule, the kids will join in some introductory games with their activity leader and learn about their roles for the week. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
2
Jamestown Settlement & Island, Colonial Instruments
Williamsburg
B,L,D
Williamsburg Hotel Historic District

Activity note: Walking up to 1 mile roundtrip at each site; gently sloping terrain; gravel, shell, grassy paths; quite a bit of standing; few places to rest; steep, narrow gangplanks to board ships.

Breakfast: In our private dining area, start the day with a southern style breakfast buffet offering choices including eggs, breakfast meats, grits, hot and cold cereals with toppings, biscuits and gravy, potatoes, seasonal fruit, and a variety of breads with milk, juice, coffee, tea, and water.

Morning: Our motor coach will first take us to Jamestown Settlement where we will walk with experienced docents through interpretive areas that showcase a reconstructed Indian village, fort, and sailing ships exemplifying early seventeenth century life in the New World. We’ll explore interactive museum exhibits and take part in classroom activities where we will be able to handle reproduction artifacts and even dress up in colonial clothing. Enjoy some free time to explore in more depth some of your favorite exhibits.

Lunch: At the Jamestown Settlement Café, we’ll have boxed lunches with a variety of sandwiches that appeal to both adults and children, along with a sweet and beverage.

Afternoon: Next, we will transfer to Jamestown Island to explore the site of the first permanent English colony in North America. Led by a local expert, the field trip includes an exploration of the Visitor Center galleries, a marvelous introductory film, and the Archaearium (Archaeology Museum) where artifacts from the unearthed original fort are displayed. Depending on the site schedule, we may have the opportunity to observe ongoing archaeological work at the original fort site.

Dinner: Hotel buffet.

Evening: To cap off our busy day, an amazingly talented musician, dressed in period clothing, will demonstrate instruments of the colonial era, some of them quite familiar and others very surprising.

DAY
3
Colonial Williamsburg, Gaol, Brickyard, Games & Crafts
Williamsburg
B,L,D
Williamsburg Hotel Historic District

Activity note: Walking up to 2.5 miles through the Historical Area starting the walk from the hotel and circling back for lunch. There is a good deal of standing; few opportunities for rest; fairly level, pebble streets, brick & shell paths; occasional benches along the way; brief rests in some buildings; on our feet about 4 hours.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: From the hotel, we’ll walk over to Colonial Williamsburg where local experts will lead us on a walking field trip to a number of historical buildings including the Capitol where Jefferson and Patrick Henry spoke and the Gaol that held imprisoned paupers and pirates. We’ll stroll by gardens full of flowers and vegetables and fields where animal breeds from the colonial era graze. Poking our heads into some of the shops, we’ll get to watch and talk to artisans making 18th century goods in the traditional manner. Finish the morning adventure by helping to make bricks in the Brickyard (shoes must come off!). The brick makers will explain the process and guide you in what to do. At the end of the field trip, we’ll walk back to the hotel, visiting a few more colonial shops on the way.

Lunch: In the hotel’s private dining area, we’ll have lighter midday fare.

Afternoon: A talented historical interpreter will join us at the hotel and lead the children in colonial crafts and activities with the assistance of the grandparents. You may learn to write with a quill pen using colonial style penmanship, assemble your own hand bound book for notetaking during the week, or dress up in colonial clothes. Be sure to have the camera ready for pictures! Next, grandparents and grandchildren will join in a variety of lawn and tavern diversions from lively dice games to lawn bowling. Our instructor will teach us the rules and provide directions while entertaining us with background stories of the amusements. Finally, the grandparents will be treated to a special presentation just for them by a delightful character interpreter who will elucidate various aspects of colonial life. In a separate room, the grandchildren will prepare a sweet confection with the help of a domestic historian who will also provide background on the ingredients. Everyone will then be able to sample the delicious results after class.

Dinner: Hotel buffet.

Evening: At leisure. Our Group Leader will provide information about a variety of activities you may to choose to enjoy on your own, or just relax.

DAY
4
Governor's Palace, College, Tavern, Afro Am Songs & Stories
Williamsburg
B,L,D
Williamsburg Hotel Historic District

Activity note: Walking up to 1 mile through the Historic Area after taking the motor coach to the starting point. A good deal of standing; few opportunities for rest; fairly level, pebble streets, brick & shell paths; occasional benches along the way; brief rests in some buildings; on our feet about 3.5 hours.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will return to Colonial Williamsburg via motor coach so we can continue to explore the buildings, gardens, and other sites in the Restored Area. At the Governor's Palace, we’ll learn from knowledgeable docents how the royal representative in Virginia lived, then get lost and found in the garden maze. Next, we’ll walk to the campus of the College of William and Mary to explore the historic Wren Building— America’s oldest college building in continuous use. On our way, we’ll check out some more trade shops such as the blacksmith’s, the wig maker’s and the cooper’s (barrel maker) to gain a better understanding of colonial life.

Lunch: In the colonial era, public houses were gathering places for residents and travelers. Our motor coach will next take us to one of these establishments known as Shields Tavern (1745). Though the building has been reconstructed, the atmosphere (but not the contemporary menu) is similar to what patrons such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Patrick Henry would have known. Strolling musicians and personalities from the past enhance the experience. Here, we will enjoy a hearty lunch.

Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. You are welcome to remain in Colonial Williamsburg for further exploration, walk back to the hotel for a dip in the pool, write in your journal, or just sit back and relax.

Dinner: Hotel buffet.

Evening: We’ll be joined at the hotel by a talented singer-storyteller who will take us through three centuries of African-American culture from its roots in Africa to its triumph with the end of slavery. You may be moved to join her in singing along.

DAY
5
Yorktown Battlefield & Museum, Encampment, Farmstead, Debate
Williamsburg
B,L,D
Williamsburg Hotel Historic District

Activity note: Walking up to 1/2 mile at a time, standing at sites; pebble and grass paths, some hilly ground. Battlefield earthworks are fairly steep to climb. Surrender Pavilion is several hundred yards from the parking area.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Our motorcoach will take us to the Yorktown Victory Center where we will visit the museum theater and interpretive sites including a re-created Continental army encampment and a revolution-era farm. While on site, museum staff and docents will lead us in a variety of lessons and hands-on activities including observation of flax being turned into linen thread, practicing military drills in the encampment, learning about Revolutionary War medicine and cooking, and peeking into a tobacco barn.

Lunch: At the Yorktown Center, we’ll have boxed lunches from a popular local eatery including a choice of sandwich or wrap, a sweet, and soft drink.

Afternoon: Next, we’ll drive over with a local expert to explore the actual site of the siege of Yorktown that took place in 1781. Here American and French forces defeated the British and won the Revolutionary War. We’ll visit the galleries at the Visitor Center, climb up the earthworks, and end with a walk across Surrender Field where the British army laid down their arms before George Washington's forces. We’ll then return to the hotel via motorcoach.

Dinner: Hotel buffet.

Evening: All week we’ve been learning about the struggles and accomplishments of the Virginia colonists since the founding at Jamestown. Now, war looms on the horizon and you must decide whether to stand with the Patriots or the Loyalists in the coming confrontation with England. Be prepared to defend your choice in a spirited mock debate at the hotel moderated by a character from colonial America. Use the information you have gathered during the week's field trips to defend your position. At the end of the debate, vote for American independence or loyalty to the King of England. Enjoy the remainder of the evening at leisure and prepare for departure after our final session in the morning.

DAY
6
Colonial Food Preparation, Dance Lesson, Program Concludes
Williamsburg
B,L

Activity note: Hotel check out is by 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: In our hotel classroom, we’ll participate in the preparation of authentic and delicious colonial fare as we learn from a domestic historian about these foods and their preparation. Just like the people of colonial times, we’ll follow our dessert by putting on our dancing shoes and prancing around the room to strains of music from the time period. Grandchildren and grandparents can both learn the steps of the minuet and other colonial dances with the lively assistance of a talented dance mistress at the hotel. To mark the end of your colonial adventure, join in the Graduation Ceremony and receive tokens of your accomplishments.

Lunch: Pick up a boxed lunch with a sandwich, fruit, chips, a sweet and a beverage before heading home. This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!