Romance in CW: Unique Date Ideas from a Colonial Resident!

*Dating tips from a CW resident…get the inside scoop! See if you can try one of these 5 dates and look out for my next “Romance in CW” update!

By Grace McGlade

Grace McGlade

Do you want to do something special for your significant other? Make a memorable impression on your first date?  Take a look at my out-of –the-ordinary date ideas and try something new with your friends, budding romance or partner!

I know what you may be thinking but yes, people still do go on dates- give it a try! It’s a great way to keep your relationship fun and fresh or to get to know someone you’re interested in, whether you’re developing a friendship or testing out your compatibility and chemistry.  So take advantage of our beautiful surroundings and unique colonial experiences and spice up your fall semester with some romance!

I’ve always thought that our gorgeous campus and the surrounding area are very romantic. You’re probably familiar with the “hot spots” on campus- i.e. the Crim Dell, the Sunken Gardens, Lake Matoaka, the gazebo(s), the dock behind Botetourt- but there are many more within our reach, in the surrounding area, and this is our chance to find them! If the places I’ve listed below are not on your cognitive map of the Williamsburg area, I encourage you to give one of them a try; but if nothing else, do a little exploring in the CW area and have fun!

I’ve been doing some exploring and researching, myself, lately to come up with this initial list and have visited all of the places I am recommending. If (once) I try out these dates for myself, I will let you know how they go…there’s one in particular I know I just have to do before the end of the year- you’ll see which one!  Please feel free to post a comment if you try one out, too! I’d love to hear about your dates!

Date Ideas:

1. Candlelight Concert at the Bruton Parish Church:

*   Cost: no charge, small donation suggested

Would you like to see an organ or harpsichord recital in a charming historical church in the colonial area? Every Saturday at 8 p.m. concerts take place at the Bruton Parish Church, located at 201 Duke of Gloucester Street (makes for a pleasant evening stroll, too). Performances are also on most Tuesdays and Thursdays from March through December.

Candlelight Concerts & Historic Organ Recitals November 2011 Schedule:

More information about Bruton Parish musical performances at:

2. Romantic stroll behind the Governor’s Palace 

Want a more intimate spot? Check out the gardens behind the Governor’s palace (go in the left hand gate, behind the kitchen building)! It is truly picturesque, with a small “canal” (pond), a bench on top of a bridge going over the water, and a few benches around the pond area.  Take a stroll around the pond and relax and chat on a bench as you enjoy the peaceful setting. Don’t miss out on the maze, also located behind the Governor’s Palace! When it’s warmer, the lawn in front of the Governor’s Palace makes for a great picnic date, too!

Maze behind the Governor’s Palace                                    Couple having a picnic in the front of the Palace
(provided by                                          (

3. Colonial Carriage Ride:

*Cost: $12.50 per person if you have an admission pass to the historic area or for students, you just need to show your W&M ID! Otherwise, it’s $20/person.

A carriage ride through CW- you can’t lose on this one!! Enjoy a pleasant 15-30 minute tour of the colonial area, perfect to share with that special someone; this could be a great anniversary or birthday surprise! (….However, as a side note, I would personally love to go on a carriage ride any day; so to all those gentlemen out there, you may pick me up in a horse-drawn carriage anytime! 😉

Here’s how it works: you cannot book it in advance so you must make a reservation on the same day you want to go on a carriage ride. You will need to do this in person at the Lumber House ticket office, open from 8:45am-9pm every day.

The Greenhow Lumber House ticket office is located across from the Bruton Parish Church, down DoG Street; it’ll be on your right, or the south side of the street. If you have any trouble finding it or any additional questions, call 757-229-1000 and ask to be directed to the Lumber House ticket office. Make sure you book a time early to ensure you get a reservation!! If you reserve a carriage ride in the evening, make sure you’re bundled up. With any of these dates, it might be nice to stop and get some hot cider at the stand as you walk down DoG Street. If you are planning this as a surprise, you could ask that special someone to go on a little cider date and CW stroll with you… and then bam!- the horse-drawn carriage rolls up and you will melt your date’s heart!

4. The Kimball Theatre:

*Price: movie tickets are $6 for students, seniors and children and $7 for adults. Prices vary but for the musical performances tickets are generally between $5-20 for students (holiday/special programs tend to be the ones that are more costly).  The box office is open 4-9 PM daily.

*More info: Located in Merchant’s Square at 428 W. Duke of Gloucester Street. For more information, call (757) 565- 8588 and for tickets call 1-800-HISTORY (1-800-447-8679). Website:

Did you know that the Kimball Theatre has been open since 1933? The theatre, originally called “The Williamsburg Theatre”, was built in 1932  as a sister theatre to Radio City Music Hall as a part of John D. Rockefeller’s restoration of CW. Rockefeller owned a film distribution company called Radio-Keith-Orpheum (RKO) and the Kimball Theater along with two other RKO theatres which were located in NYC, Radio City Music Hall and the Roxy Theatre, opened on the same week. The Rockefellers frequented this theatre, as well as Walt Disney, who is said to have spoken with W&M students before and after film screenings! The theatre was originally built for motion pictures but also held community events; however, from 2000-2001 the theatre was renovated and restored which is why it is now able to house more people and live performances.  Bill and Gretchen Kimball from CA are to thank for this, who backed the renovation, which is why the theatre was renamed “The Kimball Theatre”. (More info at

You can impress your date with a little background about the theatre and choose from a variety of offered entertainment, from seeing a current film to an orchestra performance, going to one of the upcoming holiday programs or concerts, or even a chance to swing dance! Check out all the upcoming events on the November-December calendar at:! There’s something here for everyone!

5.  Time for dessert!

Going out for dessert is a great date option! You can make it as casual or romantic and formal as you want; for instance, you can go get an ice cream at Baskin Robbin’s or a delicious Berrybody frozen yogurt for a more casual date versus going to The Trellis restaurant to get a slice of “Death by Chocolate” for seven heavenly layers of chocolate goodness (people do go in for just dessert and you can ask to sit at the bar if you’d be more comfortable with that).  Also, I recently discovered that The Trellis has a jazz night every Friday where local jazz musicians play from 6-8 PM and they even made a special menu featuring “small plates” if you just want to get something light and listen to music! Small plate menu:

Here are a few more of my dessert favorites: at Aroma’s (on Prince George Street), they have a good selection of desserts such as slices of cheesecake, cake and other baked goods in addition to delicious warm beverages! After 5 PM they offer fondue, too, so you can get a chocolate or cheese fondue to share ($10.99). Aroma’s also offers a smores dessert to share ($5.25 for two, $9.50 for four people). Getting fondue or smores could be a fun option if you want to do a group date!  Wythe Candy & Gourmet Shop makes for a fun outing, whether it be with a friend, a group, or your love. Going in recently with my good friend, Lauren, I was blown away by the variety of candy at Wythe, and we enjoyed seeing all the holiday goodies!  We like to get a few chocolate truffles and buy our friends a fun seasonal treat (like chocolate pumpkin lollipops). If you happen to know your sweetheart’s candy preferences, you could get them a little something and let them know that you are thinking of them! Little gestures go a long way, and hey, you deserve a little treat, too, so get yourself something while you’re in there!

Hours of operation for the listed places:

  • Aromas: Open Mon-Thu 7am-10pm; Fri-Sat 7am-11pm; Sun 8am-8pm.
  • Baskin Robbin’s: 9am-10pm
  • The Trellis: open for breakfast 8am-10:30am, for Lunch at 11am-4pm, and for Dinner at 5-9pm.
  • Berrybody:  Mon-Sat open from 12pm(noon)- 9pm; Sun open 12pm(noon)-8pm.
  • Wythe Candy & Gourmet Shop: Mon-Sat 10-6pm; Sun 12-5 pm
  • And check out Blue Talon’s dessert menu at:

Hope some of these date suggestions are helpful and I can’t wait to try some out and post my next 5!

– Lady Grace

Categories: Student Blogs, Williamsburg

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