As Thanksgiving and Christmas approach, Colonial Williamsburg and the surrounding area prepare to celebrate the rich history of the holiday season. Garland, wreaths, and Christmas trees already adorn the storefronts of Merchants Square, and soon the Historic Area will be transformed into a colonial winter wonderland. For those students who will be staying in Williamsburg for Thanksgiving, here is a sampling of the activities that will be offered:
Foods & Feasts of Colonial Virginia
Jamestown Settlement and the Yorktown Victory Center
November 22 to 24: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Come to the Jamestown Settlement and the Yorktown Victory Center to learn more about the foodways of the English colonists and the Powhatan Indians. At Jamestown, visitors can unload cargo from a ship docked at the harbor, as well as attend cooking demonstrations in the recreated Native American village. At Yorktown, visitors can join the ranks of the Continental Army and partake in drills to earn their daily rations. The reconstructed 1780s farmstead will also host programs on foodstuffs that have become the staple cuisine of contemporary Thanksgiving traditions.
Milk and Cookies with Santa
Barnes & Noble College Bookstore
November 23: 9:00 am to 10:00 am
Join Santa as he savors his favorite dish on the second floor of the W&M Bookstore.
Father Christmas Strolling the Square
November 23: 2:30 pm to 5:00 pm
Will you be getting presents or coal this year? Ask Santa for yourself!
Sipping & Supping for the Holidays
DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum
November 23: 3:30 pm to 4:15 pm
This guided tour of the DeWitt Wallace’s ceramics collection will investigate the importance of various dishware during eighteenth-century holiday celebrations.
Holiday Seafood Feast
Traditions, Williamsburg Lodge
November 23: 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm
The Traditions restaurant at the Williamsburg Lodge will be hosting an evening seafood buffet for $34 per person. Call 1-800-828-3767 to make a reservation.
Musical Diversions: The Holiday Fiddle and Song
Colonial Williamsburg Courthouse
November 23: 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm; 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Join Bill Weldon, Director of Historic Area Programs and Productions, and Brian Forsman as they entertain audiences with period holiday music. A separate ticket is required.
Holiday Farmers Market
November 24: 8:30 am to 12:30 pm
Akin to the Saturday farmers markets held in the spring and summer, the Holiday Farmers Market welcomes numerous produce, meat, pastry, and souvenir vendors from the Tidewater region. Among the many proprietors include Bacon’s Castle Supply, Barry’s Berries & Jan’s Jams, Cavanna Pasta, Christmas Peddler, J & J Treeland, and Shiloh Acres Farm. See the Williamsburg Farmers Market website for more details.
Bassett Hall Holiday Workshop: Knitting
Bassett Hall, 522 East Francis Street
November 24: 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Learn to knit like Abby Aldrich Rockefeller! This two-hour workshop will give participants the skills they need to knit a winter scarf. A separate ticket is required.
Christmastide at Home
Greenhow Lumber House
November 24: 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Learn more about colonial Christmas traditions during this hour-long survey of Colonial Williamsburg’s history. Five additional tours will take place throughout the evening. A separate ticket is required.
November 24: 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm; 9:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Lord Dunmore has opened his grand palace for an evening of music and holiday cheer. The Governor’s Musick ensemble will play period repertoire from colonial Virginia and Europe. A separate ticket is required.
Christmas Decorations Walking Tour
Greenhow Lumber House
November 25: 9:15 am to 10:15 am
Beginning on ever-beautiful Duke of Gloucester Street, Colonial Williamsburg staff will take visitors on a tour of the Christmas decorations that adorn the landmarks of the Historic Area. Three additional tours will occur throughout the day. A separate ticket is required.
As always, remember to bring your Collegiate Pass! Colonial Williamsburg will no longer accept a student ID as an admission ticket. The free Collegiate Pass can be acquired at the Visitor Center or the Lumber House ticket office.
Until next time, have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
*All images courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg