Winter Getaway: Colonial Williamsburg

By Bekah Wright

In the midst of our fast-paced, computer-driven, cell phone lifestyles, it’s important to slow down and enjoy simpler moments with our little ones. A vacation with your toddler is an opportunity to enjoy quality time with him and share the luxury of a slower pace.

In that spirit, we’d like to suggest exposing your tot to the vestiges of a simpler time with an escape to historical Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia, where you can explore 18th-century streets among ladies in period gowns and gentlemen wearing tri-cornered hats and buckled shoes.

The restored capital of Colonial Virginia is open to visitors 365 days a year (hours of operation vary by season) and for scheduled evening programs. The city offers 88 original buildings and 500 reconstructed buildings to visit, so plan to stay several days. Try to work in daytrips to two nearby sites that make up Virginia’s Historic Triangle, Jamestown and Yorktown.

You can even sleep in a bit of history at one of the town’s 26 lodging facilities, ranging from a traditional inn-like stay in a tavern to a more private historic house with modern-day touches like a refrigerator and room service. Close by, too, is Great Wolf Lodge, an all-suites, indoor water-park resort geared toward families.

Your first stop should be to the Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center. Schedules of events can be procured here, including where to catch reenactments featuring historical fi gures such as Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry. To indulge the kids in a little dress-up, rent period costumes for toddlers as well as older children: Girls can don 18th-century lawn dresses with mobcaps and boys can get decked out in white shirts, haversacks and hats.