Best things to do with kids in Williamsburg VA for a weekend getaway

Historic, But Exciting Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg, VA has a list of must do’s such as:

Things to do in Williamsburg, Virginia

48 Hours– Here’s What We Did With the Kids in Williamsburg VA

Downtown Colonial Williamsburg things to do- kids playing on the Palace Green
The kids running around outside on the Palace Green in Colonial Williamsburg

Day 1. Wander Williamsburg

  • Donuts at Emily’s Donuts
  • Walk Historic Colonial Williamsburg
  • Schedule a Children’s Tour of the Governor’s Palace
  • Lunch at Carrot Tree Kitchens
  • Dinner at Sals
Things to do In Williamsburg, VA- Best Donuts in Williamsburg - Emilys Donuts smores donuts
Things to do In Williamsburg, VA: Emilys Donuts baby shark donuts

Donuts at Emily’s Donuts

Before you head downtown to Colonial Williamsburg (CW), you’ll want to try out one of our favorite local bakeries, Emily’s Donuts.

Emily’s Donuts is a cute cafe situated on Merrimac Trail, right down the street from WaWa. You better get there early because the best of the best sell out fast.

Luckily, if you are planning your trip in advance or plan to be here tomorrow, give them a call or place an order online for tomorrow for pickup to ensure you get your favorites.

The kids will love the assortment of brightly colored and m&m filled donuts. There are donut holes, pastries like bear claws and apple fritters (THE BEST), as well as coffee.

Grab a hot or iced coffee while you’re there and make your morning complete.

Emily’s Donuts | Menu | Facebook Page | 757-221-6676

7123 Merrimac Trail
Williamsburg, VA 23185
Monday – Fri 5:30AM – 12 Noon
Sat & Sun 5:30AM – 1:00PM

Walk Historic Colonial Williamsburg

It’s time to head downtown to Colonial Williamsburg. You don’t have to be a planner or spend a ton to enjoy CW.

If you’re a history buff, it can be enjoyable to plan the trip and do one of the scheduled tours of shops and attractions.

Here’s the low down on admission. You are welcome to walk around Colonial Williamsburg free off charge. There’s plenty to see.

From Duke of Gloucester Street shopping and dining to walking around the Palace Green (lawn) and through the gardens, outside of the homes and buildings.

However, if you want to enter the buildings to see how candles are made or what a historical blacksmith did, you’ll want to get tickets.

If you are a local Williamsburg or James City County resident, you can purchase the Good Neighbor pass which includes discounts all over the city to local attractions and vendors.

Below are the ticketing options, plus add ons.

Colonial Williamsburg Ticket Pricing (Sept 2021) | TICKETS |

101 Visitor Center Drive, Williamsburg, VA 23185

Walk Around Self GuidedFREEFREE
Single-Day Ticket$44.99$24.99
Fall into Holiday Savings Ticket (Fall – Dec 31)$54.99$29.99
Annual Pass$74.99$41.99
Art Museum Pass$14.99$8.99
Historic Triangle Ticket (Colonial Wmsbg, Jamestown, Yorktown)$106.40$46.95
Good Neighbor Pass (residents)$19.99$9.99

There are add ons that you can also schedule, but you must purchase a CW ticket in order to do those activities.

Haunted Williamsburg$19$12
Carriage Ride$50 for family

Lastly, make sure you check the CW website because they run specials, have discounts for groups, and have discounts for teachers, military, medicaid and lodging.

If you have time in your itinerary to go to Jamestown or Yorktown, do the Historic Triangle pass because you’ll save some dough. (Jamestown is REALLY cool).

Schedule a Children’s Tour of the Governor’s Palace

By far the coolest thing we have ever done in Colonial Williamsburg was go on a Governor’s Palace tour with the kids. (It’s free with the daily ticket or Good Neighbor locals pass).

In fact, I would do this over and over again. You start out in the kitchen and servant’s wing of the property and work your way through the marble entryway, parlors, bedrooms of First Lady and children.

You’ll make your way to the ballroom and the entertaining spaces before heading out the East Wing into the Governor’s Palace gardens, which includes a boxwood maze. If you were wondering, I got lost, ha!

Note to self: do the tour before it’s blazing hot- ideally early fall so that you don’t get stuck in a maze of bushes with young kids who are hungry and tired in the blazing sun.

One of the entertaining spaces in the Colonial Williamsburg Governor's Palace mansion. The green paint is a historically accurate representation of the style at the time of it's use.
One of the entertaining spaces in the Colonial Williamsburg Governor’s Palace mansion. The green paint is a historically accurate representation of the style at the time of it’s use.
One of the ballroom spaces in the Colonial Williamsburg Governor's Palace mansion. The blue paint is a historically accurate representation of the style at the time of it's use.
This grand, brightly colored blue room was a ballroom where we learned a traditional Colonial dance.

The architecture and design details of the Governor’s Palace are phenomenal. I wish I could take longer to walk through the spaces and comb over ever little detail.

It is definitely worth the guided tour and something you won’t want to miss.

An ice rink is set up in Colonial Williamsburg in the winter which is a delightful thing to do in Williamsburg, VA

Taking the Free Road

If you are looking for fun cheap or free, you can still have a great time downtown without spending a ton. While I suggest budgeting a bit for lunch or drinks as it’s a lot of walking, you don’t need to do guided tours to enjoy the exterior of the homes, window shopping or looking at the landscape.

The area if partly shaded and partly in full sun, so dress appropriately for hot days (75 – 100 degrees) and bring a jacket or coat on cooler days (75 and cooler).

You can walk the property from Duke of Gloucester Street and Price George Street to the Palace Green, down to the Capital. Follow behind the Capital and loop back around to Nicholson street and head back towards the start.

You can then cross the street and see the Art Museum and Galleries on the corner of Francis Street & Henry Street.

Looking at the map on the Colonial Williamsburg website will clear these directions up for you!

Aroma's Cafe in Williamsburg Virginia on

Lunch at Aromas World Cafe

Another local Williamsburg favorite is Aromas. Whether you’re grabbing a coffee or lunch, you will find something you love.

Aromas World | Menu | Facebook Page | 757-221-6676

431 Prince George Street
Williamsburg, VA 23185
Monday, Tuesday & Thursday 7:30AM – 5:00PM
Wednesday 7:30AM – 5:00PM
Friday – Saturday 7:30AM – 8:00PM
Sunday 7:30AM – 5:00PM
Local Aromas cafe coffee shop in Williamsburg VA
Grab a coffee at Aromas in Williamsburg while you are on vacation here

What to Expect at Aromas

Aromas is a narrow brick bistro, reminiscent of a french cafe, with dark wood paneling, black painted ceilings and a sponged ochre colored wall (that’s yellowish). The tables show signs of many cups of coffee had while enjoying the company of a friend.

The walls are lined with local artwork. And the tables are close together, you’ll likely have to push your way through with excuse me’s and pardon.

But it is worth every second of waiting in line for a coffee and a specialty pastry from the cabinet or one of our favorite meals from below for lunch.

On Saturday mornings you’ll catch them with a pop up shop at the Farmer’s market a few streets over. You’ll know its’ Aromas because the line will be snaked around other vendors. It’s a local favorite. You can still pop into the store on Sat. mornings if you prefer.

My favorite foods from Aromas in Williamsburg are the House Salad and the Nachos.

Fan Food Favorites

  • Nachos (the kids’ favorite)
  • Grilled Cheese + goldfish (kids)
  • Portobello burger
  • Aromas Club (husband’s favorite)
  • House Salad (my favorite)
  • Nachos (after 3PM- this is an adult portion)

Don’t forget to check the bakery counter for delicious muffins, cupcakes, scones and pie. You’ll even find tasty quiches.

Sals by Victor for dinner in Williamsburg VA while on vacation

Dinner at Sals

Hands down the best Italian restaurant in Williamsburg, Virginia is Sals by Victor- it is phenomenal. While we have our favorites, there’s nothing not to love at Sals.

You’ll find carefully curated specials and a wine cellar to match your taste. The restaurant is HUGE so we hardly ever have to wait, even when it’s packed they manage to find a way.

Sals by Victor | Menu | Facebook Page | (757) 220-2641

1242 Richmond Rd.
Williamsburg, VA 23185
Sunday – Thursday : 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Friday & Sat: 11:00 AM – 12:00 AM

Fan Food Favorites

  • We love the Seafood Thermadore
  • cheese pizza or gluten free cheese pizza for the win
  • the kids love kids spaghetti + meatballs
  • italian sub is delish
  • chocolate cheesecake for dessert
Williamsburg Farmer's Market

Day 2. Outdoor Adventures

On Day 2 of our mini Williamsburg, VA vacation itinerary we’ll focus on fun things to do outdoors with the kids. Back to Colonial Williamsburg to start off the day, but this time at the Market.

  • Williamsburg Farmer’s Market (Saturday Mornings)
  • Eat Lunch at Carrot Tree Kitchens
  • Spend the Afternoon at Jamestown Beach
  • Grab dinner at the Food Truck
  • Get Ice Cream At Kilwins
fresh produce at the Williamsburg farmers market

Williamsburg Farmer’s Market (Saturday Mornings)

Over 30 local vendors offer a variety of products, among which are fresh seasonal produce, free-range chicken, beef, pork, fish, seafood (crabs!), fresh cut flowers, baked goods, confections, honey, goat cheese, mushrooms, kombucha, handmade soaps, and more.

Website | Facebook Page | P: 757-259-3768

Francis Street Parking Lot
401 W Francis Street
Williamsburg, VA 23185
Saturdays: 8AM- 12 noon
April 1- December 20

There’s something for everyone to enjoy at the Farmers Market. We usually start off with a coffee from the Aromas tent and then grab a breakfast pastry.

Next we head straight for the goat cheese which comes in a variety of flavors from chives to bacon and pumpkin to chocolate. It’s truly a delight.

Then we grab a pie from Jamestown Pie Company, sometimes a quiche and other times a strawberry rhubarb mini pie.

MUST LOVE DOGS. That’s right, it’s a pet lovers dream- pups everywhere, walking CW with their families.

Here's a helpful map of the farmer's market in Williamsburg VA for your vacation visit.

After you are done walking around the Market and enjoying the fresh air, you’ll have a little bit of time to walk around the Colonial Williamsburg area before heading off to lunch.

Make sure to stop into the shops on Duke of Gloucester street for clothing, candles, housewares, souvenirs, and unique finds.

Have lunch at Carrot Tree Kitchens in Williamsburg VA

Eat Lunch at Carrot Tree Kitchens

It’s time to grab lunch at Carrot Tree on your way to the beach. The bakery case contains the most delicious cupcakes (chocolate peanut butter) and lemon bars.

But, you’ll want to sit down for lunch and enjoy something from the seasonal menu which rotates during the year.

Web | Facebook Page | (757) 229-0957

1303 Jamestown Road
Suite 135
Williamsburg, VA 23185
Monday: CLOSED
Tuesday – Friday: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Saturday: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Sunday: 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM


  • Quiche of the day
  • Orzo salad
  • Virginia Ham biscuits
  • Hummus plate with veggies
Jamestown Beach in Williamsburg VA

Spend the Afternoon at Jamestown Beach

Jamestown Beach has been recently renovated and has sandy spots along the James River and grassy areas to eat lunch at picnic tables and grill out.

We particularly love it because it is technically not on the ocean and on the James River. This makes for much calmer waters, which makes it easier for young children.

Jamestown Beach Event Park
2205 Jamestown Road
Williamsburg, VA 23185
Mon-Sun, 8 a.m.-sunset

Memorial Day weekend-Labor Day

Mon-Fri, Noon-5 p.m.
Sat-Sun, Noon-6 p.m.

After all, we are vacationing with kids in Williamsburg!

You’ll park in the lot as directed by the attendant ($7 per vehicle) and walk down to the beach to grab a spot. Stake your claim and enjoy the day at the beach.

If the sun makes your kids hungry for a snack (I know it does for me) there is a concessions building with chips, icecream/popcicles and cold drinks.

When it’s time for dinner, head over to the food truck down near the pier.

Grab dinner at the Food Truck

The great thing about Jamestown beach is that food trucks are lined up all season long- there’s barbecue, seafood and sandwiches to be had.

Kilwins Original Recipe Ice Cream in Williamsburg VA- Things to Do in Williamsburg VA

Get Ice Cream At Kilwins

Oh Kilwins, how you derail my diet every time. THE BEST ICECREAM in Williamsburg VA is Kilwins in Colonial Williamsburg.

So after an afternoon playing at the beach, pack up the kids and head back to Colonial Williamsburg for icecream.

421 Prince George Street
Williamsburg, VA 23185
Mon – Thu:10:00 am-10:00 pm
Fri – Sat:10:00 am-11:00 pm
Sun:10:00 am-10:00 pm

We love the chocolate peanut butter, lemon, superman (the kids’ favorite, yikes) and pistachio.

Haunted tour of Colonial Williamsburg


Back to Colonial Williamsburg for a haunting tour of the ghastly places in colonial Williamsburg throughout history to end the night in fright.


Play House Stage on Palace Green7:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Family sitting at the Palace Green Play State during October haunting
Here we are having a haunting good time with skellie and friends.

Where to Stay in Williamsburg

Getting to Williamsburg

By Car
Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Historic Triangle, which includes Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown. We are halfway between Richmond and Virginia Beach, and 150 miles south of Washington, DC.

You’ll travel along Interstate 95 to Route 64. Take Exit 238 to VA-132 South towards Colonial Williamsburg. Follow specific directions from this point.

By Plane
There are 3 airports within a short distance to fly into and travel to Williamsburg, VA:

  • Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport (PHF) (20 minutes)
  • Norfolk International Airport (ORF) (45 minutes)
  • Richmond International Airport (RIC) (45 minutes)

By Train

Amtrak offers train service from Washington D.C. to the Williamsburg Transportation Center. For information call 1-800-USA-RAIL.

Downtown Colonial Williamsburg things to do- kids playing on the Palace Green

Best Places to Eat in Williamsburg

While there are a ton of choices for dinner in this touristy town, I’m going to stick to local places that aren’t chain restaurants.

  • Emilys Donuts
  • Aroma’s Cafe
  • The Corner Pocket
  • Sportsmans Grill
  • Sals
  • Fat Tuna
  • Food for Thought
  • Casa Pearl
  • Charley’s Airport Restaurant
  • Pierce’s BBQ
  • Old City Barbecue


  • Blue Talon Bistro
  • Fat Canary
  • Cochon on Second
  • Le Yaca
  • A Chef’s Kitchen
  • Aberdeen Barn

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Do you have any tips on things to do in Colonial Williamsburg, VA? Or, if you’re planning a trip and have questions on what to do in Williamsburg VA, please share in the comments.

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