Colonial Williamsburg® The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's Official History and Citizenship Website

Page content
Reset text sizeResize text larger

March 4, 2011

Families Explore Colonial Williamsburg Collections Through Special Programming for Young Guests

Family programs at the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg introduce youth to Colonial Williamsburg’s museum collections. Young guests can explore folk art and decorative arts, and make their own memento to take home. These programs will be offered this spring.

“Material World” explores the world of art through the eyes of a conservator. Hands-on activities are designed to help children see how interconnected science and art truly are. The program is at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesdays, March 16-June 8.

“When Insects Invade: The Unwanted Museum Visitor” illustrates how museum conservators deal with bugs in museums. Families can participate in this program at 2:30 p.m. Thursdays, March 17-June 9.

Folk tales from around the world and objects from the museum’s collection are the focus of “Folk Tale Fridays.” Children ages three to seven hear a story, take a tour and make a craft to take home at 10:30 a.m. on March 18 and 25.

“Discover Gee’s Bend Quilts” explores the unique African American quilting traditions and history of Gee’s Bend, Ala., while examining two examples in the museum’s collections. Young guests can explore their creativity with a hands-on activity at 1:30 p.m. Fridays, March 18 and 25.

During “Art Stop,” young guests drop in and create a work of art inspired by objects in the collection. Families can enjoy this program at 10:30 a.m. Saturdays, March 19 and 26, Mondays, April 4-25 and Saturdays, June 4 and 11.

During “Explore the Declaration of Independence” families explore the exciting events leading up to the Declaration of Independence and the American Revolution, and then create a souvenir to take home at 1:30 p.m. Mondays, April 4-25 and at 1:45 p.m. on Monday, June 6.

Young guests learn about real secret codes and ciphers used by George Washington and other leaders during the American Revolution and can try their hands at cracking a code using a spy technique they’ve learned. The program, “Crack the Code,” is geared for ages eight and older will be held at 4 p.m. on Mondays, April 4-25 and at 1:45 p.m. on Monday, June 6.

Coats of arms are the focus of the program, “Heraldry.” Following a guided tour of the galleries, kids learn the meaning behind the symbols and then illustrate a book to take home. This program is recommended for children ages eight and up. 1:30 a.m. Tuesdays, April 5-26.

“Folk Art for Families” introduces young and old to whimsical and imaginative folk art, followed by an opportunity to make a piece of folk art to take home. The tour is offered at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, April 6-27, 4 p.m. Fridays, May 6-27 and 1:45 p.m. Fridays, June 3 and 10.

During “Mini Masterpieces,” families can create artist trading cards from magazine and catalog photographs, copies of 18th-century prints and colored paper into a mini collage at 10:30 a.m. Tuesdays, April 5-26.

“Scherenschnitte…What’s That?” introduces families to the German art of scissor cutting. Guests can snip out simple silhouettes to more intricate designs in the same manner and Swiss and German immigrants in the 18th and 19th centuries at 10:30 a.m. May 6-27 and Monday, June 6.

Young guests and their families enjoy a story, gallery tour and a hands-on activity during “Once Upon a Time” at 10:30 a.m. Thursdays, May 5-26 and Tuesday, June 7.

“Folk Art Afternoons” gives guests an opportunity to drop in and create their own folk art object based on art from the collections to take home. The program is offered at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, June 7.

Families can take a guided tour through the galleries where their mission is to find objects associated with ancient myths and legends during “Mission Mythology!” Young guests ages eight and above can participate in the program at 4 p.m. on Fridays, June 3 and 10.

All programs and exhibitions at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation’s DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum are supported by the DeWitt Wallace Endowment.

A Colonial Williamsburg admissions ticket, museum pass or Good Neighbor Card provides access to these tours.

The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg include the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum and the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum is home to the nation’s premier collection of American folk art, with more than 5,000 folk art objects made during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. The DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum exhibits the best in British and American decorative arts from 1670–1830.

The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg are located at the intersection of Francis and South Henry Streets in Williamsburg, Va., and are entered through the Public Hospital of 1773. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday through March 13. On March 14, museum hours will be 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. For museum program information, telephone (757) 220-7724.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization that preserves and operates the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia as a town-sized living history museum, telling the inspirational stories of our nation’s founding men and women. Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at

Media Contact:
Penna Rogers
(757) 220-7121