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June 21, 2012

Revolutionary City is Headquarters for Summer Fun

Colonial Williamsburg’s Revolutionary City and Art Museums serve as the summer fun headquarters for families this year. Discover everything there is to do in the 18th-century capital of Virginia at the Foundation’s new website

RevQuest: The Lion and the Unicorn
Colonial Williamsburg unveils an all-new online/onsite alternate reality game to enhance and expand a visit to the Revolutionary City this summer. “RevQuest: The Lion and the Unicorn” immerses participants in the world of 18th-century espionage as they race to protect the identity of a crucial patriot spy on the eve of the Battle of Yorktown. Based on actual events and real people, the game challenges players as never before to break codes and avoid detection as they navigate their way online and through The Revolutionary City to save the cause of American liberty. The game is free with an admission ticket. The adventure begins at Spy Central:

Guests become a part of the two-day saga as the city comes alive to depict the days, months and years leading up to and during the Revolutionary War as Colonial Williamsburg transforms the Historic Area into an active Revolutionary City. Beginning online, guests can choose to follow one of four very different people in the 18th-century capital of Virginia online at Loyalist printer William Hunter opposes American independence. James Monroe, who now is a student at the College of William and Mary, is trying to raise a regiment to fight in the war. Betsy Randolph, the wife of an ardent patriot, discovers the challenges of beginning a family on the eve of the American Revolution. Will stands by his owner, the proprietor of the Raleigh Tavern, and witnesses the events of the Revolution. Guests can meet these people, and a whole community of others throughout the Revolutionary City, as they face hard choices and share personal stories during a time of uncertainty. Entry is included with a Revolutionary City ticket.

Just for Young Patriots

A visit to the Benjamin Powell House, an original house, gives young guests a chance to get their "Hands on History." Children of all ages have an opportunity to try out various chores, toys and games. Families enjoy this program daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m. through Sept. 2, except July 13 when the site will open at 1 p.m. Entry is included with a Revolutionary City ticket.

There are many story books for children of varying ages published by Colonial Williamsburg. During the program, “Read Me a Story,” guests are invited to accompany their children to the Powell garden to hear a costumed interpreter read one of these popular titles. The program is offered at 10:15 a.m. Mondays through Aug. 13, Saturdays, June 23-Aug. 18 and Sundays, June 24-Aug. 19. Weather permitting. Entry is included with a Revolutionary City ticket.

Children between the ages of three and seven are invited to explore Benjamin Powell’s property using familiar riddles and rhymes along with bits and pieces like a stub of candle or a hank of wool through “Mother Goose’s Riddles and Rhymes Tour” at 9:45 and 10:15 a.m. Tuesdays through Aug. 14, Thursdays, June 21-Aug. 16 and Fridays, June 22-Aug. 17. This tour is designed for non-reading or early reading pre-school and kindergarten children using 18th-century nursery rhymes and discovery of artifacts and activities. Entry is included with a Revolutionary City ticket, although a free reservation is required.

“The Apprentice!” takes young guests on a visit to three trade shops so they can decide what they want to be when they grow up. At the start of the tour, they receive a bag with a paste paper cover for a stitch book that they can fill with period descriptions of the trades provided by the tradesmen they visit. At each trade shop, families receive mementos to include in the book. At the end of the experience, young guests “sew” their stitch book, decide what trade they want to choose and complete an reproduction apprenticeship contract. This guided tour is held at 9:30, 9:55 and 10:20 a.m. on Mondays through Aug. 13, Wednesdays through Aug. 15 and Saturdays, June 23-Aug. 18 and begins at the Lumber House Ticket Office. A separate ticket is required to attend this program. Tickets are $15 for adults and youth ages six-12 and children are $7.50.

“The Apprentice Goes to the Farm” offers young guests an opportunity to experience life on farm and learn about the majority of both the free and enslaved people of Virginia, before, during and after the American Revolution. Children and accompanying adults get their hands on an array of activities related to farming and the domestic life of 18th-century small farmers and their enslaved workers. This program takes place at 10 a.m. on Tuesdays through Aug. 14 and Thursdays, June 21-Aug. 16 at Great Hopes Plantation. A separate ticket is required to attend this program. Tickets are $15 for adults and youth ages six-12 and children are $7.50.

When the Sun Goes Down

During “Live After 5,” guests can enjoy an activity every night:

  • “A Salute to the Nation” presents the sights, songs and words that form the idea of America at 9 p.m. Fridays, July 6-Aug. 24 on Governor’s Palace Green. A short fireworks display concludes the event. “A Salute to the Nation” is free and open to the public.
  • “Entertainments at the Raleigh” starts with a rousing Fifes and Drums performance and parade to the Raleigh Tavern. There, lit cressets illuminate an outdoor stage with live entertainment for ticketed guests. Once inside the tavern, guests experience a sample of programs, and choose from that evening’s performances that may include “Grand Medley of Entertainments,” “Pirates Amongst Us” and “African American Music.” As a ticketed guest, they will receive a 10 percent discount on the evening program of their choice.
  • Tavern dining in one of Colonial Williamsburg’s four dining taverns.
  • Eighteenth-century games at Chowning’s Gambols every night at 9 p.m. with light fare, hearty ales and sing-alongs.

    Other special programs include:

  • The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. The DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum offer a variety of tours and special programs for children of different ages. Admission is included with Historic Area or museum tickets and Annual or Good Neighbor passes.
  • Children’s Orientation Walk, 10:30 and 11:30 a.m., Gateway Building. This daily 30-minute walking tour points out all the family-friendly things to do in The Revolutionary City. Families also learn about 18th-century families. Admission is included with Historic Area or museum tickets and Annual or Good Neighbor passes.
  • Colonial Garden, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. A visit to the gardens allows guests to follow the seasons and lend a hand at the Colonial Garden. No admission ticket is required. Weather permitting.

    In 2000, the late William Kimball and his wife Gretchen made a major gift to create the William and Gretchen Kimball Young Patriots Fund. One of the largest gifts ever made for youth history education, the Kimball Young Patriots Fund supports Historic Area youth programming including the Fifes and Drums.

    The Estelle and Harold Tanner Endowment for Technology in the Historic Area, established by Colonial Williamsburg Senior Trustee Estelle (Nicki) Tanner and her husband Harold of Scarsdale, N.Y., helps provide support for new initiatives such as “RevQuest: The Lion and the Unicorn.”

    Summer Bounce Package

    The Summer Bounce Package features four days and three nights from $267 per night for a family of four and includes nightly accommodations at the Williamsburg Woodlands Hotel & Suites, a Colonial Williamsburg Resort hotel, three-in-one tickets for general admission to Colonial Williamsburg’s Revolutionary City and Art Museums, Busch Gardens, and Water Country USA. The ticket is valid for up to seven consecutive days.

    Colonial Williamsburg’s hotel guests have exclusive access to the Fun Zone. Families love meeting members of the Fifes and Drums and splashing around at pirate pool parties. In between, families can head over to the Williamsburg Woodlands for hours of mini golf, volleyball and playground activities, plus magicians and storytellers.

    For more information, visit

    The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and presentation of the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia. This town-sized living history museum tells the inspirational stories of our journey to become Americans through programs in the award-winning Revolutionary City program. Explore The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg and discover the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum featuring the best in British and American decorative arts from 1670 – 1830 and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum home to the nation’s premier collection of American folk art, comprising more than 5,000 folk art objects made during the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Colonial Williamsburg is committed to expanding its thought-provoking programming through education outreach on-site and online. Purchase of Colonial Williamsburg products and services supports the preservation, research and educational programs of the Foundation. Philanthropic support by individuals, corporations, and foundations benefits the educational mission of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

    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. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at

    Media Contact:
    Penna Rogers
    (757) 220-7121

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