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June 6, 2008

Summer programs educate, entertain young and old at the Museums of Colonial Williamsburg

The Museums of Colonial Williamsburg feature an assortment of guided tours and interactive programs for all ages during the summer.

The following guided tours and interactive programs are a sampling of what is offered:

  • Highlights from the Collection. This 30-minute guided tour introduces visitors to the 18th-century paintings, furniture and ceramics on display in the decorative arts museum, with an emphasis on the museum’s “Masterworks” exhibit, as well as offering information on the history of the decorative arts collection here in Williamsburg. 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. every day at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
  • An Introduction to Folk Art. Enjoy a guided tour of whimsical and fascinating selections from Mrs. Rockefeller’s original collection for which the museum was founded. Group tours run at noon and 2 p.m. every day at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum.
  • Meet the Weaver. Meet the Historic Area weavers and help them make a bed rug. 1:30-4:45 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
  • Ceramics Up-Close. This in-depth, 45-minute look at the museum’s ceramics includes interesting stories about craftsmen, their creations and the functions for which they were used. Tours begin at 2:15 and 3:30 p.m. on Fridays and Sundays at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
  • Small Wonders. Get an up-close look at “A Child’s-Eye View,” the museum’s exhibition of vintage toys from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Treasured dolls, dollhouses, model trains and other toys of yesteryear will delight children of all ages on this 45-minute tour. 2:15 and 3:30 p.m. Mondays and Saturdays at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
  • Textiles Up-Close. With a museum volunteer, examine needlework and textiles in the textile study drawers. 1:30-4 p.m. Wednesdays at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum.

    Also for the younger museumgoer, the following special family programs will be offered:

  • Wee Folk. Explore the museum galleries through stories and activities. Geared for children 3-7 years and their adult friends. This 45-minute program begins at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesdays, June 11, 18, 25, July 9, 16, 23, 30, Aug. 13 and 20 at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum.
  • The Toymaker’s Workshop. Experience one of the oldest forms of entertainment, a shadow puppet play for all ages. Set in Victorian times, the story is brought to life by a storyteller and puppeteers with live sound effects. After the show, look behind the scenes and learn how the show was produced. This 45-minute program begins at 4:15 p.m. on Saturdays, June 7, 14, July 5, 26, Aug. 9 and 23 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
  • Magical Creatures. Explore the galleries for griffins, phoenixes, mermaids, dragons and unicorns while illustrating a book to take home. Geared for ages 8 and above. This hour-long tour begins at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 7, 14, 21, 28, July 12, 19, 26, Aug. 2, 9, 16 and 23 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. Space is limited.
  • Toys! A is for Animal. Search the galleries for beasts of all sizes and then make one of your own. 2:30-4 p.m. June 7 and 28 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
  • Stitch Detectives. Discover textiles in the museum exhibits and then explore your creativity with a hands-on activity. This hour-long program begins at 3 p.m. on Sundays, June 8, 22, July 20, Aug. 3 and 17 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
  • Drawing on George. Celebrate patriotism as you explore the museums for American flags, bald eagles, George Washington and Lady Liberty. Make a keepsake to take home. This hour-long program begins at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, June 11, 25, July 9, 23, Aug. 6 and 20 at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum.
  • Mini Masterpieces. Create an artist trading card to commemorate your visit to Colonial Williamsburg using images and words from the 18th century. This hour-long program starts at 10:30 a.m. on Fridays, June 13, 20, 27, July 11, 18, 25, Aug. 1, 15 and 22 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
  • Crack the Code. Investigate various secret codes and ciphers used during the Revolution. Geared for ages 8 and older, this hour-long program begins at 4 p.m. on Wednesdays, June 18, July 9, 16, 23, 30, Aug. 6, 13 and 20 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
  • World Turned Upside-Down. Explore the exciting events leading up to the Declaration of Independence and American Revolution, and make a patriotic souvenir to take home. Geared for ages 10 and above. This hour-long tour begins at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, June 18, July 16, 30 and Aug. 13 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
  • A Day School for Young Ladies – Sampler Exhibition. In 1801, Mrs. Gardner on opening a needlework school and will answer questions about the instruction and care of her students and survey applicants in current knowledge. This hour-long program begins at 3 p.m. on most Fridays, June 20, 27, July 11, 18, 25, Aug. 1, 15 and 22 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
  • Toys! A Doll’s Life. Explore the galleries for dolls and drop in to create your very own doll from recycled objects. June 21 from 2:30-4 p.m. at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
  • Folk Art Adventures: Growing Up in the 19th Century. Hear stories of growing up in the 1800s as you explore the galleries, followed by the opportunity to make a 19th-century toy of your own. An hour-long program on June 29 at 3 p.m. at the Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum. Space is limited.
  • Toys! Sailors’ Games. Drop in to try your hand at sailors’ games and test your abilities as you make one to take home. July 12 from 2:30-4 p.m. at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
  • Folk Art Adventures: A Frak-Tour. On an hour-long guided tour you will learn about the folk art tradition of frakturs and then have the opportunity to try your hand at making your own fraktur. Tour begins at 3 p.m. on July 13 at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum. Space is limited.
  • Toys! Mice in the Galleries. Count the mice in the exhibit “A Child’s-Eye View” and then create your own marble mice. 2:30-4 p.m. July 19 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
  • Toys! Yikes, Snakes! Explore the galleries for snakes in art, followed by decorating a snake of your own. July 26 from 2:30-4 p.m. at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
  • Folk Art Adventures: Love Notes. Join a guided tour exploring how romance and love were celebrated in the past, then try your hand at penning you own historic love note. An hour-long program on July 27 at 3 p.m. at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum. Space is limited.
  • Toys! Adopt a Toy Dog. Drop in and create the supplies to care for your adopted toy mini pet. 2:30-4 p.m. Aug. 2 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
  • Toys! Life in Miniature. Enjoy the galleries full of dollhouses, and then create a doll out of recycled materials to remember your tour. Aug. 9 from 2:30-4 p.m. at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
  • Folk Art Adventures: To Go a Travelling. Discover the galleries while listening to the words of 19th-century travelers and create a travel journal to keep. An hour-long program on Aug. 10 at 3 p.m. at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum. Space is limited.
  • Toys! Down on the Farm. Visit the animal exhibit “Down on the Farm” and then create your own barnyard friends. Aug. 16 from 2:30-4 p.m. at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
  • Toys! The Play’s the Thing. Discover the fun of finger puppets, creating and playing with your very own. 2:30-4 p.m. Aug. 23 at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.
  • Folk Art Adventures: Memory Art. Explore the galleries for examples of memory art, followed by creating a memory necklace of your own. An hour-long program on Aug. 24 at 3 p.m. at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum. Space is limited.

    A Colonial Williamsburg admissions ticket, Good Neighbor Card or museums ticket provides access to enjoy these family programs.

    The Museums of Colonial Williamsburg include the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum and the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum. Entrance to the Museums of Colonial Williamsburg is through the Public Hospital of 1773 at 326 W. Francis St. Operating hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. For information and reservations call (757) 220-7724.

    Established in 1926, the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational institution 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. Within the restored and reconstructed buildings, historic interpreters, attired as colonial men and women from slaves to shopkeepers to soldiers, relate stories of colonial Virginia society and culture — stories of our journey to become Americans – while historic tradespeople research, demonstrate and preserve the 18th-century world of work and industry. As Colonial Williamsburg interprets life in the time of the American Revolution for its guests, it also invites them to interact with history. “Revolutionary City®” -- a daily dramatic live street theater presentation -- is a 2008 Rand McNally Best-of-the-Road™ Editor’s Pick. 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 Web site at www.history.org.

    Media Contact:
    Penna Rogers
    (757) 220-7121



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