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Colonial Williamsburg for Locals

Frequently Asked Questions for Locals
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Special Event: Constitution Day Concert
Sunday, September 17, 2023
The Lawn at the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg
Colonial Williamsburg celebrates the signing of the U.S. Constitution with a free event, "To Support and Defend," on the lawn in front of the Art Museums. Through music and spoken word, the framework of our nation's government and the cherished founding document will be honored on its 236th anniversary. The program features a combined ensemble of members of the USAF Heritage of America Band, the USA Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Band, the US Fleet Forces Band, and the Marine Detachment Navy School of Music. 

Special Event: Indigenous Short Films presented by the Pocahontas Reframed Film Festival
Friday, September 29; 6 to 8 pm
Hennage Auditorium, The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg
Free admission
Richmond's acclaimed Pocahontas Reframed Film Festival comes to Williamsburg to share a series of short films written, directed, and produced by Indigenous artists. This free program features 12 films with rich subject matter depicting Native American life of today and the past. Learn how the land and rivers are central to Indigenous worldviews and meet artists and storytellers honoring and continuing the traditions of their ancestors.

Colonial Williamsburg Homeschool Days

  • September 9-24, 2023

During these special times, homeschoolers and their families can discover history brought to life at a special discounted rate. Join us to visit the historic sites where Revolutionary ideas were shaped, meet the tradespeople whose craftsmanship supported the War for Independence, and so much more. Use our virtual tours, educational videos, activity sheets, and behind-the-scenes blogs to supplement your visit.

Designer in Residence Tours of the Nelson-Galt House
Tour the second Designer in Residence project, highlighting the historic Nelson-Galt House and featuring the work of interior designer Heather Chadduck Hillegas. A Virginia native, Hillegas is an acclaimed, Birmingham-based decorator and textile designer known for relaxed elegance rooted in tradition. Explore the interior of the oldest frame house in Virginia (circa 1695) and discover how Hillegas reimagined these spaces for today using paints, fabrics, wallpapers, and more from the WILLIAMSBURG licensed lines, as well as antiques and décor curated to complete the story. Click here for more information.

Tour Dates:

  • Sunday, September 3
  • Sunday, October 8

NOW OPEN Colonial Williamsburg Bookstore in Merchants Square

A new chapter for publications of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation began Labor Day weekend with the opening of a bookstore in Merchants Square. The Foundation has published books since 1935 on subjects as varied as art and archaeology, history and historic trades, scholarly books, cookbooks and volumes for children and young adults. More than 50 Colonial Williamsburg titles are available at the Colonial Williamsburg Bookstore, along with books written by historians whose articles have appeared in Colonial Williamsburg’s magazine Trend & Tradition, early American history books from Foundation publishing partners, and titles affiliated with other museums in Virginia.

Colonial Williamsburg Fifes and Drums
The Fifes and Drums will be performing Wednesdays and Thursdays at 4:40 pm in Market Square, Saturdays at 12:30 pm starting at the Capitol and marching to the Palace, and Saturdays at 1 pm on the Play House Stage.

American Red Cross Blood Drives
Colonial Williamsburg hosts monthly blood drives for the American Red Cross at the Woodlands Conference Center, located at 159 Visitor Center Drive.

Upcoming dates:

  • Friday, September 15
  • Wednesday, October 25

To register for an appointment, visit redcrossblood.org and use sponsor code: CWF next to "Make Your Appointment."

Colonial Williamsburg Parking
Colonial Williamsburg works with the City of Williamsburg to make parking as accessible as possible for residents and guests visiting downtown, the Historic Area and Merchants Square. Parking fees align with the city’s Downtown Parking Plan to efficiently use the community’s available parking inventory. Revenue helps to maintain downtown Williamsburg and Merchants Square as a beautiful, vibrant and appealing location for both residents and visitors. Payment of fees can be made either through the Passport Parking app available for download on mobile devices or through kiosks installed in each parking lot. Parking fees in Colonial Williamsburg parking lots are:

  • Parking lots P2-P5: 30 minutes free and $2 per hour thereafter with a $20 daily maximum.
  • Parking lot P6, at the corner of Henry and Francis Streets, two hours free and an hourly rate thereafter of $1 per hour with a $10 daily maximum.
  • Parking fees are in effect from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.  

Click here to learn more.

Colonial Williamsburg Newsletters - Be the First to Know
Sign up to receive our email newsletters to stay informed about upcoming special events, new programming, historical research, and great special offers. And with a Good Neighbor Pass you can take advantage of it all.

Merchants Square
There’s always something new to discover in Colonial Williamsburg’s Merchants Square with new restaurants and stores, summer menus and special events. Visit the website for the latest and be in the know. (Don’t worry, there are hundreds of free parking spaces throughout the downtown area.)   

Good Neighbor Pass
If you live in the Williamsburg area, the Good Neighbor Pass is an excellent way to enjoy Colonial Williamsburg programs and special events at substantial savings. Enjoy unlimited admission to the Art Museums and Historic Area as well as discounts on shopping, dining, evening programs, and tickets for friends and family. Williamsburg-James City County teachers and current municipal employees of the city of Williamsburg, James City County, and the Bruton District of York County are eligible to receive a FREE Good Neighbor Pass. More information here.

Museums for All
Colonial Williamsburg has joined Museums for All, a signature program of the Institute of Museum and Library Services, administered by the Association of Children’s Museums, to encourage people of all backgrounds to visit museums and build lifelong museum-going habits. The program enables those receiving food assistance (SNAP) benefits to visit Colonial Williamsburg for a minimal fee of $3 per person (for up to four people) with the presentation of a SNAP Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. “History belongs to all of us and should be accessible to all,” said Cliff Fleet, president and CEO of Colonial Williamsburg. “Colonial Williamsburg is proud to participate in initiatives like Museums for All to ensure that everyone — regardless of race, religion, politics, or socio-economic background — is able to see themselves in our nation’s history.” For more information on this special offer visit colonialwilliamsburg.org/museumsforall.

Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center
The Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center is open for ticket purchases, information, parking, and buses to the Historic Area. In addition, there is a small gift shop.

The Historic Triangle Recreational Facilities Authority (HTRFA) has determined that property adjacent to the Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center building and owned by The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is its preferred location to build a regional indoor sports facility. Colonial Williamsburg is reviewing the HTRFA’s proposal, but no decision has been made about the best use of the property. The HTRFA’s proposal for the indoor sports facility has no impact on the Visitor Center building. The development of an indoor sports facility is independent of Colonial Williamsburg operations. For additional information, visit the Historic Triangle Recreational Facilities Authority (HTRFA) website: https://htrfa.org/

Save on Admission

Annual Pass

An Annual Pass pays for itself in just two visits. With 365 days of access to the Historic Area sites, two art museums, programs, performances, and more, the Annual Pass is a great value. Plus, enjoy exclusive discounts on shopping, dining, golf, relaxation at the spa, and more.

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Good Neighbor Pass

We’re happy to offer our hyper-local neighbors a discounted annual pass featuring the same great admission and exclusive benefits. If you live in 23089, 23090, 23127, 23168, 23185, 23186, 23187, or 23188, you qualify for our Good Neighbor Pass!

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City and County Employees

Employees of the City of Williamsburg, James City County, and the Bruton District of York County are eligible to receive a FREE Good Neighbor Pass.

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Teacher Pass

Teachers who work in Greater Williamsburg are eligible to receive a FREE Good Neighbor Pass. See a list of qualifying schools.

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William & Mary Collegiate Pass

Current William & Mary students, faculty and staff are eligible for a free collegiate pass.

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Christopher Newport University Collegiate Pass

Current Christopher Newport University students, faculty and staff are eligible for a free collegiate pass.

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In Your Own Backyard

Explore Colonial Williamsburg

With over 300 acres to explore and something new to discover every season, there’s something for everyone all year long. Check out archaeology at Custis Square, learn about rare animal breeds, and meet the people who bring history to life.

Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg

Featuring the best in British and American fine and decorative arts, plus the nation’s premiere collection of American folk art.

Special Events

Join us for special programming for holidays and commemorative seasons throughout the year.


Come behind the fence for a closer look at current excavations, tour our labs where much of the discovery takes place, or find out more about what our latest projects have revealed.

Bassett Trace Nature Trail

Take a self-guided tour of the Bassett Trace Nature Trail. Use the Nature Trail Map to identify shrubs, trees, and flowers found throughout the trail.

Self-guided Arboretum Tour

Look for interactive tags on trees throughout the historic area. Use the camera on your phone to scan the QR codes with your smart phone or tablet and learn about each species.

Pastures at Colonial Williamsburg

Visit the Foundation's rare animal breeds throughout the historic area.

Merchants Square

Over 40 unique stores and restaurants. Unlimited memorable experiences. At Merchants Square, you'll find so much more than can fit in a shopping bag.

Working and Volunteering at Colonial Williamsburg

Find exciting careers in Virginia at our living history museum. Rewarding Colonial Williamsburg jobs available for new and returning job seekers.

Visit After Work

Evening Programs

Evening entertainment includes signature favorites and new enchanting experiences. Discounts on evening programs are available to all Annual, Good Neighbor, and Collegiate Pass holders.


With a mixture of historic taverns, modern restaurants, and cafes located in and around the Historic Area, you’ll find the perfect place for a historically inspired family meal or an intimate evening of creative cuisine.

Homeschool Resources

Colonial Williamsburg invites homeschoolers and their families to experience revolutionary educational opportunities. Discover history brought to life and meet the people who contributed to the founding of America.

Learn More

Homeschool Family Itinerary

A Parent’s Guide to Weekly Visits

Homeschool Virtual Programs

Contact Us

Donate Today

Did you know that contributing to the Foundation can earn you admission benefits as well? Join the Duke of Gloucester Society to receive Good Neighbor rates for two annual passes. Further donor levels earn you complimentary annual passes, plus your contribution makes it possible for us to fulfill our mission: that the future may learn from the past.

Donate Now