Frequently Asked Questions for Locals
Educators Appreciation Night, October 20, 2022; 6 to 8 pm Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg
A special event that celebrates the hard work and dedication of Historic Triangle K-12 teachers and administrative staff. Enjoy a glass of wine as you relax and network during a reception with fellow educators; explore the world-class collections of the award-winning DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum; engage with Colonial Williamsburg interpreters and staff to learn about resources for your classroom; door prizes, giveaways, museum shop discounts, and more! Register here.
Fall Archaeology Community Open Houses
- Custis Square
October 22, 10 am to 4 pm
Talk with archaeologists in the field about the history of Custis Square, earlier excavations that helped to inform our understanding of the Custis family, and current project goals.
Free Special Fall Programs and Events
- “Intersections” (Wednesdays-Sundays): The Williamsburg community comes to life in this street theatre experience exploring the daily lives of ordinary people during extraordinary times. Consider diverse perspectives on political and societal elements of 18th-century life as people of the past gather near the Raleigh Tavern to tend to personal and professional businesses of the day. This event will take place on Duke of Gloucester Street and is free and open to the public.
- 8th-century Field Music with the Fifes & Drums - Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 4:40 pm; Saturdays at 12:45 pm
Watch and listen to the Fifes and Drums as they demonstrate the music and drill of various military ceremonies from an 18th-century soldier's working day.
- Lighting of the Cressets - Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, September 29 through November 19; 6:00 to 9:00 pm.
Join us on historic Duke of Gloucester Street as we bring our 18th-century streets to life at night with strolling musicians.
- Veterans Day Ceremonies, Friday, November 11
10 am - Veterans Day Proclamation Ceremony on the Palace Green.
Presented in partnership with the Williamsburg Chapter, Sons of American Revolution, this ceremony honors the men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces.
3:30 pm - A Military March Honoring America's Veterans; Capitol Circle to the Courthouse
Join us for a march and ceremony honoring America's veterans, featuring the Colonial Williamsburg Fifes and Drums, Military Programs staff, and an address of gratitude to Williamsburg community veterans by Mrs. Washington. All Armed Forces veterans are welcome and encouraged to participate.
Historic Trades and Skills Family Workshops (multiple dates)
Throughout the Historic Area, modern-day practitioners use 18th-century tools and techniques to apprentice in — and eventually master — over twenty historic trades such as woodworking, weaving or blacksmithing, just to name a few. Join them for special hands-on family workshops designed for participants aged 7 and older. Admission tickets to Colonial Williamsburg are not required, however, there is a fee of $20 to participate. See details in the links below.
- Sundays, 10 am – Wigmaker Behind the Scenes Apprentice Tour. Explore the trades of Wig making and Hairdressing by taking part in several tasks, such as combing, washing, or weaving hair. Limit of 15 participants.
- Thursdays – Wheelwright: “More Labor Than Ingenuity.” Experience mounting an iron tire, turning the great wheel lathe, and making paint. Participants will be able to experience, through activity, all the important concepts of the Wheelwright’s trade. Limit of 5 participants.
- Saturdays – Military Programs: “The Musket.” Participants will learn about the evolution of firearms leading up to the American Revolution and the various types of ammunition. Limit of 15
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.
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. See information on Parking below.)
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.
After a parking study was conducted by the City of Williamsburg several years ago, it became clear that changes needed to be made to improve parking in the downtown area. Implementing a modest charge for parking ensures that spaces are not occupied unnecessarily for extended periods of time, and funds are generated to maintain and improve parking facilities to provide the best and safest possible experience for residents and guests visiting the area. Currently there are hundreds of free parking spaces throughout the downtown area that do not require use of the Passport App, including the parking lots adjacent to Merchants Square and at the Art Museums. The city parking garage on N. Henry Street utilizes a self-pay kiosk that does not require use of the app. Free two-hour parking is available in most parking lots, including the Williamsburg Inn, Williamsburg Lodge, and the Tavern parking lots, as well as the parking lots on Francis Street, but the app is required to log your visit. More information here.
Historic Area Paving
Historic Area street paving by the City of Williamsburg is done in two phases to allow the surfaces to cure between applications. City contractors first apply a standard paving material, which appears black and makes the streets look like a traditional road. A brown aggregate topcoat is then applied. The topcoat must be able to withstand the metal banded carriage wheels on Colonial Williamsburg carriages as the wheels would pulverize traditional aggregate topcoat as they travel along Duke of Gloucester and adjacent streets. Although paving began last year, complications arose during a test of a possible aggregate topcoat and further evaluation is needed by Colonial Williamsburg and the city before it can be applied throughout the Historic Area. We know that the aesthetics of the brown aggregate complements the Historic Area experience and look forward to applying a suitable material as soon as possible.
Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center
The Colonial Williamsburg Regional Visitor Center is open for ticket purchases, information, parking, and shuttles 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/
Restaurants and Taverns
We are pleased to see that so many are eager to enjoy our wonderful restaurants and taverns. There is currently a nationwide and regional shortage of hospitality/restaurant workers. Colonial Williamsburg’s hospitality group is hiring restaurant staff, but is confronting the same challenges as others in the region. When combined with the economic impact resulting from COVID-19 health and safety restrictions, the Foundation has temporarily reduced operating hours at some of our facilities to ensure that we provide a high-quality guest experience. We are actively recruiting talented restaurant staff in anticipation of a return to normal operations in the coming months as the world emerges from the pandemic.