Williamsburg isn’t just for the little ones. In fact, teens will likely enjoy the historic triangle more than younger children because they can understand more of the historical significance. Of course, you still need to sprinkle in some kid fun with all that history. Here are 7 things to do with teens in Williamsburg, Virginia.
7 Things to do with Teens in Williamsburg, Virginia
Now that my children are older, it’s fun to revisit places we’ve been, and see them from a different perspective. The last time we visited Colonial Williamsburg, my son dressed up and went on a scavenger hunt visiting shopkeepers. At Jamestown Settlement, he enjoyed learning how to make rope from the Powhatan Indian Chief re-enactor.
This time, we were able to forgo chicken fingers for a more sophisticated cheese plate. Although we still enjoyed strolling through the re-created Fort James, the tour of the actual Historic Jamestowne settlement with one of the archeologists working on the site to unearth history had us talking for days.
Ready, set, go with these 7 things to do with teens in Williamsburg, Virginia.
1. Visit an Archeological Dig
Move over Indiana Jones, Historic Jamestowne is one of the largest archeological digs in the world and it’s located next door to Williamsburg, Va. Teens are old enough to appreciate the historical significance of the finds. The park service offers a tour each day. To really get the inside scoop and go beyond the ropes onto the actual dig sites, book a behind the scenes tour. If possible, take one from Bill Kelso, he is the man who theorized that James Fort had not fallen into the river, but was located a little farther back. Not only was he right about the fort, but archeologists are now digging up the past outside the fort gates too.
2. Captain a Ship
At the Jamestown Settlement, teens can walk through a Powhawntan village, interact with craftsman from the 1600s and board a replica of the Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery, the three ships financed by the Virginia Company that took settlers from England to the new world.
Although the hands-on area of Jamestown Settlement is fun, my history loving teen really enjoyed the museum inside. Through a mixture of life-sized dioramas and actual artifacts, we glimpsed the life of the English, Indians and Africans that ended up calling Jamestown home. My favorite was walking through a re-created London street.
3. Be Judge and Jury
Now that the boys are older, we can do some of the late night events that are just too much for little ones. Colonial Williamsburg has several evening programs that would interest teens such as a ghost tour that had my tween falling off his chair. For older teens, try the Cry Witch tour. They’ll experience the witch trial of Grace Sherwood in 1706 and determine her guilt or innocence.
4. Eat Good Food
When the boys were little, hamburgers and chicken fingers were the mainstay of our meals. However, now that I have teens, they are a bit more adventurous when it comes to food. My son and I stopped in Colonial Williamsburg at the Cheese Shop for a European cheese plate. They have wine by the glass, so I was able to enjoy an adult beverage too.
5. Face the Loch Ness Monster
Even the most history loving teen may need to come into the 21st century for a little bit. Theme parks are always a hit with tweens and teens. Williamsburg has two, Water Country and Busch Gardens. At Busch Gardens they can get their adrenaline pumping with six roller coasters. The Loch Ness Monster is the most classic of the coasters. Even non-drivers can take the wheel on the Verbolten, an indoor and outdoor coaster with an autobahn theme that will have the kids plunging into the Rhine River. Make sure to take 205 foot, 90-degree, 75 mph free fall on the Griffon early. This is one of the most popular rides at the park.
6. Go Surfing
Williamsburg is close to Virginia Beach, and teens will love hanging out on boardwalk but if you don’t want to go that far, try the beach at River Country USA, the mid-Atlantic’s largest water park. In addition to the Surfer’s Bay Wave pool, they can find a bit more excitement by piling all their friends into a raft and heading down the Colossal Curl, where they’ll be twisted, turned, and soaked to their hearts delight. Combo tickets to Busch Gardens and Water Country are available online.
7. Capture a Pidgey
Yes, I admit, my son and I did do a bit of looking for Pidgey’s and Prygons with Pokemon Go at the historic sites around Williamsburg too. Standing on the ground where English settlers battled with native Indians, we sent our Pokemon into battle to capture a gym on historic ground. We also collected quite a few Pokeballs walking down Main Street in Colonial Williamsburg after all the shops had closed. Please don’t judge.