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Check out Part 1 here.
The next day we headed on over to Jamestown Settlement. This place was awesome! You can get a ticket that covers Jamestown and Yorktown at a discount, but we knew we didn’t have time for that. My husband already had to take a meeting during the trip and we needed to be back in time for my diabetic cats evening shot.
At Jamestown there is the museum that takes you from 1607 to 1619. There are loads of great artifacts and exhibits talking about the native tribes that inhabited the area, the Europeans that came over, the ships that brought them, and the Africans that they brought with them. You see different tools from each group that did the same job and video demonstrations of how they were used. There were also recreated homes available to walk through. It was, by far, one of the most interesting museums I’ve been in.
After that, you proceed to the outdoor exhibits. This is where history really comes to life. We first stopped at the Powhatan village that has been recreated. There are several people working this area that are able to teach you what life was like for the Powhatan and other native people. The kids were able to scrape a hide, grind corn(with a tool we just saw in the museum), walk through the homes that have been reconstructed, and practice games that young boys would play in preparation for hunting.
Next, we moved onto the docks. They were doing some construction and we were not able to board the Susan Constant, but we did get to step aboard the Discovery(my husband and I geeked a bit because of our current love of Star Trek: Discovery). There was a gentleman who was manning the ship and was able to tell us all sorts of things about sailing in this time period and answer questions that the kids had.
We headed over the the recreation of Jamestown settlement next. The kids were super excited about this part. We spent longer on this unit and we also watch the series Colonial House as part of our learning. The kids were amazed to see houses like those in the show brought to life. They had also heard the musket being shot and were, of course, drawn to it.
Of course, my oldest was most interested in the weapons. We learned a lot about what was used, why, and got to see a musket demonstration. Later, as we walked around the settlement, we found there were kid sized pieces of armor. Trying them on was a necessity. Thankfully, we were there just before a bus arrived. My oldest donned his armor and received a quick lesson in using a pike.
After Jamestown, it was time for us to grab lunch and head for home. We had a drive ahead of us and animals that would need tending.
I definitely want to come back to Williamsburg again someday. The off season was fine, but I’ll bet summer would have way more available to do and the bonus of being warmer. I really want to see Yorktown someday as well. I still highly recommend this as a trip for any family. You really can’t beat the money you save going during homeschool days either.