Williamsburg is the perfect family friendly destination and has so many things to offer for children of all ages. My family and I (kiddos 7 & 4) traveled to Williamsburg and we had an AMAZING time!
If you’ve already checked out my Williamsburg hotels reviews you know we stayed at Great Wolf Lodge and The Colonies at Williamsburg. Definitely check out my detailed reviews, as we loved both places!
In this review I’ve included our opinions on different restaurants, breweries, a winery, Jamestown Settlement, and Colonial Williamsburg. My review on Great Wolf Lodge and all the activities is included in my post on Williamsburg Family Friendly Accommodations
***See below for a little bit about our traveling style
Whenever we travel, I always do some research ahead of time on what restaurants and activities we want to check out. I mostly use Yelp, but will also occasionally use Trip Advisor. With my list of choices handy (on a list on my phone), we were ready for our first dinner out.
After being at Great Wolf for a few hours, my hubby and I looked over my lists of restaurants and decided on Craft 31. It was only about a 10 minute drive, pretty casual with lots of choices for all of us, and my hubby loves beer and said it had lots of great beers on tap.
We arrived around 4:30, so we were seated right away. Hubby ordered a beer sampler (from the 31 beers they have on tap) and we ordered wings (so good). We all had burgers and we were all very happy. Everyone was super friendly and service was fast. The restaurant was also so pretty on the inside. They have outside seating, but it was pretty hot outside, so we decided to sit inside.
On Day 2 my hubby wanted to stop at a couple local breweries. They were super close to both hotels we stayed in so we thought after we checked out of Great Wolf and headed to the Colonies at Williamsburg would be the perfect time. Plus I checked them out online and saw they both had outdoor areas and since it was late afternoon, mid week, figured they wouldn’t be too crowded (we really only like to take the kiddos to more adult centered places when it’s not too busy).
Aleworks & Brass Cannon
Our first stop was Aleworks. They had a nice outdoor patio and hubby did a beer flight while we all played some games. Everyone there was super friendly and the outdoor and indoor areas were both really nice. We then went 2 minutes down the road to Brass Cannon. Hubby had another beer flight and we all played some games outside. They had a nice covered area with picnic tables, cornhole, and a huge connect four.
Oceans & Ale
While driving to check in to The Colonies at Williamsburg (which we loved!), we noticed about five minutes down the road was one of my restaurant picks, Oceans & Ale. Since it was so close we decided to check it out for dinner. It was a beautiful night so we decided to sit outside on the patio. Our waitress was super friendly and service was fast. For an appetizer we got the hot pretzels with fondue which was a crowd favorite. Hubby got a steak that he said was awesome, and I got she crab soup (which I heard was a local favorite) and it was yummy. I also ordered a half order of the seafood nachos, which was humongous!!! I thought they would be smaller because it was a half-order, but definitely plan on sharing! My son got a grilled cheese and fruit which he loved and my daughter got a burger with fries that she said was the best meal all vacation!
My husband is a pretty big history buff so this was one of the main reasons we chose to vacation in Williamsburg. After doing some research, we decided to spend one of our mornings at the Jamestown settlement vs. Colonial Williamsburg. I read a lot of great reviews on Jamestown settlement, especially for younger children who might not have a super long attention span. There were a lot of interactive exhibits at Jamestown so this sounded perfect for us. I was afraid that Colonial Williamsburg might be a little bit over my kiddos heads (7 & 4 years old), plus Williamsburg is much larger, so I knew all the walking might be hard on them.
We arrived at Jamestown when they opened at 9 am, and we were one of just a few families there (love when that happens!) We decided to do the inside first, which my husband really enjoyed. He walked around with my daughter (7 years old), talking to her about the different exhibits, while I kept my 4 year old occupied. We then made our way outside. We walked through the Indian Village, talked to some of the actors there, who were happy to tell us about life in the village and answer any questions. The kiddos loved that they could go inside the huts and were able to just check out whatever they wanted.
We then walked down to two of the three ships (1 was being worked on). It was just starting to get crowded at that point (lots of school trips), so we were glad we got to this area relatively early. We were able to explore all over the boats and again the actors were there to tell all about their journey and answer any questions. We then made our way to the James Fort and explored there. My daughter was a little nervous about the musket firing, but other than they both really enjoyed it. We explored the different homes, shops, and the church and my hubby thought the actors were very knowledgeable and were able to answer any questions. My little guy also loved all the chickens walking around.
We were at Jamestown for about 2 hours and probably could have stayed a little longer, but the kids were starting to get antsy and tired from all the walking. All in all we were very happy with our trip to Jamestown.
We love a good boat ride, and since it was so close, and FREE we decided to make our way over to the ferry and do a little exploring in Surry. The ferry comes about every 30 minutes and when it arrived we drove right on, were able to get out and walk around, enjoy the view, and the ride was only about 20 minutes.
Edwards Ham Shop of Surry
While waiting for the ferry (since it was kind of a last minute decision), I did a little researching and found Edwards Ham Shop of Surry, which is a little shop that also makes sandwiches. We decided to check it out since it was only about 10 minutes from the docks and we were happy we did. My husband and I each got a ham sandwich with pimento cheese (So good!) and the kiddos each got a ham and cheddar. The ham was sliced thin and almost tasted like prosciutto, it was so good! They had some tables set up on the front porch, as well as a little area on the side of the building. With drinks and chips it was all around $35! Love that!
Hampton Roads Winery
Since we were so close we decided to check out the Hamptons Road Winery. It’s on a beautiful piece of land and I did a tasting while my hubby took the kiddos outside. They have 8 goats (including a large goat tower), a few tables outside, as well as a small pond in the back. While the wine wasn’t really my style, the wine slushie was amazing, especially on the 80 degree day we were there. The kids also loved feeding the goats and running around the yard.
After a little down time at the hotel, we headed to Colonial Williamsburg. We wanted to just walk around a little and check it out (we weren’t buying tickets). We arrived late afternoon purposefully because we thought most school trips would be heading out by then. We were right, it was not busy at all! We parked at the Visitors Center, got a map, and the ladies at the Information Desk pointed us in the right direction. It was only a 10-15 walk. Without a ticket you are able to walk around outside checking everything out. You’re just not able to go inside any of the buildings. We walked around for about an hour and a half and felt like we were able to see a lot. Kiddos were tired out by that point so it was time to head to dinner.
Old City Barbecue
We were super excited to try Old City, because anytime we head South, we love to try out the barbecue. Since it was so close to Colonial Williamsburg, we had planned to go there right after. We arrived around 5 o’clock so there weren’t too many people there and we were seated right away. Our waiter was super friendly and went over all the specials with us. We ordered the Pork Belly Bites for an appetizer and they were definitely my favorite! It’s basically thick but bacon with a yummy, sweet, spicy sauce. So good! The kiddos both loved their chicken finger kids meal with a side (my daughter loved the cornbread!). I got the Smoked Meat platter with pork belly, brisket, poblano mac & cheese, and cornbread. It was so yummy, definitely my favorite meal of the trip! My hubby got the Smoked Meat Platter (pretty much all the different meats they had) with collards and cornbread. He agreed that everything was amazing. I also got a ginger beer margarita which was on point and went perfect with the barbecue! All in all we were super happy with our meal.
Money Saving Tip
As you can see we didn’t go out to breakfast and only went out to lunch once on our trip. While on vacation we usually try to make a trip to the grocery store and pick up breakfast and lunch supplies to help save money. It is also why we love to stay in places with kitchens/kitchenettes. We also always travel with lots of snacks.
Williamsburg Family Friendly Accomodations
If you are traveling to Williamsburg, make sure you check out my Williamsburg Family Friendly Accomodations post to check out where we stayed!
Hope these reviews were helpful and you are able to enjoy Williamsburg as much as we did.
A little bit about our traveling style
***I wanted to put a little disclaimer that my husband and I believe that while we’re on vacation, everyone in the family should get to see/do things that they enjoy. We spent a large portion of our trip at Great Wolf Lodge, enjoying all the fun things they had to offer. But you will also see breweries and wineries reviewed because these are both things my husband and I enjoy. We found what we thought were appropriate times to bring our kiddos (mid day, mid week) when we thought these places wouldn’t be crowded. We also are fully prepared to remove our children if they are not behaving.