This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of The Founder’s District. All opinions are 100% mine.
Jamestown Settlement is more than just a blip in your history book. It’s more than just the first permanent English settlement in the new world. It’s actually history that you can visit, making it the perfect way to bring all those virtual learning lessons to life.
As plans are gearing up for a summer of travel, day trips and small trips are still on everyone’s horizon. And while history doesn’t always get kids excited, here’s how you can make a trip to Jamestown Settlement something to remember.
Get Kids Interested in History
I’m a firm believer that the subject is only as interesting as its teacher. So if you or your kids haven’t stumbled across a good history teacher, let YouTube help. Seriously. There are some great channels out there that help bring history to life. Here are some of my picks for a little Jamestown history:
The Jamestown Colony Explained: US History Review
Jamestown Colony (“Shut Up and Dance” parody)
Jamestown Settlement | Jamestown Colony | Educational Story for Kids | Kids Academy
Now try to bring it to life for them. Paint a picture.
It’s 1607. 13 years before the Mayflower knocks on Plymouth Rock. 104 men and boys embark on a five month journey by ship from England. Within a month of arriving, they build a fort on the shores of the Virginia Colony. It’s meant to be close enough to shore for better defense but not too far inland to disrupt the Native Americans.
It was your basic English settlers create a permanent settlement, make peace with the Native Americans, nearly die of starvation and disease, have conflict with the Native Americans, kidnap one of their women, convert her to Christianity, fall in love and get married, make peace with the Native Americans kind of story.
And if they’ve ever seen the Disney movie, Pocahontas, they probably already know a lot of this.
Relive Life at Jamestown Settlement
Once you know a little background, you can really appreciate the re-creation of Jamestown Settlement, just a few miles from where the actual fort stood. Here’s what you’ll find as part of the experience.
Indoors, you’ll find exhibits and films describing the cultures of the Powhatan Indians, English and West Central Africans who converged in 17th-century Virginia. You’ll also be able to trace Jamestown’s beginnings in England.
Outdoors, costumed historical interpreters will describe and demonstrate daily life in early 17th-century Jamestown. You can even board a re-creation of one of the three ships that sailed from England to Virginia in 1607. You’ll also see life-sized examples of an early fort and a Native American community, Paspahegh Town.
Planning Your Visit to Jamestown Settlement
Jamestown Settlement is located in Williamsburg, VA, in the southeast corner of the state right on the James River. It’s about 2 hours from Washington, DC, 3.5 hours from Baltimore, MD, and about 3 hours from Raleigh, NC.
The location is open daily and offers free parking. You’ll also find a small café and shops onsite. Tickets are available for advanced purchase, either for single day, multi-day, or combined admission (the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown is nearby).
And if you’re wondering about kids, you’ll get ticket discounts for kids ages 5-12. Kids 5 and under are free!
What to Do Near Jamestown
If you want to stay for more than a day, you can check out all eight destinations in the area as part of The Founder’s District. Each of the eight destinations in the Founder’s District plays a role in the larger American story. Here are some of the other areas to help you explore the natural, cultural and historic significance that unites them.
- Colonial Parkway
- Historic Jamestowne (the site of the original colony and now the home of an archaeological dig)
- James City County Marina
- Chippokes Plantation State Park
- Jamestown – Scotland Ferry
- Hog Island Wildlife Management Area
Be sure to visit The Founder’s District for more information on each of these sites.