Educational experiences at Colonial Williamsburg take students, homeschoolers, and youth groups on an immersive and inspiring journey back to the 18th century. Engaging in interpretive programming at the largest outdoor educational living museum in the world turns students into young historians as they engage with historical re-enactors and academic-centered docents in a variety of hands-on activities.

Educators and youth tour planners can get to know the who, what, when, where, why, and how of educational experiences at Colonial Williamsburg.

Encounter historic gardening - The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
Encounter historic gardening.
Credit: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

WHO: Student and Youth Groups

  • School groups
  • Homeschoolers and families
  • Scouts, bands, and clubs
  • Recreation centers and youth camps

For over 70 years, Colonial Williamsburg has served as a premier destination for school field trips, homeschoolers, and youth groups. The destination’s Historic Area provides top-tier education opportunities that showcase and immerse students in living history and real-world experiences.

As students and youth step back in time to the pre- and post-Revolutionary era, they walk away with a lasting impression of the way history shaped our modern world and the importance of preserving America’s past, present, and future.

WHAT: Educational Programming

March with the militia. - The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
March with the militia.
Credit: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Colonial Williamsburg offers a variety of ticketing options for school and youth group tours. Options include single and multiday tickets as well as self-guided and interpreter-led options. And new for 2023, groups will be able to take advantage of our interactive stationing experiences, offering hands-on learning experiences and active discussion.

WHEN: Year-Round Experiences

No matter the season, there’s something for everyone to explore and enjoy. Programming throughout the Historic Area and all of Colonial Williamsburg continues every month of the year. Experiencing the historic charm of the holidays, winter-time coziness, or watching spring flowers and fall foliage in full bloom, the vibrance of every season brings a new experience and memory for youth and student groups year-round.

WHERE: Historical Stays and Meals

Explore Colonial trade shops. - The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
Explore Colonial trade shops.
Credit: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

Youth tour groups can step right into history from their doorstep at Colonial Williamsburg accommodations located in and around the central Historic Area:

  • Williamsburg Inn
  • Williamsburg Lodge
  • Griffin Hotel
  • Williamsburg Woodlands
  • Colonial Houses

Groups that stay at Official Colonial Williamsburg hotels can receive up to two complimentary length-of-stay admission tickets when booked directly through Colonial Williamsburg Resorts.

A total of 17 historic and contemporary restaurants across the property give youth groups a taste of the past, like the Sheild’s Tavern, a popular group-dining destination with Colonial-inspired meals influenced by the former British Empire. 

Observe the fifes and drums. - The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
Observe the fifes and drums.
Credit: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

WHY: Visit Colonial Williamsburg

A trip to Colonial Williamsburg provides more than an educational experience focused on the past–it gives students the opportunity to learn about and reflect on how pivotal moments in our country’s history applies to life today.

HOW: Booking a Tour

For more information on customized and guided youth or student tours, call 1-800-228-8878, email groupsales@cwf.org, or visit colonialwilliamsburg.org/visit/group-tours.

Article by Erica Zazo

Header image:
Help prepare Colonial dishes.
Credit: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

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Published once a year, Youth Travel Planner magazine presents ideas for educators and tour planners to develop educational travel for middle and secondary/high school students.