Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Experience "A Colonial Christmas" at Jamestown Settlement & Yorktown Victory Center

This winter you can experience "A Colonial Christmas" at Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Victory Center in Williamsburg, VA.  From December 1, 2014, through January 4, 2015, you can get a glimpse of 17th and 18th century holiday traditions with special tours, period music, interpretive programs and demonstrations planned. 

Jamestown Settlement
Daily orientation tours of the Jamestown Settlement’s outdoor living history areas will be given at 11am, 1pm and 3pm.  Learn about the colonists' Christmas at sea in 1606 and how the Powhatan Indians assisted Captain John Smith's party during 1608. Beginning December 6, fort visitors can experience riddles and revelry by the Lord of Misrule, “grand captain of all mischief,” at 11am and 2:30pm daily and, from December 21 through 31, also at 4pm. 

"A Jamestown Christmas" holiday film and special programs will take a look at how the English Christmas customs compared and contrasted to the colonists' early years in America.

Yorktown Victory Center
Visit Yorktown Victory Center to learn what Christmas was like during war. Walk through military encampments while you hear tales of the holidays and winter hardships.  O
bserve artillery demonstrations at 11:05am and 3:05pm daily. At the clapboard farmhouse, see demonstrations of holiday activities like open-hearth cooking and candle-dipping.

From December 26-31, 2014,and January 2-4, there will be daily performances of 17th and 18th century musical entertainment including the Fifes & Drums of Yorktown will be featured at both Williamsburg historical attractions.

Experience more holidays events at Colonial Williamsburg »
Ashley is Reserve Direct's travel expert, visiting Williamsburg to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Grand Illumination a Highlight of Colonial Williamsburg Christmas

Make your way to America’s Historic Triangle for a Colonial Christmas.  When you’re planning your vacation in Williamsburg, Virginia you can look forward to a variety of events at Colonial Williamsburg, many of which highlight the way the holiday was celebrated in the 18th century. 

The largest part of the Colonial Williamsburg celebration is The Grand Illumination, held in the historic area of Colonial Williamsburg from 4:45pm-7:30pm on December 7, 2014. 

Musical performance on multiple stages and fireworks from three different locations – the Capitol, Magazine, and Palace – make this event one of the most popular of the season. The musical performances will begin promptly at 4:45pm and the firework displays will take place at 7:00pm.  Prior to the event, the day is filled with special concerts and caroling, special meals at the historic taverns, walking tours showcasing decorations and houses, and demonstration drills by the colonial militia.

The Grand Illumination holds special significance at Colonial Williamsburg as it represents a tradition of the 18th Century.  In that time, illuminations – the firing of guns and lighting of fireworks – were held to celebrate major events such as the commemoration of the birth of the reigning sovereign, great military victories, or the arrival of a new colonial governor. Come early to view the decorations and enjoy musical performances from multiple stages throughout the Historic Area.

Colonial Williamsburg Virginia hosts a variety of other events throughout December.  Some do charge admission, but generally it is a nominal amount.  One of the most popular events is the Revolutionary Victory Ball, scheduled for December 3, where participants celebrate the victorious battle of American and French forces against the British.  Held at Raleigh Tavern’s Apollo Room, the event includes a special mass, the “Te Deum" is sung, and soldiers parade and fire musket and cannon salutes.  Another is the Holiday Pops Concert. Presented by Williamsburg's professional orchestra, the annual Holiday Pops Concert, held December 6 and 7, features a festive program of seasonal music.  The Christmas Home Walking Tour is also interesting, as visitors walk to several houses where performers stage vignettes showing how people from various classes celebrated the holiday.

Christmas Eve at Colonial Williamsburg is a special day, with a ceremonial firing of the muskets and canon, town tree lighting, and free entertainment at the Capitol.

Purchase a Williamsburg vacation today to experience a colonial Christmas.

Find out more about visiting Colonial Williamsburg »
Ashley is Reserve Direct's travel expert, visiting Williamsburg to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Busch Gardens Williamsburg Presents Christmas Town

Join the merriment of Christmas Town at Busch Gardens Williamsburg.  The theme park transforms into winter wonderland during this holiday event, bringing an entirely new experience to Williamsburg park goers.  Open November 21 through December 31, 2014, come out to Christmas Town to celebrate the holidays with live Christmas shows, holiday-themed rides and attractions, scrumptious treats, unique gifts and dazzling light displays. 

The world’s most beautiful theme park will be aglow with five million twinkling lights, entertaining shows, delectable foods and beautiful sights and sounds that create the perfect holiday atmosphere. Fan favorites that return to Christmas Town include Busch Gardens’ 50-foot-tall, light-dancing Christmas tree show known as O Tannenbaum; Santa’s Workshop featuring Santa and Mrs. Claus; and Mistletoe Marketplace, a traditional outdoor German market featuring artisan-made crafts and gifts for everyone in the family.
Throughout the park are Christmas shows for the whole family. See spectacular light shows and hear your favorite holiday songs at shows like:
  • Deck the Halls: Experience the season’s joy and warmth with Deck the Halls, a live musical tribute to Christmas traditions.  Dance and sing along with Frosty the Snowman, animated toy soldiers and the park’s festively attired performers.
  • Gloria!: Contemporary and traditional songs, from the park’s finest talent, merge to highlight and celebrate the true meaning of Christmas and retell the story of the first Christmas.
  • Miracles: miracles appear extraordinary in this passionate, action-filled program that will touch your soul.  The show’s classical and contemporary dance movements coupled with live vocalists will inspire you. 
  • O Tannenbaum:  Enjoy a multi-colored spectacular light show during O Tannenbaum. Gather with friends around our majestic 50-foot Christmas tree, sip a hot beverage and dance to the booming holiday musical score. The iconic tree is the centerpiece of the holiday event at Busch Gardens. 
  • Scrooge No More: Join Scrooge live on stage in an all-new musical at the Globe Theatre as he is swept away by the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, who teach him the importance of family and friends being together at Christmas.
Special attractions are set up just for Christmas Town.  Make your way through the twinkling lights displays and see live penguins, visit Santa at his workshop or do a little holiday shopping at Mistletoe Marketplace.  Christmas Town attractions include:
  • Mistletoe Marketplace: Visit Mistletoe Marketplace where you can stroll through a traditional Germany outdoor market and find a unique treasure for every one on your Christmas list.
  • Polar Pathway: The breathtaking waterfalls of Italy’s Escape from Pompeii® are now a cascading icy wonderland that shimmers under the moonlight.  Relive and preserve this Christmas Town memory by bringing your camera for a once-in-a-lifetime photograph.
  • Highland Stables: Bring your family and see the Scottish blackface sheep, Border collies and Clydesdales in their stalls. This hands-on Christmas Town experience will take you back to a simpler time.
  • Santa's Fireside Feast: The grand dining room of Castle O’Sullivan springs to life as Santa and Mrs. Claus host the most intimate and exclusive event of the season, Santa’s Fireside Feast. Guests gather cozily around the majestic castle as Santa captures the attention of the entire family while recounting a classic Christmas story.
  • Ice Palace: A Penguin Paradise: Bring your family to France this holiday, and visit our amazing live penguins in their ice-themed habitat.  You will delight at watching them swim and interact under the enchanting glow of mini-Christmas lights.
  • Santa’s Workshop: Santa and Mrs. Claus are waiting for your visit. Excitement will build as you peek through snow-crested windows into Santa’s study, nestled between two nearby reindeer stables. Our elf attendants greet the eager children who are invited to sit on Santa’s lap and pose for a classic Christmas photo that will forever capture the moment’s joy and wonder.
Many of Busch Garden’s signature rides will also be open during Christmas Town, so don’t forget to bring your sense of adventure. 

Christmas Town is open Fridays-Sundays November 21 until December  and every day December 12-31, excluding Christmas Day. Purchase a single day ticket to spend the evening at Christmas Town tickets, or reserve the Fun Card option for unlimited admissions throughout the event.  Purchase online or by calling us at 888-590-3021.

Find out more about visiting Busch Gardens »
Ashley is Reserve Direct's travel expert, visiting Williamsburg to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Traditional Thanksgiving Events Planned in Williamsburg, VA

Where better to celebrate Thanksgiving than America’s Historic Triangle?  Vacation in the region the first colonialists called home and feel the true spirit of tradition come to life.  With a focus on food and freedom, a Thanksgiving in Williamsburg, Virginia is a special time of year.

You can pay tribute to the original colonists at Berkeley Plantation during the Virginia Thanksgiving Festival.  The attraction celebrates the 1619 observation of Thanksgiving  on November 2, honoring the site of the First Official Thanksgiving.    The day includes history, food and fun with tours of the 1726 manor house, living history programs and autumn walks planned.  The festival is open from noon-4pm, with house tours given from 9am-4:30pm.    The highlight of the day is the re-enactment of the Landing of Captain Woodlief and his men.  This holds special importance as the first Thanksgiving occurred when Captain John Woodlief led the newly-arrived English colonists to a grassy slope along the James River and instructed them to drop to their knees and pray in thanks for a safe arrival to the New World.
The Foods and Feasts of Colonial Virginia are explored during Thanksgiving Weekend, November 27-29, 2014, at Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Victory Center.  Visitors can learn how food was gathered, preserved and prepared on land and at sea by Virginia’s English colonists and Powhatan Indians at Jamestown Settlement. At Yorktown Victory Center, guests can learn about typical soldiers fare during the American Revolution as well as see how the bounty of 1780s farm comes makes its way from field to kitchen.

Bountiful feasts are held on Thanksgiving Day at Colonial Williamsburg restaurants, where guests can experience historical dining traditions. A Thanksgiving Feast with all the trimmings is served at Williamsburg Lodge from 11am-4pm, with an a la carte menu available from 4:30pm-9pm. Christiana Campbell's Tavern, Shield’s Tavern, King’s Arms Tavern and Chowning’s Tavern all feature holiday dining as well, with dinner service from 11am-8pm.
You can also get a head start on celebrating Christmas while in Williamsburg, VA.  Busch Gardens’ Christmas Town, spectacular holiday extravaganza, opens November 21, 2014. Christmas Town dazzles with over 5 million twinkling lights, festive shows and unique shopping.  Plus, Colonial Williamsburg begins their holiday programming November 22, 2014 so you can experience Christmastide at Home and Festive Lantern Tours during your Williamsburg vacation.

Find out more about November events in Williamsburg »
Ashley is Reserve Direct's travel expert, visiting Williamsburg to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Busch Gardens Williamsburg Wins Golden Ticket Award

http://www.reservewilliamsburg.com/da/busch-gardens-williamsburg-ticketsBusch Gardens Williamsburg is known as the most beautiful theme park in America.  In fact, the European-themed park has repeatedly been voted “Most Beautiful Park” by the National Amusement Park Historical Association. Recently, it also won its 17th straight “Best Landscaping” honor from Amusement Today’s Golden Ticket Awards.  Busch Gardens has won the award every year since 1998 when the category was established.

Calculated from an international poll conducted by Amusement Today, the Golden Ticket Awards are the results of a detailed survey is sent to a database of experienced and well-traveled amusement park fans around the world – in balanced geographical regions – asking them to rate the “bests” in 25 categories.  They are the equivalent of the Academy Awards for the amusement industry.  Awards are presented to the “Best of the Best” in the amusement industry in such categories as “amusement parks,” “roller coasters,” “water rides,” “shows” and “food.”
The Williamsburg theme park continues to excel in these categories due to a combination of well-designed architecture, elaborate landscaping and the intermingling of charming country-based attractions.  There are dozens of thrilling rides and attractions at Busch Gardens, as well as entertaining shows and authentic eateries and shops.  Spending the day at this theme park truly is a world-class adventure!

Find out more about visiting Busch Gardens »
Ashley is Reserve Direct's travel expert, visiting Williamsburg to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Williamsburg Events: November 2014

Add these Williamsburg events to your November vacation in America's Historic Triangle:

November 2: Virginia Thanksgiving Festival at Berkeley Plantation
Celebrate the first English speaking Thanksgiving in the New World. Visit the Berkeley Plantation for a day dedicated to history, food and fun with tours of the 1726 manor house, encampment, tribal dancers, arts, crafts & jewelry vendors, choral music, traditional Thanksgiving dinner and a re-enactment of the Landing of Capt Woodlief and his men.
November 3:  Golden Horseshoes Couples Tournament
The 22nd annual horseshoes tournament at Colonial Williamsburg is happening from 10am-8:30pm on the Golden Horseshoe Green Course. Registration is $490 per team and must be received by October 27. For more information visit their website.

November 8-9:  Yorktown Holiday Open House
Enjoy special events, holiday decorations, special sales and discounts, and strolling entertainment throughout Yorktown during the Holiday Open House Weekend.
November 8-11:  Veterans Day Weekend
Join Colonial Williamsburg as they honor America’s veterans in a celebration of their patriotism and willingness to sacrifice and serve our country. Immerse yourself in an 18th-century battle, take part in a military march, or witness armorers hard at work on this special weekend of remembrance.

November 21 – December 31:  Christmas Town: A Busch Gardens Celebration
Busch Gardens Williamsburg transforms into a winter wonderland during Christmas Town. The park is lit up with millions of lights, you can visit Santa, and sip on peppermint fudge hot chocolate.

November 27-29:  Foods & Feasts of Colonial Virginia
Learn all about Colonial Virginia foodways during this three day event. Jamestown Settlement and Yorktown Victory Center will have special events to show how food was gathered and prepared by colonists and Powhatan Indians.
November 22 – January 1:  Illuminate Your Holidays at Colonial Williamsburg
Enjoy special holiday events, Christmas decorations, shopping, and festive dining at Colonial Williamsburg during the holiday season.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Foods and Feasts of Colonial Virginia Held this Thanksgiving

Before modern appliances and technology came along preparing, preserving and harvesting food was an arduous process.  With clay pots and iron kettles used over hot coals, and preservation methods like smoking, salt curing and pickling, colonialists did their best to make use of the conditions before them.  This Thanksgiving, learn about the 17th and 18th century food practices during Foods & Feasts of Colonial Virginia, a three-day event at Jamestown Settlement and the Yorktown Victory Center taking place November 27-29, 2014.

Special programs at Jamestown Settlement explore how food was gathered, stored, and cooked during the 17th and 18th centuries.  In the re-created Powhatan Indian village, you can see venison, turkey and other game roast over an open fire, while stews of corn, beans and squash cook in clay pots.  During your visit, learn about the importance of corn to the Powhatan Indians and how they used stone and hone to make tools to obtain and prepare food.   

Make your way to the ships’ pier to discover a day in the life of a sailor.  Try your hand at hauling cargo aboard ship, then see if you can whip up the sailor’s most common food item – a ship’s biscuit.  Find out how the colony was provisioned, as well as explore typical sailors’ fare of salted fish, biscuit and dried foods.

To get a demonstration of open-hearth cooking, including bread, pies, pudding, and pottage, visit the recreated early 17th century fort.  Historical interpreters create all of the dishes with recipes based on those published by Elinore Fettiplace in 1604 and Robert May in 1660. On Thursday and Friday, an entire pig will be processed into hams and bacon, followed by salting for preservation.   You can also witness several military demonstrations, including the firing of a swivel gun, near the fort. 
Venture over to Yorktown Victory Center to experience life as a solider and how they turned meager rations of dried beans, salted meat and hard bread into nourishing soups and stews. There will be daily artillery drills at the re-created Continental Army encampment as well as a special program illustrating the consequences of plunder and theft of food.  At the farm kitchen and variety of dishes will be prepared each day using  18th-century open-hearth cooking techniques and recipes.   On Thursday and Friday only an entire pig will be turned into hams and bacon and salted for preservation.  Plus, historical interpreters will demonstrate methods of preserving fruit and vegetables.

If all the food demonstrations work  up your appetite, the Jamestown Settlement Cafe will be having a traditional Thanksgiving dinner from 11am-4pm on November 27.
Reserve America’s Historic Triangle Combo Pass to gain access to both of these historical sites, as well as Historic Jamestowne, Colonial Williamsburg and Yorktown Battlefield.  If you would like to visit Yorktown Victory Center and Jamestown Settlement only, the History is Fun for the Holidays combo ticket is the way to go.  Available for purchase online only, the ticket offers seven days of unlimited admission to both museums at $20.50 for adults and $10.25 for ages 6 through 12.

Find out more about visiting Jamestown Settlement »
Ashley is Reserve Direct's travel expert, visiting Williamsburg to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand-travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know.