Colonial Williamsburg With Kids: Governor’s Palace

Colonial Williamsburg: Children's Tour of the Palace Travel Tips

If your next vacation includes passing though Colonial Williamsburg or you are a local Hampton Roads resident, seeing Colonial Williamsburg is a must. It is rich in history and education. While you’ll enjoy the beauty of the Colony any time of year, the guided tours are a real treat. As a Williamsburg local, our weekends are spent at the Farmer’s Market downtown and walking the streets of Colonial Williamsburg with the kids to run off their energy. We eat lunch on the lawn, play frisbee and then head over to the bookstore to grab Starbucks.

Summer hit and the kids were bored. I knew we had an awesome resource at our hands, but had never ventured out for a tour. I called to book a Children’s Tour of the Governor’s Palace and here’s what I learned.

The Children’s Tour of the Governor’s Palace (it’s FREE, but you must reserve your spots) is unforgettable! The guided tour is geared towards elementary aged kids, but as an adult I was fascinated. You’ll start out in the maid’s quarters and work your way through the Palace discussing what it was like to live in the palace before the Revolution, how the palace events honored the King and Queen of England, and what the rooms were typically used for. The educational value is woven throughout the tour in a way that makes it interesting and fun, but doesn’t bore little ones. We walked, we learned how to dance in the ballroom, and we wandered the hedge maze in the gardens.

Our tour guide was fantastic at engaging the kids and adults, and answered period questions as well as teaching our group customary etiquette of the 1770’s.

Colonial Williamsburg: Children's Tour of the Palace Travel Tips

To best prepare for your Colonial Williamsburg visit, I’ll leave you with these tips so that you don’t miss out on the Governor’s Palace fun.

Things to know:

  • You must have an admission ticket for Colonial Williamsburg or a Williamsburg Good Neighbor pass to register for the tour.
  • Book early. The tours are small groups and fill up quickly.
  • Collect your tickets from the Visitor’s Center or the Ticket booth in Merchant’s Square.
  • Arrive AT LEAST 15 minutes early to find parking and walk to the West Entrance of the Palace (the left side). That was cutting it close for me to grab tickets and book it to the palace while dragging the kids.
  • The tour is approx 25 minutes. We spent 30 minutes outside in the gardens after the tour.
  • Bring water! The summers are hot and humid here and your kids will need water while wandering the garden maze behind the palace.
  • Bathrooms are right outside the Palace.
  • Pack a lunch and enjoy a picnic on the tree lined Palace Green while you watch the horse drawn carriages pass by.
  • Or grab lunch at the famous Cheese Shop in Merchant’s Square.
  • Infants in arms. I can’t say for certain that strollers aren’t permitted, but there are stairs in the tour and it wouldn’t be manageable. I carried my 11 month old throughout the tour. A wrap or infant carrier would have worked well too. The tour was short enough that carrying her wasn’t unbearable, but it would have been easier with two hands free.
  • The craftsmanship is stunning. And the colors are vivid, which surprised me since it is 18th century accurate.
Colonial Williamsburg: Children's Tour of the Palace Travel Tips

The rear exit of the Colonial Williamsburg Governor’s Palace.

 

Colonial Williamsburg: Children's Tour of the Palace Travel Tips

The marble Palace entrance floors were stunning.

Colonial Williamsburg: Children's Tour of the Palace Travel Tips

 

Colonial Williamsburg: Children's Tour of the Palace Travel Tips

 

Life with Helen: DOCKATOT REVIEW

When baby number two was on the way I was still struggling to get preschooler one to stay in his bed all night. Would the revered baby product DockATot be the answer? (Hint, YES it would & this post contains affiliate links- you buy, I receive a percentage).

It’s no secret that new moms don’t get much sleep. (Prego moms don’t get much sleep either, making the start even rougher). Mom fears are the worst!

Helen loves her DockATot

Enter Helen. She is the sweetest. But, she wouldn’t sleep anywhere except on my chest. When you’re exhausted and your baby eats ever two hours and she won’t sleep ANYWHERE you start to go a little crazy. We tried it all- the bassinet, the crib, the swing, the bouncer during the day to practice. It didn’t work. Although she never cries at any other time and is a happy baby, she refused to sleep anywhere and I am very serious about safe sleep. I was too scared to have her sleep in the swing or rock and play type toy unsupervised (aka while I was sleeping). So we resorted to my husband sleeping on a mattress on the floor of my son’s room and me and baby camping out, sleeping sitting up in our king size bed, with no blankets or pillows.

By the four month mark I was getting desperate. Most nights she was still waking herself up every two hours. I had seen posts about the DockATot on Instagram before Helen was born. They have two sizes, the for babies 8 months and younger and the Grand for older babies to use into their toddler years. The online reviews seemed to all be unanimous – the DockATot is a must have! I have to admit I was a little reluctant to make the purchase. This gift from above comes with a price tag between $175-290, depending on the size and design you choose (click here to check out the variety of options they have to offer). I didn’t know if I would need it and didn’t want to buy it before she was born. But she was here now and the need was great. I decided that I needed to commit.

PS they have this new banana leaf pattern cover and I LOVE it!

Helen loves her DockATot

We are using the Dock-A-Tot to transition Helen to sleeping on her own, though it is important to note that DockATot does NOT recommend the use of the DockATot in the crib – Helen is always supervised – in our own bed for co-sleeping so that I can feed her as needed.

While its best quality is the quality of sleep I am now getting knowing she is both safe and sleeping longer at night, I also tote it around the house for Helen to play in while I do laundry, dishes or work.

It is definitely our favorite household thing!

Finally, because we are friends, I’d love to help you save a couple bucks for your own purchase of the Dock-A-Tot.  Click here for a sweet $10 discount!

Swede dreams (get it, it is made in Sweden), friends!

 

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