Years before Scott and I got married we went to Colonial Williamsburg. It was one of those experiences that we felt like would be richer when we had kids, and it’s long been on our list of places to take our family- since before we ever had one of our own.

Once we decided last fall to head south for Christmas from DC, instead of west to the Smoky Mountains, we knew we would try to take the kids to Williamsburg, VA on our way to the Carolinas.

Unfortunately, a huge snowstorm and some sick kids kept us from visiting Colonial Williamsburg this time. It was just too expensive to buy tickets for what would likely be just a few cold, slushy hours.

Plans change, and we know that. We’ve become masters of rolling with the punches and finding joy in the unexpected.

This trip wound up still being fun because:

1. Snow storm! Our kids got to watch big fluffy flakes fall down and build snowmen, and then we got to take them inside for hot showers and baths.

2. Hotel! The Fairfield Inn & Suites in Williamsburg put us up for 2 nights in their biggest suite PLUS an adjoining room. It was HUGE and so much more comfortable a place to be stuck during a snowstorm. It’s a convenient location to Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown, and there are food options right near by. Scott actually walked across the road to Chipotle in the snow. 

3. Jamestown Settlement & The American Revolution Museum! We were gifted tickets to both locations, and we learned SO MUCH at both! They were both really well-done, and the perfect experience for the kids given the limited time we had considering the snow and kids not feeling well.

We didn’t feel bad at all about missing out on Colonial Williamsburg this time. The kids learned a ton and we didn’t overextend ourselves. Hopefully we’ll be able to make it back to visit when we have more time, less snow, and nobody is sick.

If you are on the fence about visiting Colonial Williamsburg, I have to say it’s really an incredible place and fantastic experience from what I can remember. But, if your budget is tight, definitely consider visiting the Jamestown Settlement or the American Revolution Museum.

Ticket prices for Colonial Williamsburg are $26/adult and $13/kid in the winter only. Jamestown is $17.50/adult and $8.25/kid. American Revolution is $15/adult and $7.50/kid. Or you can visit both Jamestown and American Revolution (Yorktown) for the same price as a winter ticket to Colonial Williamsburg.

If we had to choose between Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum, we would choose the ARM. The 4D movie was incredible, the museum was interactive and fun, and the canon demonstration outside was a family favorite. To be fair, though, the snow kept us from seeing Jamestown Settlement in it’s full glory since we were only able to explore inside that day.