Christmastide in Virginia
December 18-31, 2021
“Christmastide in Virginia” at Jamestown Settlement and American Revolution Museum at Yorktown offers a glimpse of 17th- and 18th-century holiday traditions through interpretive programs and demonstrations. Enjoy festive fun with period musical entertainment at both museums, all from a safe social distance.
Outdoor living-history areas at both museums are open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily, and expansive indoor exhibition galleries, interactives and films are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Learn more about our protective safety protocols.
Special interpretive programs compare and contrast English Christmas customs of the period with how the season may have been observed in the difficult early years of America’s first permanent English colony. In 17th-century England, the holiday season – extending from December 25 to January 6 – was a time of merriment and feasting.
Throughout the month, visitors to the outdoor living-history areas can learn about the Jamestown colony’s early years as well as the English colonists’ Christmas at sea in December 1606, and the Powhatan Indian hospitality shown to Captain John Smith’s trading party in 1608 during a winter storm. In the re-created Paspahegh Town, historical interpreters will present ongoing demonstrations on typical winter activities, including food preservation and hunting tools and techniques.
American Revolution Museum at Yorktown
Visitors to the outdoor living-history areas can hear accounts of Christmas and winter in military encampments during the Revolutionary War. Learn about winter camp life in the Continental Army encampment, including cooking rations over an earthen kitchen, and observe flintlock musket demonstrations throughout the day.
On the Revolution-era farm adorned with greenery, historical interpreters compare and contrast 18th-century holiday traditions with those of modern times and demonstrate a variety of holiday activities, including setting the farmhouse table for a holiday feast and open-hearth cooking of period dishes in the farm kitchen.
Special event activities are made possible in part by James City County, York County Arts Commission and the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, Inc. Annual Fund.
Access to “Christmastide in Virginia” is included with museum admission. A value-priced combination ticket to both museums is $28.90 for adults and $14.45 for ages 6-12 (when purchased online, a combination ticket offers seven days of unlimited admission). Admission to Jamestown Settlement is $18.00 for adults and $9.00 for ages 6-12, and to the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, $16.00 for adults and $8.00 for ages 6-12. Children under 6 are free. Admission for residents of James City County, York County and the City of Williamsburg, including William & Mary students, is free with proof of residency. Parking is free at both museums.
Private tours are available at both museums for 14 people or less with advance reservations.
Holiday Shopping in Museum Stores
In time for holiday shopping, museum gift shops extend the visitor experience and offer a unique selection of books, prints, museum reproductions, hand-made items, educational toys, games and souvenirs relating to the 17th and 18th centuries. Admission is not required to visit the gift shops, open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
About the Museums
Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; closed Christmas and New Year’s days. Jamestown Settlement is located on State Route 31 near the Colonial Parkway in James City County, just southwest of Williamsburg and adjacent to Historic Jamestowne. The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown is located on Route 1020 in Yorktown, near Yorktown Battlefield and Historic Yorktown.
Event activities incorporate new safety and social-distancing protocols at both Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown allow visitors of all ages to enjoy extensive indoor gallery exhibits and outdoor living-history areas to connect with the stories of our shared history. For more information, click here or call (757) 253-4838.