WILLIAMSBURG, Va., May 29, 2013 — Make history part of your summer fun at Jamestown Settlement and the Yorktown Victory Center, two living-history museums that tell of America’s beginnings. Enhanced artillery demonstrations and hands-on interpretive programs join historical themes – “Seed to Stalk” in June and “Pastimes of Colonial Virginia” in August – and a patriotic “Liberty Celebration” event in July to round out the summer months.
From June 15 through August 15, both museums will be open an hour longer, from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.
At Jamestown Settlement, a museum of 17th-century Virginia, visitors can learn about farming and agriculture of the Powhatan Indian culture in the re-created village, technology used to hunt and fish, cook, create pottery and make dugout canoes, and see daily programs on Powhatan leadership and warfare. At the pier where replicas of the ships that brought America’s first permanent English colonists to Virginia in 1607 are docked, discover the daily life of a sailor, from learning about watches and bells to sail handling and celestial navigation. In the re-created 1610-14 fort, visitors can see matchlock musket demonstrations throughout the day, as well as aspects of farming, cooking, blacksmithing, leather and woodworking. Visitors will be recruited to take part in a military drill and see the English flag lowered at day’s end. Daily artillery demonstrations include an 11 a.m. firing of a swivel gun at the ships’ pier and a 4 p.m. firing of a falcon outside the re-created fort.
At the Yorktown Victory Center, a museum of the American Revolution, visitors can learn about the steps to firing a brass battalion gun or mortar in the re-created Continental Army encampment and then cover their ears as interpreters fire the weapons. Cannon demonstrations will begin daily at 11:05 a.m. and 3:05 p.m., and mortar at 1:05 p.m. and, June 15-August 15, 5:05 p.m. Visitors can learn about espionage in the Continental Army, medical practices to treat ill and wounded soldiers, and how the troops were fed and supplied. At the re-created 1780s farm, visitors can tour the kitchen garden and tobacco field, learn about colonial foodways, and observe programs on dying and spinning cloth.
Among the summer programs, “Seed to Stalk,” an interpretive theme month June 1-30, explores American agriculture of the 17th and 18th centuries. Visitors can help tend and water plants and learn about the many practical uses of herbs, vegetables and field crops.
During Yorktown Victory Center’s “Liberty Celebration,” July 4-6, a tactical drill, military exercises and role-playing demonstrations salute the anniversary of America’s independence. Visitors can see in museum galleries a rare broadside printing of the Declaration of Independence dating to July 1776.
In “Pastimes of Colonial Virginia,” August 1-31, families can play period games – whirligigs, corncob darts, ninepins, quoits, mancala and nine-men’s morris – and enjoy other diversions of 17th- and 18th-century Virginia.
Hours of Operation
Jamestown Settlement and the Yorktown Victory Center are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, and until 6 p.m. from June 15 to August 15.
Tickets & Packages
Visitors can save 20 percent on admission with a combination ticket to both museums: $20.50 for adults and $10.25 for ages 6 through 12. Admission to Jamestown Settlement is $16.00 for adults and $7.50 for ages 6 through 12; the Yorktown Victory Center is $9.75 for adults and $5.50 for ages 6 through 12. Children under age 6 receive complimentary admission. Private tours are available at each museum for an additional fee. Additional ticket and package options and online specials are available with other Williamsburg area attractions, including Colonial Williamsburg and Busch Gardens.
How to Get Here
Jamestown Settlement and the Yorktown Victory Center are separated by a 25-minute drive along the Colonial Parkway, a National Scenic Byway. Jamestown Settlement is located on Route 31 just southwest of Williamsburg. The Yorktown Victory Center, open daily as the site is transformed into the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, is located on Route 1020 in Yorktown. For more information, call (888) 593-4682 toll-free, (757) 253-4838 or visit hif.ciniva.net.