IMG_3893 We spent the last day of our spring mini-break in Jamestown and it was our favorite part of the little trip, but I forgot to even post about it until now! 

By happy coincidence, the weekend we were there was the annual military encampment and reenactment at Jamestown Settlement.  Basically there were re-enactors there from every military period since the Roman Legions — hundreds of tents filled with soldiers and warriors and squires and maids from every period in history.  It was So. Cool.

IMG_3920We spent several hours walking from tent to tent and learning about the weapons, food, lifestyles, and fighting styles of all these different groups –Celtic Vikings, Civil War regiments, WWI doughboys, WWII paratroopers and Women’s Corpsmembers, and even more modern elements from the Vietnam War era. 


All the tents were set up as they would have been in their respective time periods, and there was so much to see and touch and try — it was all VERY hands-on.  My kids loved it. 


IMG_3900They tried on chain mail and Viking helmets, attempted to shoot a long bow, and learned how to use a bayonet.  The actors were very knowledgeable and glad to chat and answer questions and describe battles and tactics and living conditions.  For the most part, we were all hanging on their words — it was so interesting.


IMG_3884And then there was a cannon display featuring different cannons from hundreds of years ago and modern-day Howitzers.  Lots of big booms — it was really cool.

IMG_3861In addition to all that, the actual Jamestown Settlement was so fun to explore.  We checked out the three ships that the English settlers sailed on from England to Jamestown.  The largest of them was not even as big as the ship Matt and I sailed on during our trip to Turkey last year; I cannot at all imagine crossing the entire Atlantic in such a small vessel. 

IMG_3954We went through the Native American village and saw their homes, their gardens, their clothing and how they made it, their canoes — made from logs hollowed out with fire and hot coals, and a Bald Eagle flew over us as we checked it all out.

IMG_3990And we saw the English settlement, with thatch roof houses and a huge armory full of weapons and gun powder.  The boys learned a battle charge.

IMG_3980And we got to try out colonial armor.  B approves.

IMG_3967It was such a fun and unique experience.  We learned a LOT and it was all at the right level for the kids AND for Matt and I.  I love when a trip us equal parts fun and learning and the kids are happy about it!

I can’t recommend enough spending a weekend in Williamsburg and Jamestown.  We can’t wait to go back.

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2 thoughts on “Jamestown

  1. Sheri Prescott

    We love Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Yorktown! This is a great post about the plethora of fantastic learning opportunities and family fun to be had! You have made me very excited to go back someday!

  2. Mish

    Cant wait til my kids are big enough.

    This is what will make kids eager to learn history. I didnt start liking history until i was an adult and found books such as “Pillars of the Earth” and started delving into real history from there. Making history fun early on is ideal.


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