There are few things as reliable as the heat of summer in Virginia. And as the temperature rises, we find ourselves looking for fun activities that don’t involve dripping in sweat. Here are seven cool ways to entertain yourself this summer — inspired by and at Colonial Williamsburg:
1. Bake goodies for a neighbor
There’s something relaxing about measuring flour and rolling dough that takes you back to a simpler time. Plus, brightening someone’s day with a basket of sweets can put a pep in your step, too! Want some truly time-tested recipes? Check out Recipes from the Raleigh Tavern Bake Shop, in Williamsburg, Virginia. Generations have taste-tested the gingerbread cookies, plum tarts, pear pie and more!
2. Solve a Mystery
Examine the crime scene, interview experts and suspects, and collaborate with other investigators as you work together to solve a fictitious murder. The twist? The murder takes place in a beautiful art museum! Running every Thursday evening, the mystery of Sir Reginald’s Return is a thrill not to be missed.
3. Discover a Hidden Gem
Did you know there’s an art museum full of quirky toys, whimsical whirligigs, carousel characters, and backwoods banjos at Colonial Williamsburg? Check out the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum and get an introduction to folk art. Perhaps you’ll find the same joy in these unique objects that inspired Mrs. Rockefeller to build the collection upon which the museum is built!
4. Create a homemade lantern
Add a homemade touch to the twinkling lights of long summer evenings! Create a homemade lantern inspired by a timeless tinsmithing technique. With supplies you can find around your home, flex your creative muscles, designing your own pattern or using the provided template. Find the instructions here.
5. Take joy in the unusual
Sometimes the most interesting things come in not-so-pretty boxes. Take a guided tour of the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg and discover the ugly, unpleasant, and inelegant objects included in the vast collection. They might look strange, but no doubt, they have a story to tell.
6. Become a Detective
Get out your magnifying glass and examine the hidden clues! In the award-winning exhibition,Upholstery CSI: Reading the Evidence, you can learn to identify the hints left by upholsterers that allow curators and conservators to reconstruct furniture pieces’ 18th-century appearances. Head over to the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum and check it out — you’ll never look at your furniture the same way again!
7. Join a live studio audience … with Founding Fathers
Imagine a game show melding “Whose Line is it Anyway?” and the Founding Fathers. Join the audience, where you have the power to shape this talk show/game show presented by the men who portray Thomas Jefferson and James Madison at Colonial Williamsburg. The show runs every Sunday at 4 p.m.