Our second day in Williamsburg was overcast and rainy due to Hurricane Matthew making its way up the coast but we still managed to have a great time. We woke early at Kingsmill Resort and prepared ourselves for a busy, fun-filled day. Our first stop, The Virginia Living Museum located in Newport News is a quick and easy 20 minute drive from Williamsburg.
The Virginia Living Museum
The Virginia Living Museum is a private non-profit 501(c) 3 museum and education center whose mission is connecting people to nature through educational experiences that promote conservation. The Museum introduces visitors to more than 250 living species native to Virginia through exhibits, discovery centers and interactive hands-on exhibits.
My children and I were so excited to visit the Virginia Living Museum. Thankfully the rain held off so we could experience both the outdoor and inside exhibits.
We arrived just on time to go outside on the elevated boardwalk and watch the museum’s two otters have their morning feeding. My five year old said that this was his favorite part of the whole museum experience. It was so fun to see the otters swim and show off while waiting for their food. Goodness they sure are fast swimmers!
As an animal lover the fact that all of the animals at the Virginia Living Museum have been rescued and brought back to health really warmed my heart. I also appreciate that the animals are only touched by a vet and that the museum keeps them in their most natural habitat.
After heading indoors we went through each exhibit with delight and wonder. Some of the exhibits we explored were;
- Coastal Plain-This is where animals from the Chesapeake Bay were featured. We enjoyed the huge 30,000-gallon Aquarium where we saw incredibly large sea turtles, bull sharks and gorgeous fish.
- Piedmont and Mountains Gallery-we saw fish and other creatures native to the James River. Turtles and blue Catfish were our favorite things to see here.
- Appalachian Cove & Cypress Swamp-We were able to see a recreation of a a wetland habitat. It featured a waterfall, fish and birds (watch your head–the birds are free flying).
- Virginia Underground-We saw rocks, minerals and cave dwelling creatures such as cave dwelling (blind) fish.
- After Dark-We saw jellyfish, bats, a house mouse, a black widow and more things that go bump in the night.
My children adored the experience at the Discovery Center where they got to actually touch a starfish, horseshoe crab and a hermit crab. It was so fun for them to see these creatures up close and personal.
As we left the Virginia Living Museum I was surprised to find out that they also have a planetarium. I told my kids that the next time we visit we will be sure to stop by and see a light show.
When we returned to the car I realized we spent about three and a half hours at the museum! There was so much to see, do and learn that it was hard to walk away even after three+ hours. I highly recommend visiting the Virginia Living Museum when you are in the area. It is a fantastic spot to educate, explore and discover.
Many tourists visit Williamsburg to experience Colonial Williamsburg. We knew we wanted to stop in before the day was through to get a taste of what it was like back in Colonial times. We decided to forgo buying tickets and explore what we could on our own. I was surprised at just how much we could experience without tickets.
We made it just in time to see the costumed fifers and drummers parade down the main road, Duke of Gloucester Street.
We loved seeing all the costumed actors dressed up in their finest colonial wears. My son wanted to try out a colonial hat of his own so we popped into one of the adorable shops and gave it a go.
Next we walked down the street and spotted the gallows. Of course we had to get a few fun photos! As you can see, my son got WAY more into it then my daughter did. You can tell he is the real jokester of the family.
We loved walking along the street and seeing the beautiful architecture of the colonial buildings. I managed to get a picture perfect shot of two colonial gentleman discussing ‘colonial things.’
Sadly, after I took this shot the heavens opened and showered us with rain (darn you, Hurricane Matthew!). We ran as fast as we could back to the car and drove back to Kingsmill Resort. I wished we could have explored Colonial Williamsburg a bit more but we were grateful to have a beautiful suite at Kingsmill Resort to keep us warm and dry throughout the evening.
We had a fantastic two days in quaint, beautiful Williamsburg, Virginia. We came home with a wealth full of knowledge and many lovely memories that will live on in our minds and hearts.
If you are looking for a great place to get away I highly recommend giving Williamsburg, Virginia a try. There are so many places to see and things to do (many that I didn’t get to cover due to lack of time). We can’t wait to head back as a family and explore the settlements of Jamestown and Yorktown.
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