You Asked Mayor Zeidler
QUESTION:What website do I go to, to find free or nearly free activities available in July? We will be visiting w/nine of our children and it is more challenging for us to go to museums etc. Any guidance would be much appreciated. My husband & I honeymooned there @ 23 yrs. ago. It had changed radically since I'd visited as a teenager. Much that had been free had pretty steep fees. Did we just not prepare enough?
ANSWER: Dear Ms. Cypher,
I'm delighted you will be visiting us in July. There's so much to do -- especially for families. We very much appreciate your choosing to come back to Williamsburg. Although many attractions do charge admission to support themselves, they're all making an extra effort this year to be cost-conscious and to provide the best value possible.
A great starting point is www.visitwilliamsburg.com. In addition to general information, there is a regional calendar of events -- many of which are free -- and links to get the best deals on tickets for attractions. Busch Gardens and Colonial Williamsburg offer a Bounce Ticket which gives you unlimited visits at both attractions during your visit. You can also go to individual sites: www.cwf.org, www.buschgardens.com, www.historyisfun.org, etc.
There are also many activities for families that are free or cost very little. Here are a few:
Merchants Square in downtown Williamsburg has lots of great free summer events, such as outdoor concerts and dancing. http://www.merchantssquare.org/calendar.html
Also at Merchants Square is the Williamsburg Farmers Market, www.williamsburgfarmersmarket.com, voted last year one of America's Favorite Farmers Markets. In addition to meeting all the vendors and checking out the wonderful locally-grown produce and baked goods at the market, a good part of the fun is mingling with locals (and their dogs) and tourists who gather on Saturdays. There's live music and a relaxed atmosphere.
Yorktown is just 20 minutes away from Williamsburg, and they host free concerts and dancing on Friday nights on their beautiful Riverwalk Landing on the York River in the summer. Very family friendly and free. http://www.virginia.org/site/description.asp?attrID=60196
We're a great walking city -- both downtown and throughout the campus of William & Mary. You can download our Great City Walks map for some walking tours from our website, www.williamsburgva.gov on the Parks & Recreation Department page http://www.williamsburgva.gov/Index.aspx?page=38. There's also a list of City parks. If you're driving here, I encourage you to bring your bicycles. It's also possible to rent them while you're here.
The Williamsburg Trolley is new this year and great fun for kids. More information is at http://www.williamsburgva.gov/Index.aspx?page=273&recordid=767 and a map is at www.williamsburgtransport.com/pdf/Williamsburg_Trolley.pdf
I hope this helps with your plans.
Again -- we so appreciate your continuing to come back to visit us.
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