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Last year I shared how we went to Colonial Williamsburg on a $200 budget, but most of my tips were ways to save money on the things you have to spend money on, like lodging and food. But one of the great things about Williamsburg is that there are lots of things to do in the Williamsburg/Jamestown/Yorktown area that won’t cost a thing. Today I’m going to share my top 25 free things to do in Williamsburg so that you can enjoy this beautiful, historical region of the country without blowing your budget.
25 Free Things to Do in Williamsburg
Take your car or walk onboard and experience a free trip on the Jamestown Ferry. Your kids will love this 15-20 minute boat ride, and you can do it multiple times over the course of your visit to the area!
You will have to purchase tickets to enter buildings and museums in the Historic Area and participate in other programs, but it doesn’t cost anything just to walk around and see the historical re-enactors and experience the feel of Colonial Williamsburg. Take a picture in the stocks and pillory!
The town of Yorktown hosts a summer concert series on Thursday nights from June to August, and Williamsburg has a similar concert series on Friday nights from April to October.
You can either drive or ride bikes down the 23 miles of the Colonial Parkway. It links Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown, and there are lots of places along the way for you to stop off and enjoy the scenery or take pictures.
This museum has exhibits that showcase how the army used different modes of transportation from the end of the 18th century to the present.
This three-mile walk through woods and forests attempts to retrace the steps of the earliest colonists to the area. You will be walking near Mainland Farm, which is considered to be the oldest working farm in North America.
Enjoy the playground as well as the biking and walking trails in Freedom Park. Pack a picnic for a frugal lunch!
Various parks in the area show free family-friendly movies in the evenings during the summer. Check the link above to see the current calendar.
Kidsburg is a 30,000 sq. ft. playground where your kids can play for hours!
Chronicles the military history of Fort Monroe, nicknamed “Freedom’s Fortress.”
You won’t be able to get inside the base, but you can see lots of the boats from the outside. Any transportation loving kids (or grown-ups) will enjoy this!
Make sure to stop at the Visitor Center to get a better idea of all that this state park offers.
Admission is free, and you can find a self-guided tour to download from the website.
You can spend money if you want, but I know that my husband and I enjoy just seeing older pieces of furniture (and sometimes really tacky items!) that can be found at antique stores.
In addition to more modern exhibits, this museum showcases tons of history from the Revolutionary War and the Civil War.
There are lots of water activities that you can pay for at Waller Mill Park, but you can also just pack a picnic
Built in 1674, the Bruton Parish Church is a beautiful historical monument with still exists as a congregation.
This scenic walk will take you from the Yorktown Battlefield to the American Revolution Museum.
If you’ve got your bikes with you, consider biking part of the Virginia Capital Trail (you could also walk or roller blade!).
On Saturday mornings in the spring and summer months, you can browse the Williamsburg Farmer’s Market and see historical re-enactors as well as normal, modernly dressed people selling fresh fruits and vegetables.
Even if you don’t have a prospective student in your family, you can still schedule a student-led tour to discover the rich history of this university.
The Williamsburg area might not immediately make you think of the beach, but there is a 2-mile beachfront in Yorktown where you can swim and enjoy the water.
This trail is an easy hike for those with kids, so pack your bug spray, sunscreen, and some snacks and water!
This is apparently a little-known area of Colonial Williamsburg that is only open in the summer and fall. The bricks made are used to restore some of the older buildings. If you visit during the right time of year, you may even be able to help stomp in the mud to make the clay for the bricks!
This is another place where you could spend a lot of money, but you can enjoy walking around this enormous retail location without spending a dime.
Have you been to the Williamsburg area? Tell us your favorite things to do there in the comments!