Visit: American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, 200 Water Street Route 1020, Yorktown, VA 23690
Take in the Revolution through dynamic gallery exhibits, films and outdoor living history.
The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown tells the story of the nation’s founding, from the twilight of the colonial period to the dawn of the Constitution and beyond. Exciting indoor galleries feature period artifacts, immersive environments, interactive exhibits and films, including “The Siege of Yorktown,” with a 180-degree surround screen and dramatic special effects.
Outdoors, enlist in Continental Army in a re-created encampment to learn about the life of a soldier and take in daily demonstrations on medical treatment, camp life and cooking, and see firings of musket and artillery. Explore a Revolution-era farm, based on a real-life 18th-century family, to help with chores in the house, kitchen, tobacco barn, gardens and crops.
The state-operated museum of the American Revolution, named one of the New York Times’ 52 Places to Visit in 2019, is an excellent starting point for a tour of Yorktown.
‘Forgotten Soldier’ Special Exhibition On Display Through March 22, 2020
“Forgotten Soldier” explores personal stories of enslaved and free African Americans who fought on both sides of the American Revolution and their contributions in establishing the nation. From June 29, 2019, through March 22, 2020, take in interactive exhibits and visually compelling art displays that encourage visitors to shift their gaze to see events of American history in a new light.
Surrounded by 18th-century stories of African-American soldiers, the special exhibition invites visitors to contemplate those often overlooked in familiar narratives of the past with a commissioned sculpture by Titus Kaphar, an American contemporary artist and 2018 MacArthur Fellow whose work reconfigures subjects in art history.
A series of special programs, from workshops to a re-enactment weekend event, complement the special exhibition. Supplemental daily programming illuminates the lives of African-American soldiers in the Revolutionary War with educational lectures and hands-on learning activities with historical interpreters.
Open year-round 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (9 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 15-August 15), except Christmas and New Year’s days.
Duration: 3 hours
Visit: Jamestown Settlement, 2110 Jamestown Rd Route 31 S, Williamsburg, VA 23185
Relive the experience of America's first permanent English colony.
Near the site of the original colony, Jamestown Settlement tells the story of 17th-century Virginia, from the arrival of English colonists in Jamestown in 1607 to the cultural encounters and events that planted the seeds of a new nation. The world of Jamestown, America’s first permanent English colony, comes to life through film, gallery exhibits and outdoor living history.
Jamestown Settlement is a year-round stage for engaging events and programs as part of the 2019 Commemoration, American Evolution, marking the 400th anniversary of key historical events that occurred in Virginia in 1619 that continue to influence America today. Inside permanent gallery exhibits, learn about the significance and impact of the first legislative assembly, arrival of the first recorded Africans, and the influx of English women to the colony. The museum was named as one of the New York Times’ 52 Places to Visit in 2019.
Expansive gallery exhibits and an introductory film describe the cultures of the Powhatan Indians, Europeans and Africans who converged in 17th-century Virginia, and trace Jamestown’s beginnings in England and the first century of the Virginia colony. New gallery exhibits coming in 2019: Sections of Jamestown Settlement gallery exhibits are undergoing a phased renovation to incorporate new historical research and technology, including interactive touch screens, immersive exhibits and a new multimedia experiential theater.
Climb aboard a re-creation of one of the three ships that sailed from England to Virginia in 1607. Explore life-size re-creations of the colonists’ fort and a Powhatan Indian village. In the outdoor areas, costumed historical interpreters describe and demonstrate daily life in early 17th-century Jamestown.
Expanded Summer Programs at Jamestown Settlement – open daily 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. June 15 to August 15
Enjoy a range of historical presentations throughout the day, including cooking, sail-setting, blacksmithing, government and law, piloting and navigation, and pottery of the Powhatan Indians.
At 3 p.m. daily, the ringing of the church bells in the re-created colonial fort signals one of six programs with visitor participation:
a 17th-century military drill with musketeers, pikemen and targeteers
a demonstration to learn the steps to fire an artillery piece on aboard a square-rigged ship or on land (followed by its firing!)
trade between the Powhatan Indian and English cultures
Powhatan Indian period weaponry
lifting-and-lading cargo and supplies from one of the re-created 1607 ships
comparative weaponry among the Powhatan Indian and English cultures
Educational exhibits on wheels, or history “a la carte,” roam Jamestown Settlement’s indoor and outdoor living-history areas – 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily.
Monday and Thursday: African culture of the 17th century
Tuesday and Saturday: History and science of the James River
Thursday and Saturday: Women of early Virginia
Duration: 3 hours