Chippokes Plantation State Park
Chippokes Plantation is one of the oldest continually farmed plantations in the country. A working farm since 1619, the park offers modern recreational activities and a glimpse of life in a bygone era. Visitors tour the historic area with its antebellum mansion and outbuildings, stroll through formal gardens, and view antique equipment at the Chippokes Farm and Forestry Museum. If you are coming from the Williamsburg side of the James River just hop on the free Jamestown Ferry. The ferry ride is part of the fun! Keep reading for the programming this month…
Ask A Ranger December 1 and 29 Got a question? Visit a park ranger outside of the Visitor Center to see a curious collection of artifacts, specimens, and more. VIEW DETAILS
Dec. 1 from 10 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Dec. 29 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Hoot Have Guessed? December 1 and 16 Owls are extraordinary predators. Have you ever wondered what an owl eats in a day/night? What exactly is an owl pellet? What can an owl pellet tell us about the ecosystem in which that owl lives? During this workshop, participants can observe, study, and dissect their very own owl pellet.
Dec. 1 from 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Dec. 16 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Pasture Pals December 4 & 11 from 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Have you ever wondered why donkeys have such long ears or why pigs like to roll in the mud? Learn this and more when you meet our ambassador animals for Pasture Pals. Meet at the Museum parking lot.
Help Birds Weather Winter December 4, 23 & 30 from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. This special, holiday themed, craft program involves making fun edible ornaments that will serve winter birds as a dependable food source during the cold winter months. Participants will make a natural bird feeder using pine cones, peanut butter, string, and birdseed. While creating your bird feeder, learn about some of our common Virginia backyard winter birds.
Forestry Hike Trail December 8 from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Take a closer look at the forest. Discover how trees support wildlife in life and in death. Try to find clues about the forest’s past events by reading the landscape. Meet at Farm and Forestry Museum Parking Lot. Walk is approximately 0.6 miles (there and back).
Skulls, Jaws, and Furs December 8 from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Can you identify the differences between a predator or prey animals skull? How have animal skulls adapted to help with survival? What else can we find out from closely investigating fur pelts, jaw bones, and skulls? We will work together to uncover skull adaptations and identify their species. But the fun doesn’t end there! Meet us at the Visitor Center.
Corn Husk Dolls – December 9 from 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. For centuries children in what is now Virginia played with corn husk dolls. These dolls were a creative outlet for play made from a crop essential to survival. Learn how to make this ancient craft at the Quayle Classroom in the Farm and Forestry Museum.
Jones-Stewart Mansion Tours take place on December 9, 11, 16, 18, 23, & 30 The Jones-Stewart Mansion is a stunning example of an antebellum plantation house, built in 1854. The home offers a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the Jones and Stewart families. VIEW DETAILS
Dec. 9, 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Dec. 11, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Dec. 16, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Dec. 18, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Dec. 23, 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Dec. 30, 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Messages From Fossils December 10, 29, 31 and January 1 Are you interested in learning about the most common and rare fossils that can be found along the James River? Why is it that we are able to find so many fossils here?
This program is a special introduction to the variety of fossils that adorn the Chippokes shoreline and allows guests a chance to familiarize themselves with the possibilities before hunting for shark teeth. Meet at the Quayle Classroom. Stick around after the program for a special ranger-led fossil hike.
Dec. 10 from 10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Dec. 29 from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Dec. 31 from 10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Jan. 1 from 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Excursion: Fossils of the James December 10 Did you know that Chippokes was once at the bottom of the ocean? During that period abundant shells, teeth, and bones were covered in sediments to create the fossils we find today.
Dec. 10 from 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Dec. 31 from 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Jan. 1 from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
River House Tour December 10, 24 and 31 Take a peek literally inside the walls of this mid-19th century structure. The program will guide visitors through the rooms of the River House, and focus on how the dwelling fits into the property’s history. Participants will discover how architectural details of the River House reveal glimpses into the lives of those who lived and worked there. Please note the tour requires the navigation through several sets of staircases.
Dec. 10 from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Dec. 24 from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Dec. 31 from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Where Are They Now December 15 from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Some of our favorite summertime critters disappear for the winter. So, where are they now? Let’s consider a particular critter that you may often see fearlessly crossing the road. Turtles! Join us as we explore what these fascinating animals might be doing when it is cold, snowy, or freezing outside. This program also entails a fun craft!
Maizey Tales December 15 & 24 Friends, come one, come all and meet one of our ambassador animals, Maizey, the corn snake! This program is designed to introduce visitors to corn snakes and snakes of the area. An interpreter will be present to handle Maizey so that you can see her patterns, colors, and size. What do you know about corn snakes?
Dec. 15 from 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Dec. 24 from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Holiday Open House December 17 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The holiday season is upon us. Chippokes State Park and the Friends of Chippokes (FOC) would like to extend a special invitation to you and yours, to come on out and visit with us, to celebrate, be merry, and spread holiday cheer. All are welcome! This special event is guaranteed fun for the whole family to enjoy.
Special activities and programming will include: Jones-Stewart Mansion Tours, Brick Kitchen: Hearth Cooking, Holiday Ornament Making Workshops, Holiday Music, Festive Hay Rides, and photos with Santa Claus & Ranger Redfox. Christmas cookies and hot chocolate will also be served.
This event is rain, frost, or shine.
Brick Kitchen: Hearth Cooking December 17 & 18 from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. What is the oldest way of cooking? Let us travel back in time, to a period where preparing meals and cooking for the family during the holiday season was done without the use of electric stoves, gas stoves, microwaves, electric blenders or mixers, or toaster ovens. Witness just how much hard work goes into feeding your loved ones or yourself when it is done by hearth cooking over a wood fire.
Holiday Ornament Making Workshop December 17 from 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Come one, come all, and get crafty! Celebrate the holidays by visiting Chippokes State Park on December the 17th during our annual Holiday Open House. This event is guaranteed fun for the whole family.
Festive Hay Rides December 17 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. All aboard the Chippokes Tram Express in celebration of our Holiday Open House, special event, featuring festive hayrides.
Ranger Parker Redfox & Santa Claus: Meet & Greet December 17 from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Chippokes State Park invites you to attend our annual Holiday Open House special event. During this fun, family oriented, holiday themed day there will be plenty of things to do! There will even be special appearances made by Ranger Parker Redfox and Santa Claus. Don’t miss out on your chance to meet the one and only, Santa Claus, or our very good furry friend, Ranger Parker Redfox.
Roving Ranger November 11, 13, 20 & 27 An interpretive ranger is out of the office, roving around the park, and hoping to run into visitors to show off a few special items from our collection. A lone ranger will be stationed at the beach alongside the College Run Trail.
If you have an item you’d like to share with us, if you need help identifying what you’ve stumbled upon while beach combing, if you have any questions about the park or wildlife, etc. You know just where to find us! If it’s raining, thundering, or lightning, head to the Visitor Center!
Nov. 11 from 12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Nov. 13 from 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Nov. 20 from 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Nov. 27 from 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Without Feather Ado November 11 & 18 from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Turkeys are a wonderfully strange bird, but how much do we know about them? Join a ranger as we discover more about these odd creatures that have become an iconic symbol for the Thanksgiving holiday. Try your hand at a fun craft during this program or take it to go and complete your craft at home.
College Run Trail Hike November 17 from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Discover the unique flora and fauna that create the vibrant wetland ecosystem here on College Run Trail. Learn how wetlands are important and unique ecosystems. Explore how conservation efforts are vital to the protection of wetlands. Meet at the Visitor Center. Walk is approximately 1 mile (there and back).
$7 per car park entry fee. For more information visit: https://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/event?id=2021-11-17-15-28-29-407155-i5p
Chippokes Plantation State Park
695 Chippokes Park Rd., Surry, VA 23883
Phone: 757-294-3728 Email Address: Chippokes@dcr.virginia.gov
Web Site: www.dcr.virginia.gov/state-parks/chippokes-plantation
Check out our article on the best place to find sharks teeth near Williamsburg!