Blow the budget at Christmas and now fun in January is looking like a non-existent option? Well here is a list that may help. If you are looking for fun free, or not too expensive things to do this January in the Williamsburg, James City County and Yorktown area (and a little further down the Peninsula) below is the list for you!
Winter Blues Jazz Festival
The four-day Winter Blues Jazz Fest is back for its 8th year presented by CultureFix! This year the festival will be held January 13 – 16, 2022. The over-riding goal is to provide an enriching and entertaining weekend full of jazz and blues programs with options available to suit all tastes and budgets. The Winter Blues Jazz Fest has a little something for everyone. See the schedule below and then get your tickets today at Winter Blues Jazz Fest!
FunFest Dinosaur Dig with the WRL at James River Elementary School Cafeteria!
January 15th from 10 am – 1 pm! Bring the kids and let them be a paleontologist for a day! Learn more
Hennage Auditorium Live Performances and Activities in the Art Museum of Colonial Williamsburg
From the Nation Builders to indivdual interpreter performances the Hennage Auditorium has daily live theatrical events and most are part of your admission to the Art Museum of Colonial Williamsburg. If you are local your Good Neighbor Pass will get you in too. There are also, drop in crafts, Pop-Up Archaeology, tours and exhibits that are all worth repeat visits to this world class museum. Learn more…
Three Rivers & Three Peoples Hike at York River Stat Park
Jan. 17, 2022. 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
The Mattaponi, Pamunkey, and York Rivers are deeply intertwined in the history of Native, European and African Americans. Hike with us and discover stories of the heritage we share along these waters. See all the January events at York River State Park.
Winter Markets in Yorktown!
The first Winter Market in Yorktown on the Historic Waterfront is Saturday January 29th from 10 am to 2 pm. Shop your favorite vendors and artists selling locally grown, produced, and crafted products. You’ll find a vast selection of baked goods, prepared soups, gourmet chocolates, homemade candles, dog treats, local art more! Learn more
Chippokes Plantation State Park January EVENTS!
This park has weekly programming especially on the weekends. It is a short (free) ferry ride over the James to Surry, and that is part of the fun. We have a dedicated post to this park with their events listed here.
Liberty Ice Pavilion Outdoor Ice Skating Rink in Colonial Williamsburg – open daily
Liberty Ice Pavilion will open daily through February 27, 2022, including holidays! Ice skate with your family on Duke of Gloucester Street at the outdoor Liberty Ice Pavilion! You can purchase day tickets or if you know you are going to be going more than a few times between Nov 19, 2021 to Feb 27, 2022 – consider getting a Skate Season Pass. Day Passes and hours of operation here.
Basset Trace Nature Trail
If the weather holds..enjoy the Basset Trace Trail in Colonial Williamsburg. This is a free access trail to visitors and locals a like. Recently re-opened in the fall of 2019 this trail is beautiful. It has markers along the way to let you know about the different types of trees, shrubs and plants along the trail . Take a snap shot of the Bird Guide poster at the trail head so you can identify what you spot along your walk. Trail is 1.4 miles (2.8 mile round trip). Here is more on the Bassett Trace Nature Trail
Candlelight Concerts at Bruton Parish Church
Organ Recital – Sat, Jan 15 @ 8:00 pm
Rebecca Davy, Music Director & Organist at Bruton Parish
Organ Recital Sat, Jan 22 @ 8:00 pm
Rebecca Davy, Music Director & Organist at Bruton Parish
Organ Recital – Sat, Jan 29 @ 8:00 pm
Dr. JanEl Will, Organist at Bruton Parish
All Concerts are non-ticketed and open to the public.Freewill offerings are gratefully received. Learn more
Good Neighbor Pass at Colonial Williamsburg
When you purchase your Good Neighbor Pass – you get unlimited free access to Colonial Williamsburg for a year. The pass also gives you discounts on tickets for family and friends, discounts on evening programs, shopping and food. This little pass is a gem for locals. See if you live in the qualifying zipcodes. Also, it is free for local teachers…learn more.
American Revolutionary Museum Yorktown – Free Admission for locals*
I had the good fortune of getting to spend a day with 4th graders on their field trip to the American Revolutionary Museum in Yorktown this month and it made me remember why I love this museum. It was recently refreshed and what an amazing museum we now have…hallographic projections telling history to us in the first person. A movie theater in the round that tells the epic story of the last days of the decisive Battle of Yorktown. Your seats shudder when the bombs blast and smokey fog rises from the floor as the guns fire. But this is just on the inside of the museum. Outside museum interpreters are there in a rebuilt Revolutionary period town with a farm and roaming chickens. And that is just what we saw during a two hour field trip. Spend a day there and you will be amazed! *Best part? Residents of Williamsburg, James City County and Yorktown get in free with proof of residency.
Mariners Museum – $1 Admission
This museum took a bold stand last year and committed to $1 admission. That is right! Now they also have great films running and those are for an extra fee – so you might still consider purchasing a family membership. But they have great family programming including storytimes. This permanent exhibits in this museum will delight young and old and there is so much there – you can keep visiting over and over. They do have a restaurant but it is limited hours so check before you go. Their gift shop is worth a visit too! Learn more about them here.
Virginia Living Museum
The absolute best way to do the Virginia Living Museum is to get a family membership because it pays for itself – because once you go once with little kids you realize how family friendly this place is and you will want to keep going back…and so will your kids! The whole museum is stroller friendly and geared towards families. The outside section is awesome with wide stroller and kid save pathways (fencing all around so no one falls into the pond) and it leads to the outdoor Dinosaur Discovery Zone. More info here...
Chrysler Museum of Art – FREE Admission
Chrysler Museum of Art offers free admission. Did we mention…free.
The Chrysler Museum has free parking. Our main entrance is stroller accessible. Our restaurant, Wisteria, has a variety of kid friendly menu items. The Chrysler Museum has a mothering room available in our Theater lobby. And their website has a whole “family visit” section! The museum is in Norfolk so not in Williamsburg but definitely worth a drive down the peninsula! Learn more about Chrysler Museum of Art here