Hello, my readers! It’s the Christmas season, and for many that means it is shopping season! On a recent trip to Williamsburg, VA, I took the opportunity to marvel at their Christmas decorations and stop into all their Colonial-era shops! Shops are open daily 10:00am-5:00pm, except Tarpley, Thompson, and Company, which is open from 10:00am-7:00pm. Here is the latest and greatest information to help you make the most of your next trip to the Colonial Capital!
Tarpley, Thompson, and Company
This is a “tavern shop.” Here you’ll find colonial-era food, beverages, games, and home goods like prints, pottery, placemats, floor mats, and even place settings from each of the four historic taverns!
This open-air market is right in front of the magazine, so it’s hard to miss! Here you’ll find dolls, children’s toys, games, ready-made Colonial-style clothing for girls and boys, hats, foodstuffs, modern-day t-shirts, and more. Feel free to browse their selection of historic and modern goods!
John Greenhow’s Store
In this tavern shop, you’ll come across plenty of candles, soaps, beverages, preserves, baking mixes, and books, too! Feel free to ask any of the shop keepers your questions. They really do know a lot about what they’re selling and how the things you see would have been used in the 18th century!
This public garden is a shop, too! Look around the garden boxes, ask questions, and perhaps take home some plants to grow at home or to use as a unique decoration.
If you played dress-up as a child or ever wanted to see what it would be like to dress in the 18th century, you can’t miss this one! You can try on and purchase a Colonial gown, or purchase fabrics with traditional patterns to make your own! Did you know they had ready-made clothing for purchase in the 18th century? I didn’t think that came along until much later–you learn something new every day!
Looking for something made by the historical artisan interpreters in Williamsburg? You’ll find it here! In many of the establishments you’ll likely visit in Colonial Williamsburg, you’ll be able to watch people making everyday items the old-fashioned way. While most of what the interpreters make ends up being used at Williamsburg itself, anything extra they make will be sold at this store.
Looking for paper goods? This is the place! Here you’ll find notebooks and stationery for yourself, ink and ink wells, quill pens, books, copies of 18th century newspapers, and even the Declaration of Independence. If it was printed on paper, you’ll find it here!
This is the toy store! Well, not just toys, but mostly Colonial-era toys. Ask the folks inside how to play any of them, and they’ll be happy to show you! There are board games to try, tops, ball catchers, dolls, and more. You’ll also find historically-accurate chocolate and soaps here as well!
The Golden Ball
If you’re in the market for jewelry or silver items, this is the place for you! You can find rings, bracelets, necklaces, charms, and even silver boxes here. For those who like to feel “fancy.”
Are you ready for your own Colonial shopping trip? I hope you found this guide helpful, and that you’ll make the most of your visit and bring back a perfect souvenir!