If you are the one making the reservations (Tom), and you see that the hotel has an indoor pool, please share this information with the rest of the family. Not super fun to watch the kids have to resist the siren song of the pool just because no one thought to pack bathing suits.
If you are packing the portable DVD player (Anna), it might be a good idea to remember the plug as well. Kind of stinks to have a brand new movie in the car and no way to watch it.
When you take your kids to Historic Williamsburg but don't want to spring the money for passes to the exhibits, you may need to find other ways to turn the weekend into a learning experience.
Note: The old-timey dressed actors will NOT let you inside without a pass. Trust me on this. And what is a milliner anyway, and why does she think she's all that?
Tree climbing is free:
As is spending time with the livestock:
Just be warned that both horses could be male and may be rather "excited" to see you.
While it is not on the official Williamsburg curriculum, this could be described as a "teachable moment." It could fall under science, or sex ed.
I do not recommend zooming in on the next photo, even though this is well after things had died down, so to speak.
If you find you need a little alone time, you can just throw those meddling kids into the stocks:
If one child says his shoes are stuck and he can't get out of the stocks, just yell, "There's a BEE!" and see how fast the problem resolves itself:
Talk about lightning speed.
Feel free to take the kids down to the James River in Jamestown. If your daughter falls in, gets soaked, and starts wailing, just keep shooting pictures and laughing:
Give her a hug when you hear that she risked lfe and limb to recover a submerged Colonial artifact.
Give her another hug when she discovers her treasure is a mangled 1991 penny.
Bear in mind that the success or failure of any trip is directly related to the mother's blood sugar level at any time. Feed said mother chocolate and Diet Pepsi at regular intervals.
And finally, remember that despite the schlepping and the arguing and the enormous fear of bedbugs (or fear of enormous bed-bugs), a get-away, even just for a day or two is usually worth it.