I went to Colonial Williamsburg on a last minute day trip in early October. I found out from their website about a special event commemorating the preparation prior to the battle in Yorktown.
I arrived early at the Colonial Williamsburg Visitor Center, where visitors get the pass for entering the buildings within the historic town. There was also free parking area where you can leave your car, and then either walk or take the shuttle bus (runs quite frequently) to the historic town area. This would be more convenient than trying to find parking near the commercial area closer to the town.
The program available at the Visitor Center was very helpful in figuring out how I would spend my day. It clearly indicated the various events happening throughout the day and where you would have to go to see or participate in those events.
The reenactment in town was done well. I felt I was witnessing the actual event unfolding. The actors playing the role of historical figures like George Washington, Marquis de Laffayette, Anthony Wayne, and Henry Knox were very good in representing their respective characters. They were even able to answer 'personal' questions asked by guests that did not have direct relationship to the battles being fought near the area, so for a moment it was almost like listening to the real character talking.
The firearms and cannon demonstrations, as well as the marching soldiers and the fife and drums added more opportunities to learn about the Revolutionary War. You could also talk to the normal 'citizens' of the old town who would gladly demonstrated their crafts and daily lives to the visitors, as well as provided the 'common people' views on what it was like living in the middle of a conflict.
Overall, I thought the experience exceeded my expectations. I grew up outside the US, so I wasn't as familiar with the American history. Out of curiosity, I ended up doing readings and watching documentary on some of the characters I 'met' during my visit after I went home. I think that was a good sign that they had done an awesome job in sparking interest about the history.
I would highly recommend visiting to learn about the history, especially around the Revolutionary era. Especially for children, this is a great way to get them to learn and appreciate the process of earning the freedom that they enjoy today.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.