Colonial July 4th Week: A Whodunit in Williamsburg

Family Travel Friday

Governor's Palace at Williamsburg VA
Governor’s Palace at Williamsburg VA

Destination: Williamsburg, Virginia

Book: The Colonial Caper Mystery at Williamsburg (2009) by Carole Marsh

(Note: this illustrates the teacher’s guide, because the book is temporarily out of stock at Amazon. If you’re in a hurry, it is available through other booksellers.)

Article by Jennifer Close

What would it be like if you could get transported into a different time in history? What if while you were there you found out that a valuable map went missing and that map just happens to be a gift for a queen? Would you try to solve the mystery?

Grant and Christina of the Real Kids Real Places series do exactly that in Colonial Caper Mystery at Williamsburg by Carole Marsh.

Williamsburg Carriage Ride
Carriage Ride, Williamsburg VA

Well, they don’t really get transported back in time but they might as well have been because they take a trip to Colonial Williamsburg which is the next best thing. People wander around Colonial Williamsburg in period costumes and as you walk down the dirt roads, you can’t help but feel as if you have gone back to another time.

Grant and Christina are always getting themselves caught up in a mystery. Their grandma, Mimi, and their grandpa, Papa, take them on incredible adventures. When they all arrive in Williamsburg, Grant and Christina learn about the mystery of the missing map, which is a gift to the Queen of England. They immediately take it upon themselves to try to solve it. While Mimi and Papa are doing their own thing, Grant and his sister begin wandering the streets of Williamsburg. They visit the Capitol, eat in the taverns, and meet a cartographer at the College of William and Mary. They go to the courthouse and even visit the Gaol, or jail.

Williamsburg graveyard
Graveyard, Williamsburg VA

I am going to leave whether or not Grant and Christina solve the mystery for you to find out on your own. I read parts of The Colonial Caper Mystery at Williamsburg to my son. We have been to Williamsburg before but my children were much younger so they don’t remember much. It was fun to show him our pictures of the different spots in Williamsburg that we visited. We are traveling to Virginia this summer and we just might have to add Williamsburg to our list so that he can see some of it for himself again.

If you are headed to Williamsburg, do some research before you go. The area is expansive and you can easily spend several days exploring. If you are just passing through, it is worth stopping by to grab a bite to eat at one of the taverns or The Cheese Shop. You can wander the grounds and eat in the taverns without purchasing a ticket. For an immersive experience and access to the exhibition sites, trade shops, and family-friendly programs, you will need to purchase tickets.

For $24.95, you can rent a colonial costume for your child to wear as they explore Colonial Williamsburg. They will feel right at home as they explore Revolutionary City or walking down Duke of Gloucester Street, which is mentioned several times in the book. Children can participate in hands-on activities throughout the colony. Our favorite part of visiting Williamsburg is watching the  Fifes and Drums perform.

Not heading to Williamsburg anytime soon? Carole Marsh has a book in her National Mystery Series for just about every major tourist spot you can think of and then some. There is a book about The Mystery in Chocolate Town: Hershey Pennsylvania , Atlanta, Georgia, the Smoky Mountains, Space Center Houston, Mount Rushmore, the Grand Canyon and about forty other places in the United States. She also has another series called Around the World in 80 Mysteries where she visits the ancient pyramid, Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower, the Great Barrier Reef and more.

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All Williamsburg photos above are the property of Vera Marie Badertscher. Please respect my copyright.

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About Vera Marie Badertscher

A freelance writer who loves to travel. When she is not traveling she is reading about travel. When she is not reading or traveling, she is sharing with the readers of A Traveler's Library, or recreating her family's past at Ancestors In Aprons . She has written for Reel Life With Jane, Life is a Trip and other websites. Also co-author of a biography, Quincy Tahoma, The Life and Legacy of a Navajo Artist. Contact Vera Marie by e-mail.

2 thoughts on “Colonial July 4th Week: A Whodunit in Williamsburg

  1. We took our kids to Williamsburg and they would have enjoyed this book! We went in the summer when the heat was oppressive so I recommend going at a cooler time of year!

    1. I can’t think of a better family travel experience in the country than Williamsburg. I’m sure that some would prefer Disney World, but I think kids really get into the authenticity of Williamsburg. On the trip when I took these pictures, I had only a short time to visit, but it just reminded me of how much fun it is for adults, too and how I’d love to spend a few days there. And to think that Jamestown and Yorktown are so close by–the area is awash in U.S. history.

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