Jamestown and Yorktown are unusual in that there are two destinations at each location. In Jamestown, there is the actual location of the Jamestown settlement, which is now an archaeology site run by the National Parks Service. A short distance from the archaeology site is the recreated Jamestown Settlement. There is an extensive museum at this site as well as a rebuilt Powhatan village, a rebuilt fort and three reproduction ships. Similarly, at Yorktown the National Parks Service runs the battlefield site, while there is a separate American Revolution Museum a few miles away. NOTE: When purchasing your tickets, double-check the museums your tickets cover. Some tickets include the National Parks Service sites and others do not.
We went to the recreated Jamestown Settlement with the intention of catching Anne's interest. The previous day in Williamsburg had been difficult for her. She was hot. She didn't want to walk. She wasn't sure what to make of the historical site. It was my suspicion that she might enjoy the recreated village and fort. What I didn't realize was how much she would enjoy the ships.
The main building at the Jamestown Settlement houses a huge museum. Admittedly we did not spend as much time in the museum as I would have liked. I knew that Anne would not be patient with walking through museum exhibits. I didn't want to lose her interest. We, however, did take the time to watch the introductory movie, which was excellent. It allowed the kids and the adults to have a better understanding of how the Jamestown colony came to be and the trials the early colonists faced.
After the movie, we joined a tour to explore the recreated Powhatan village. We did not stay with the tour for long. The tour guide was very knowledgeable, but it was not always easy to hear what he was saying. Additionally, Anne and Clare had there own priorities of what they wanted to see. Again, my main concern was getting Anne on board with touring historical sites, so I let her go to whatever grabbed her interest.
I highly recommend both Jamestown and Yorktown for family visits. The recreated Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown are probably the sites most suitable for kids, but if you are a true history fan, don't miss the National Parks Service sites.