Sneak Peek: Grand Illumination Week

There is so much more than this going on this week: meditation, ice skating, trivia, Home Alone, $5 yoga, Christmas lights, Christmas carols, free dance lessons, a lighted boat parade, and more! Seriously, check the calendar for more things to do. For the top highlights, check below:


Friday- 5pm- Merchant’s Square

Featured Event this Week! (I will be there, come join!)
A Christmas Carol

A Williamsburg Christmas classic! The Virginia Theatre Machine brings its witty production of the Charles Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol,” performed in less than 30 minutes. Free! See the calendar for more showings (in general, Fridays at 5, and Saturdays and Sundays throughout the day.


Friday at 7pm and Saturday at 5pm-  Williamsburg United Methodist Church (full disclosure- my church!) FREE

Handel’s Messiah


Sunday 4pm- Post Theater, Fort Monroe

FREE Holiday Symphony Concert by the Hampton Roads Philharmonic

HRP

Ok, so this one’s a little further than 30 minutes from Williamsburg, but I’ll be playing, and this is my blog, so I get to post about it 🙂 For recordings of our orchestra check our Facebook page. We’ll be playing a bunch of Christmas music, the Nutcracker Suite, and “Gloria” by John Rutter.


Grand Illumination– Sunday (Dec 7) 4:45-7:30 pm

Grand Illumination

I can’t not mention this–the annual crowding of Duke of Gloucester Street complete with lots of musical acts in the afternoon and topped off by colonial-style fireworks.


I hope you all have a great week! I didn’t mention it above but there’s also the Christmas parade this weekend (Saturday at 8:30am), like a million concerts and don’t forget the indie movies at the Kimball. Lots of free and low cost things to do in Williamsburg this week and weekend, so y’all have a great time!

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Sneak Peek: Thanksgiving Week

For many of us, we will spend this week traveling, eating, and talking to relatives we haven’t seen since last year. But, for the days you’re in town, here are some cool things to do right here in Williamsburg:


Monday

Featured Event This Week! 
(in other words, I will be there covering it for the blog, so come join if you want)

Trivia at Green Leafe – 8pm

Green Leafe

An oldie but a goodie. Questions are all written and hosted by local trivia buffs and the questions can be pretty hard- but hey, why do trivia if it’s not challenging? Usually there are 5 rounds: the 4th round is a picture round (you get a sheet of paper with pictures on it and have to identify the item/character/etc) and 5th round is a music round- hear the song, name the artist and title of the song. Also- Green Leafe runs burger specials on this night, they are $5 or $6. Fries are extra, though.


Wednesday and Friday, and then every day for awhile

Iceburg Skate Rink

Iceburg Skate Rink

Ice skating! (click on the link above for hours) I’ve heard it’s a synthetic rink, FYI . . .
Fees:
Daily Admission (includes Skate Rental)
Child 5 and under: FREE
Youth 6-17 and Senior 55+: $5 for residents/ $7 for non-residents
Adult: $7 for residents/ $8


Thursday (and Friday and Saturday)

Food and Feasts of Colonial Virginia

Foods-and-Feasts-at-Jamestown-Settlement

Now, I have never been to this, but I have always wanted to go! Best of all, it’s FREE for Williamsburg/JCC/York County residents (bring your driver’s license with your address on it):

Long before microwaves, electric stoves and refrigerators, food was prepared in clay pots and iron kettles over hot coals and preserved by smoking, salt curing and pickling. This Thanksgiving holiday, explore foodways of 17th- and 18th-century Virginia during “Foods & Feasts of Colonial Virginia,” a three-day event beginning on Thanksgiving Day.

If you have been, please leave a short review in the comments- thanks!


Sunday

Traditional Music for St. Andrew’s Day – 3pm

Fiddlers

Scottish fiddle and guitar music by some of this area’s best traditional musicians (John Turner is awesome, if you haven’t heard him). With your Good Neighbor Pass, this *should* be $6 (regular price $8).


Also, Merchant’s Square will be positively hopping this weekend with things to do so- if you are raring to go for Christmas in Williamsburg, go and check out the market, all the pretty greenery and red ribbons, and the “A Christmas Carol”-in-a-box. If you are not ready for Christmas? Stay away- you’ve been warned!

Everyone please travel safe and have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am thankful for all of you! Especially my fabulous followers!

Week Peek: Nov 18-23

There is a lot of cool stuff happening this week! But I can’t get to it all here- check out the calendar for even more stuff.


Tonight

BW3Beer & Wings at Buffalo Wild Wings- Tuesday, 6:30 pm

This is put on by a new Meetup Group, New to Williamsburg. Sounds like a good way to meet new people!


tree_grows_in_brooklyn_xlgA Tree Grows in Brooklyn at the Williamsburg Library – Wednesday, 7pm – FREE

Encouraged by her idealistic if luckless father, a bright and imaginative young woman comes of age in a Brooklyn tenement during the early 1900s. 


Featured Event this week!

TANThursday Adventure Night

From their Facebook page: “Join other young adults (18-35 years old) for an adventure every Thursday at 6pm in Williamsburg!” From past events, they usually meet at 6pm at the Martins on Monticello for dinner, then head out to wherever they’re going. The last two weeks they had Arcade Game Night at Great Wolf Lodge and a Geocache Dash. They haven’t yet posted what this week’s adventure will be, but I will be there to cover it for the blog, so feel free to join me!


CW Art CraftColonial Williamsburg Employee Arts & Crafts Show– Saturday & Sunday 10am-5pm- Free to browse

There are a lot of talented people that work at CW- you can buy everything here from ornaments to paper crafts to jewelry, just lots of stuff. Think of it like an in-person Etsy! Great for holiday shopping.


Y’all have a GREAT TIME this week! And please check out the calendar for other things going on that I didn’t get to here- free yoga Wednesday night (both vinyasa and laughter yoga), an acoustic jam, State of the City Address, and a free VSO Woodwind Quintet concert, among other things.

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Free Classes at Berrybody Yoga

This week I checked out the free community class at Berrybody Yoga in Merchant’s Square on Prince George Street. It’s in the basement of Berrybody Yogurt, so you occasionally hear people upstairs- but it was pretty quiet during the Wednesday class.

I found out about the free classes here at a 2nd Sunday Art Festival. A young woman was sitting at a booth outside the studio and was handing out coupons for a free class anytime and schedules that featured a free class on Wednesday nights. Fast forward to last Wednesday, when I show up for the class, and lo and behold there is the same woman! It turns out her name is Brittany, and she was our teacher for the evening.

Isn't she cute?

Brittany, our instructor. Isn’t she cute?

The schedule is always posted above the stairwell.

The schedule is always posted above the stairwell.

The class was good, and a great introductory class for those who haven’t done much yoga. Brittany really walked us through everything, and offered hands-on adjustments (which are SUPER valuable at any point in your practice). Personally, I thought it was a pretty good workout. I mean, I wasn’t sweating or anything, but my thighs were definitely burning from all those crescent lunges and chair poses!

They have all the equipment you need there.

They have all the equipment you need.

The only criticism I would offer was that there were times when I couldn’t quite hear what she was saying (most of the time I could hear fine, though). The class ended with us laying down and she came and gave us lavender-scented (!) washcloths to put over our faces. That was super-nice, but be warned that she puts it down next to your head, so you need to put it on yourself. I only realized I had a washcloth next to me when I opened my eyes. I really dug her choice of music during class, though- it was this eclectic mix of popular songs, RJD2, Budos Band, and some vaguely South Asian-style music.

The class was pretty crowded, as you’d expect for a free class. There were probably 20 people there. Unfortunately, about 5 of them arrived after the start time, and between them being late and having to fill out paperwork, we started late. So if you go, please be considerate to your classmates and get there a little bit early so you can fill out the waiver form and be ready to start the class on time.

Brittany let us know that this class will be free for the rest of November (no class the night before Thanksgiving) and will go up to $5 in December. After that, they’re not sure yet what the price will be, but there will still be a class. I’ll try to keep the calendar updated accordingly.

This class was a great one for beginners, but as someone who practices yoga semi-regularly, I got something out of it, too. If you like it, check out their other classes- their prices are pretty reasonable. You can also buy a punch card for classes that never expires.

I would definitely go back to this class. Brittany is a sweetheart, and it was neat being there with so many other people. Namaste, y’all!

All ready for your practice!

All ready for your practice!

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Week Peek Nov 11-17: Yoga, Music, Jewelry, and Dancing

There are tons of things going on this week, all of which are listed on the calendar. But to help you decide, here are the coolest ones:

Wednesday

Yoga_at_a_Gym
Free Yoga at Berrybody Yoga Studio– Wednesday Nov 12 7:30-8:30 pm
I’m going to go check it out; feel free to join me if you’d like! Bring some non-perishable food as a donation.

Thursday

Belt it out!

Belt it out!

Open Mic Night at Aromas 7:30 pm

Saturday

TiaraI gotta admit this sounds really interesting-
From Downton to Gatsby: Jewelry and Fashion from 1890 to 1929 5:30pm

Monday

Swing Dance
Swing Dance at the Waterman’s Museum
– 7pm, $5
Some friends of mine starting doing these about a year ago- lesson at 7, open dance at 8- it’s really fun and relaxed! There’s usually yummy treats, too. The cover charge goes to the Waterman’s Museum education programs.

Again- many more events this week are on the calendar. Enjoy!

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6 Reasons Williamsburg’s Farmers Market is the Bomb Diggity

I have a confession: I have been known to spend hours (HOURS) at the farmers market. Why? Because the farmer’s market (at least our Williamsburg Farmers Market) is THE BEST place to spend a Saturday morning ever! Here’s why:

1) The People Watching

Satisfied shoppers buy from KelRae Farms in Toano!
Above: Satisfied shoppers buy from KelRae Farms in Toano

This is probably one of my favorite activities. When you go, see how many of these you can spot:
– Older ladies with fancy market baskets filled to the brim with organic produce
– Small dogs being either a) pushed in a stroller or b) carried in a basket
– Families with little kids doing their shopping as a group (cuuuute!)
– Dog fights/ altercations
– Dogs sniffing each others’ butts
– Cute dogs, old dogs, big dogs, little dogs, just DOGS!
– CW employees in costume
– Somebody pulling a wagon full of produce
– Groups of students going from stall to stall looking for free samples

2) The Free Samples

Chefs from the Williamsburg Lodge restaurant, Traditions, steep up some yummy stuff for a soup
Chefs from the Williamsburg Lodge restaurant, Traditions, steep up some yummy stuff for a soup

You know you’re not above those students.  The following stalls usually have samples, but be respectful- the vendors are there for their livelihoods, so don’t ask for samples if you already know you’re not going to buy anything, OK?

– Chef’s Tent- always free! local chefs come in and make something really good using things available at the market. It’s over on the south side of the square between the Cheese Shop and the Wythe Candy shop.
Goats R Us (flavored goat cheeses- lavender, chocolate, black pepper, all sorts)
– an occasional vineyard, like Hague, or Saude Creek– yes you can SAMPLE WINE IN THE MORNING isn’t Williamsburg great?!?
Fresh Crunch (pickled stuff)
Belmont Peanuts

3) The Vendors

I think a lot of ladies do.
I think a lot of ladies do.

They are for real farmers. Or cheesemakers. Or whatever. And they are all super nice people! At the WFM, it’s required that the person selling is the person that produced the product. So go ahead, ask all your questions about recipes, growing seasons, and how those darling chickens are doing. This is their passion, so they will love talking about it with you!

4) The Music

The Blue Notes
Don’t let their cuteness fool you- they rock out.

There’s almost always some kind of live music at the market, and since it’s live music, the musicians are probably local, ergo: there are talented local musicians at the market. This week, it’s The Blue Notes, a group of teenagers (!) who play classic blues standards. I’ve heard everything from a cappella groups to smooth guitar tunes to folksy-music.  The fact that there are so many talented people in a relatively rural area really impresses me.

5) THE FOOD

Beautiful peppers (in November!) from Amy's Garden
Beautiful peppers (in November!) from Amy’s Garden

Of course, there’s oodles of beautiful rainbow chard, weird and ugly winter squashes, and tomatoes of every hue and shape– but there’s also grass-fed meats, honey, eggses, and prepared foods like pastitsio made by real authentic Greek ladies, and pastries made by a French bakery, and pies, and more pies, and even popsicles. SO MUCH GOOD FOOD!

6) The Energy

The market buzzes with activity, and it’s one of my favorite things about it. Let me tell you a little story . . .

When I first moved to Williamsburg, I didn’t have a car. And it was winter. I would get home and it would be dark and I didn’t feel safe going around at night so I’d be stuck in my apartment until the weekend. But you know what was on the weekend? The farmers market! Every market Saturday I would get on my bike and ride down to the square. I was just so excited to be where everybody else was, where the action was- it was honestly the highlight of my week. And it’s one of the main reasons I still love it- I feel like I’m part of a community. I hope you feel that way, too!

Rainbow Chard from Zamora's produce
Rainbow Chard from Zamora’s produce
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I’d love to hear what your favorite parts of the market are- if you’d like, leave a comment!

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What’s Happening, Williamsburg?

Hey everybody! This blog will be all about cool events happening in our little ‘Burg, along with reviews and photos of what those events are like. I’ll also try to link to Meetups, Facebook events, and anything else to make it as easy as possible for you to invite friends, or make new ones at the event.

Each week I will try to post 1) a review of an event I went to the previous week, and 2) a preview of the event I plan to go to the next week, if you’d like to join me. It may be a little slow going at first, but that is the goal!

I also have a public google calendar accessible here. I will constantly be updating it with events that are $10 and under and within about 30 minutes of town. You can access this anytime and add it to your own calendar, or invite friends by email if you’d like.

My hope is that this can be a place for new transplants to Williamsburg to come to find out what all goes on here, as well as a resource for locals who are just tired of the same old things, or need ideas for visiting out-of-town friends and family. There is so much to do here, so many fun events and learning opportunities- but it’s hard to keep track of it. I hope this helps Williamsburgers get out, explore their town, make new friends, and make memories!

Me and my friend Peggy exploring the Historic Area!

My friend Peggy and I explore the Historic Area!

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