If Historic Jamestowne provides the outlines, then Jamestown Settlement fills in the specifics. The museum, with its engaging displays, focuses on the three cultures that met on Virginia’s soil: the English, the Native Americans and the Africans (who first arrived 1619, possibly as indentured servants and later as slaves).
Among the many exhibits, kids can compare an English streetscape, a diorama of a Powhatan camp and an African village. Kids can look through an astrolabe, an early navigational tool, to find the north star; watch “From Africa to Virginia,” a film about the slave trade; and also compare images of Pocahontas from early paintings to a cell from Disney’s popular movie.
Your family can explore three outdoor recreated areas. At the Powhatan Indian Village, watch costumed interpreters tan animal hides, weave baskets or make pottery. Onboard the “Susan Constant,” a replica of one of the ships that carried the English settlers, go below to see the bunks and come on deck to talk with the captain about the arduous four and-a-half month journey to North America. In the fort, tour the thatched roofed storehouse, guardhouse and church, and watch a blacksmith at his forge or a soldier fire a musket.