Things to do this week: Ice skating, history programs, stargazing and more

We’re nearly halfway through February, and that means ice skating season at Colonial Williamsburg will soon be wrapping up. The popular Liberty Ice Pavilion closes in two weeks on Sunday, Feb. 26.

Until then, the rink will be open daily – including Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day.

Visitors can purchase hot cider, coffee and other refreshments at the concession stand. Parking is available in the nearby hourly Merchants Square lots, at the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg or in the paid parking garage on Henry Street.

One-day skating tickets are $16 for adults and children over 12, $14 for kids ages 3-12 and free for kids under 3. Skate rentals are also available for an extra charge of $5.61.

The rink’s full operating schedule is available here. Tickets and skate rentals can also be reserved here.  

If you’re looking for a unique way to celebrate Valentine’s Day with a loved one, The Chamber Music Society of Williamsburg is hosting a concert at the Williamsburg Library Theatre on the evening of the 14th. The performance will feature the Verona Quartet, an acclaimed string quartet that has appeared at venues like Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center, the Library of Congress and the Kennedy Center. Tickets for walk-in audiences are $30 ($5 for students).

Some other events to highlight for this week include Book Speed Dating at Tabb Library (Wednesday), a family-friendly Cabin Fever Carnival at Williamsburg Library (Friday), a gospel and jazz concert by the Virginia Symphony Orchestra at the Ferguson Center (Friday) and stargazing at York River State Park (Saturday).

There will also be a wide variety of history-related events this weekend, including a Free Admission Day at the Hampton History Museum, a “Real John Henry” program featuring kids activities at Lee Hall Depot and a free Civil War Yorktown lecture at the Gallery at York Hall (all on Saturday). 

In addition, Colonial Williamsburg is hosting a number of special events for Presidents’ Weekend, Feb. 18-20.


The Liberty Ice Pavilion at Colonial Williamsburg will remain open for the season for two more weeks, through Sunday, Feb. 26. (Photo by The Triangle)

Tuesday, Feb. 14


  • Social Security: Protecting You From Fraud and Abuse – Online. Attend an informative presentation with a Social Security public affairs specialist, who will discuss scam awareness, identity theft, elder abuse and ways to prevent Social Security fraud. This program is hosted by Williamsburg Regional Library. 11:00 am. 

Health & Wellness

  • Indoor Cycle 101 – James City County Recreation Center (Williamsburg). Learn the basics of indoor cycling, including proper bike set-up. No bike experience needed. For ages 14+. Free. See website for registration details. 

Live Music

  • Verona Quartet – Williamsburg Library Theatre (Williamsburg). Enjoy a Valentine’s Day concert featuring the Verona Quartet, presented by The Chamber Music Society of Williamsburg. Tickets are $30 at the door ($5 for students).

Wednesday, Feb. 15


  • Tween Game Day – Stryker Center (Williamsburg). Tweens ages 9-12 are invited to drop in for board games and Nintendo Switch video games. 6:00 – 7:30 pm. 


  • Book Speed Dating – Tabb Library (Yorktown). Celebrate Valentine’s Day with a fun Book Speed Dating event at Tabb Library. With two book “experts” as your guide, you’ll get to know a few great books, five minutes at a time. There will be multiple genres or subjects in the mix. For adults 18+; registration is recommended. 7:00 – 8:00 pm. 

Live Music

  • Front Porch Series with Akeylah Simone – Hampton History Museum (Hampton). Local recording artist Akeylah Simone will perform a variety of tunes from a fusion of genres, including rock, hip-hop, R&B, pop and jazz. Admission is at the door; seating is first come, first served. Beer and wine will be available for purchase and proceeds benefit the Hampton History Museum. $5. 6:00 – 8:00 pm. 

Thursday, Feb. 16

Health & Fitness

  • Healthy Living for Your Brain and Body – Tabb Library (Yorktown). Learn about the latest research in the areas of diet and nutrition, cognitive activity, exercise and social engagement. Registration is recommended. 12:00 – 1:00 pm. 
  • Basic Bike Maintenance – James City County Recreation Center (Williamsburg). Learn to inspect your bike, fix a flat, grease a chain and get the tools you need to maintain your bike. For ages 16+. Free. 6:30 – 8:00 pm. See website for registration details. 


  • Throwback Thursday: The Search – Williamsburg Library Theatre (Williamsburg). This film series features a variety of contemporary and classic movies for an adult audience. This week’s featured film is The Search (1948; NR). 2:00 – 3:50 pm. 


  • Archaeological Investigations of the “Bacon’s Castle” Plantation Landscape –  Stryker Center (Williamsburg) – Stryker Center (Williamsburg). This talk focuses on recent archaeological explorations of the changing plantation landscape associated with Bacon’s Castle during the first century of colonial occupation. 2:00 pm. 
  • Naturally Speaking Lecture Series: Jeff Boedeker – Virginia Living Museum & Virtual. Jeff Boedeker, writer and producer of the nationally broadcasted PBS special, Ocean Invaders, will discuss the invasive lionfish. Believed to be one of the most successful invasive species ever, the lionfish is ravaging reef ecosystems from Maine to Brazil. After a screening of the film, join Jeff for a Q&A. Register hereFree. 6:00 – 7:00 pm.


  • Forest Friends Yoga: Winter Wonder – Freedom Park (Williamsburg). Kids ages 5-8 will learn how to quiet their minds and bring mindfulness during moments of difficulty. See website for registration details. $5. 5:00-6:00 pm.


  • DIY Lip Balm Drop-In – Williamsburg Library (Williamsburg). Make some lip balm perfect for the wintertime during this walk-in craft. No registration is required; supplies are provided. For ages 13 through adult. 6:30 – 7:30 pm. 

Live Performances

  • One Book One Community: Readers Theater – Williamsburg Library (Williamsburg). Local actors and readers will voice the first-person views of people from around the world about immigration and citizenship throughout our history. 6:30 – 8:00 pm. 
  • Toto: The Dogz of Oz World Tour – Ferguson Center for the Arts (Newport News). Enjoy a concert presented by David Paich, co-founder and musical director of the 70s band TOTO. TOTO collectively has over two billion streams worldwide and thousands of credits, including the best-selling album of all time,  Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Tickets are $38.50 and up. 7:30 pm.

Friday, Feb. 17


  • Makerspace: Teen Tote Bag – Williamsburg Library (Williamsburg). Teens are invited to stop by the Makerspace and learn to make their own tote bag using heat transfer vinyl. Spots are limited; call to register. For ages 13-18. 4:30 – 5:30 pm.

Kids & Families

  • Family Zumba Winter Series: Feel the Love – James City County Recreation Center (Williamsburg). Looking for something fun and healthy to do with your family? Try Family Zumba. It features exciting music with easy-to-follow movements. One Friday each month will be a different theme. See website for registration details. For ages 5+. Free. 5:30 – 6:30 pm.
  • Cabin Fever Carnival – Williamsburg Library (Williamsburg). Take a break from the winter weather and attend an after-hours family party at the library. There will be homemade mini golf games, magic from Jonathan Austin, a Candyland cakewalk, crafts and more. 7:00 – 8:30 pm. 

Live Music

  • Jazzy Valentines – Williamsburg Lodge (Williamsburg). Enjoy live music by Timeline Jazz at the Williamsburg Lodge. 6:00 – 9:00 pm. 
  • VSO Presents: Gospel According to Swing with Byron Stripling – Ferguson Center for the Arts (Newport News). Enjoy a Virginia Symphony Orchestra concert featuring gospel music, jazz and blues. Tickets are $25 and up. 7:30 pm. 
  • Blackout – The Cowboy Sports Grill (Yorktown). See Hampton Roads-based rock/party band Blackout perform live at The Cowboy Sports Grill. 8:00 – 11:59 pm. 

Saturday, Feb. 18

Kids & Families

  • Saturdays@Frink: Roller Racer Go Kart Challenge – Abram Frink Jr. Community Center (Williamsburg). Kids ages 6 and older are invited to stop by at 11:30 am to try to complete the  Figure 8 Roller Racer Go Kart track. Ages 6 and older. Classic arcade games and other fun activities will also be held from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm. 
  • Sensory Movie: “Pinocchio” (2022) – James City County Library (Williamsburg). Enjoy a screening of the film Pinocchio in a sensory-friendly environment. Lights will be on, the movie volume will be turned down and participants can move around, dance, walk and sing. Popcorn will be available or guests can bring their own snacks. This event is geared toward young children or those with special needs, but all are welcome to attend. 2:00 – 4:00 pm. 
  • The Real John Henry: Lecture and Activities – Lee Hall Depot (Newport News). Explore the myth and reality of beloved African American folk hero John Henry. Children’s activities will also be offered throughout the day. Included with regular admission. 2:00 pm. 


  • Free Admission Day – Hampton History Museum (Hampton). Hampton History Museum will offer free admission all day, 9 am – 5 pm, on Saturday, Feb. 18. Additionally, the museum will host a special event featuring storyteller Dylan Pritchett from 11 am – 1 pm. Pritchett, the former president of the National Association of Black Storytellers, shares folktales with thousands of kids and adults throughout the country with positive messages that cross cultural boundaries. 
  • Africa’s Kingdoms and Maritime Cultures: Ancient Mali – The Mariners’ Museum and Park (Newport News). Celebrate Black History Month and learn the history of Mali and why its influence continues to resonate today. Included with $1 admission. 11:00 am – 12:00 pm. 
  • A Public Audience with the 1st President, George Washington – Governor’s Palace Stage (Colonial Williamsburg). During this special event, President George Washington will look back over his long career in public service. You’ll hear his reflections on his part in drafting the Constitution and learn what it was like to serve as commander-in-chief during the Revolutionary War. Requires CW admission or a Good Neighbor pass. 11:30 am – 12:15 pm. 
  • Civil War Yorktown – Gallery at York Hall (Yorktown). J. Michael Moore, Curator of Lee Hall Mansion and Historic Endview, will provide a lively discussion of Civil War Yorktown. While Yorktown is well-known for the American Revolutionary victory in 1781, it was once again the center of military activity during the Civil War. This free lecture is presented by the York County Historical Committee. 3:00 pm. 
  • A Public Audience with the 1st First Lady, Martha Washington – Hennage Auditorium (Colonial Williamsburg). Mrs. Washington will speak about being the first president’s wife and the expectations she faces as the new nation watches on. Requires Art Museum admission or a Good Neighbor pass. 3:30 – 4:15 pm. 

Health & Wellness

  • 44th Colonial Half Marathon and 5K – Nassau and Francis Streets (Colonial Williamsburg). Race through the heart of Colonial Williamsburg. Race prices range from $20 – $85. See the website for race times and additional details. 
  • Let Food Be Thy Medicine – Stryker Center (Williamsburg). 80% of chronic disease is preventable, and this workshop will discuss ways to prevent it. This talk, part of a three-part nutritional health series, will by led by Dr. Vera, a Board-Certified Lifestyle Medicine physician. 12:00 pm. 


  • Italian Film Festival: “Respiro” – Williamsburg Library Theatre (Williamsburg). Enjoy a special screening of the film Respiro (2002; PG-13), presented by the CIAO Italian Film Festival. 2:00 – 3:30 pm.

Live Music

  • Organ Recital: Sarah Bland – Bruton Parish Church (Williamsburg). Enjoy a candlelit recital by Sarah Bland, organist from Williamsburg, Virginia. 8:00 – 9:00 pm. 


  • Stargazing – York River State Park (Williamsburg). Spend an evening with the Virginia Peninsula Stargazers as they point out different components of our solar system in the night sky. This program is weather-dependent; cancellations will be posted on the website by 3 pm on the day of the event. Included in standard park admission. 6:00 – 9:00 pm.

Sunday, Feb. 19


  • Paws to Read with K-9 Connection – James City County Library (Williamsburg). Kids are invited to read to trained therapy dogs during this event. No registration is required. 2:30 – 3:30 pm.


  • A Public Audience with the 3rd President, Thomas Jefferson – Governor’s Palace Stage (Colonial Williamsburg). President Jefferson will reflect on the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence and his tenure of governor of Virginia during this special event. 11:30 am – 12:15 pm. 
  • America’s Imperfect Tapestry – American Revolution Museum at Yorktown (Yorktown). Explore the roots of inequity at the Reign & Rebellion exhibition. Then, participate in a special afternoon art quilt workshop at 2:00 pm. Attendees will learn about social justice work from its historic beginnings and then create a frameable, 12-inch by 12-inch art quilt. No previous experience is required and all materials are provided. $20 per person; space is limited and pre-registration is required. 2:00 – 4:00 pm. 
  • Cultural Heritage Series: Let Freedom Ring Foundation – Williamsburg Library (Williamsburg). History Half Told is Untold tells the history of First Baptist Church of Williamsburg. Attend a riveting presentation about why slavery lasted so long and why it evolved from the enslavement of Native Americans to African Americans. You’ll also be able to meet author Min. Juanita Graham at a book signing in the Williamsburg Library Theatre. 3:00 pm. 

Live Music

  • Audio Portrait – Precarious Beer Project (Williamsburg). Catch a concert by Audio Portrait at Precarious Beer Project in Merchants Square. 3:00 – 6:00 pm. 
  • Sundays at Four presents Colonial Williamsburg’s ‘Wren Masters’ – Christ Episcopal Church (Smithfield). Enjoy 18th-century music performed by a talented quartet of musicians from Colonial Williamsburg. The music will be performed on period instruments and will include pieces by Bach, Telemann, Marin Marais and Buxtehude. Tickets are $20 ($10 for students). 4:00 – 5:30 pm.



  • Liberty Ice Pavilion – Colonial Williamsburg. The Liberty Ice Pavilion at Colonial Williamsburg is open daily through Feb. 26, 2023. See the ice rink’s full operating schedule here.
  • Busch Gardens Mardi Gras – Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Busch Gardens reopens in celebration of Mardi Gras every weekend from Jan. 27 through Feb. 26. The event will feature jazzy live music, classic Cajun flavors and favorite events like the cirque show Carnaval Imaginique. Guests will also enjoy colorful entertainment throughout all nine of Busch Gardens’ villages. Visit for additional information or to purchase tickets.


  • Newport News Public Schools Citywide Youth Art Exhibit – Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center (Newport News). Artwork created by talented students from every public school in Newport News will be displayed in the Newport News Community Gallery at the Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center through Feb. 28. The exhibit is open to the public and available for viewing daily, Monday – Friday from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm and Saturday from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm (closed Sundays). 


  • Disney’s The Jungle Book Kids: A Stage Production– Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center (Newport News). This DG Mainstage Community Production features a host of colorful characters and everyone’s favorite songs from Disney’s The Jungle Book. Shows will be held Friday, Feb. 17 at 7:00 pm and Saturday, Feb. 18, 1:00 pm and 7:00 pm. General admission is $10. Tickets are available here


  • Presidents’ Weekend Programs – Colonial Williamsburg (Williamsburg). Colonial Williamsburg is hosting a variety of special programs to commemorate Presidents’ Weekend, Feb. 18-20. See the full list of those events here.
  • Voices of Their Hands – William Pitt Store (Colonial Williamsburg). Explore the lives of enslaved tradespeople during this one-hour walking tour. You’ll hear from historic tradespeople who will discuss their experiences interpreting skilled laborers and their work. Feb. 18 & 25, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm. Requires CW admission or a Good Neighbor pass and a $15 event ticket. 
  • Phillis Wheatley and the Music of Freedom – Hennage Auditorium (Colonial Williamsburg). Attend a musical exploration of the paradox of freedom as seen through the poetry of Phillis Wheatley. Wheatley was named after a slave ship that brought her to the colonies as a child. She possessed great talent and ultimately wrote poetry that garnered the attention of George Washington, who became a strong proponent of her writings. This special Black History Month program will be held on Fridays, Feb. 17 24, 4:30 – 5:30 pm. 
  • A Taste of Freedom – Hennage Auditorium (Colonial Williamsburg). This performance highlights the life of Americus Weston, a formerly enslaved man who gained freedom by escaping to a Union camp in the South. Requires Art Museum Admission or a Good Neighbor Pass. Saturdays, Feb. 18 25 from 1:30 – 2:15 pm. 
  • Kids Run Trains – Tabb Library (Yorktown). See the Kids Run Trains interactive modular layout and try your hand at operating the trains. This event is fun for all ages; more information can be found here: Saturday, Feb. 18, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm and Sunday, Feb. 19, 1:00 – 3:00 pm. 
  • Buildings and Business: The Landscape of African Americans in the East End of Newport News – The Newsome House Museum & Cultural Center (Newport News). The Newsome House presents “Buildings and Business: The Landscape of African Americans in the East End of Newport News,” Feb. 1 – 25. The exhibit explores the important role African Americans played in the physical and cultural development of the East End of Newport News. Admission is free, and the museum is open Thursday-Sunday. 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.

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