PROGRAM REGISTRATION: Registration begins at 3:30 P.M.
ORIENTATION begins at 4:15 P.M. We’ll have an informative overview of the program plus an opportunity to meet the program staff and your fellow participants during an introductory get-acquainted session. We’ll review the schedule, noting any changes or particular highlights, discuss safety guidelines, responsibilities, emergency procedures, Q&A, and talk a bit about what’s going on in St. Paul this week.
Road Scholar’s FLEX programs are designed for independent-minded participants who want high quality educational content in a structured framework with more free time than our traditional all-inclusive programs. In this City Highlights program, you will have expert-led presentations and field trips that showcase some of St. Paul’s most notable features. The program includes two meals per day so you can enjoy local dining out on your own for lunch or dinner (depending on the day) as well as a significant amount of free time for personal independent exploration. Your welcome packet has suggestions for free time activities and dining options, and the Group Leader will be happy to offer recommendations.
During free time, the Group Leader will be available to lead optional informal activities and/or dining out experiences that you are welcome to join at your own cost if you like. Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions.
Your program fee includes a 3-day unlimited city bus pass which will allow you to travel throughout the city via bus during your stay.
Dinner: Enjoy a sumptuous dinner at our hotel tonight.
Begin getting to know your fellow participants and find out what interest you share in addition to your love of learning.
Evening: Start off with a bang this evening as Edna the Kissing Bandit joins us, bringing to life St. Paul’s colorful history through the tumultuous era of gangsters and prohibition. From Dillinger to Baby Face Nelson and of course, Ma Barker….literally most notorious criminals in the country holed up in “safe” St. Paul in the 1930’s.
Lodging: Crowne Plaza St. PaulMeals Included: Dinner
Begin at the exquisite Minnesota State Capitol building, inspired by St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, set in a landscaped campus filled with fascinating monuments and memorials. Considered one of the most beautiful Capitol buildings in the nation, magnificent both inside and out, its marble dome is second only in size to that of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
Our guide unravels a fascinating historical panorama from the Capitol’s early days to current political doings! For the undaunted, climb up the 83 stairs to view the bronze chariot sculpture covered in gold leaf called the “Quadriga” over the main entrance which looks out over the city below.
Walk a few blocks then to another major landmark, the Cathedral of Saint Paul with treasures of art, history and Beaux Arts architecture. Dominating the St. Paul skyline and situated atop a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River, the Cathedral was designed in 1905 by Emmanuel Louis Masqueray, a French architect whose commission was to create a modern building, perfect in its acoustics and all other details.
Lunch: Another refreshing walk of about 6 blocks takes us to the Minnesota History Center where we will stop for lunch.Afternoon: The Minnesota History Center is one of the largest historical centers in the U.S. with subjects as diverse as Charles Lindberg, spam, wartime Minnesota, ice fishing and butter sculptures from the Minnesota Fair.
The Center is captivating as you “experience history” in this highly interactive museum. Step in to the Tornado House to relive an actual tornado passing over your “house”….an unforgettable experience.
Then enjoy a special opportunity to go behind-the-scenes for a peek at the restoration and preservation work taking place in the Center’s underground archives housing one million artifacts.
Later in the afternoon, depart either to the hotel or off for the rest of the afternoon and evening to explore on your own! Our group leader will have suggestions for you for your explorations, and will also be continuing on herself to one of her favorite intriguing places. Join her if you prefer or head off on your own explorations!
Dinner: Dinner on your own to explore the many dining options in St. Paul! Sample some of the wonderful ethnic cuisine for a special treat!Evening: Evening free time to experience your special places you would like to see!Lodging: Crowne Plaza St. PaulMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Check out the skyways this morning, that unique world known only by Northerners! Then onward to lovely Summit Avenue!
You’ll be awed by the incredible expanse of Victorian mansions built over a century ago that line Summit Avenue for 5 miles. (We won’t walk all 5 miles!) Learn about the lumber barons and railroad millionaires ….and F. Scott Fitzgerald who all lived here.
Explore the James J. Hill House, one of the mansions from the Gilded Age on this “longest expanse of Victorian architecture in the U.S.” Hill, builder of the Great Northern Railway, became one of the wealthiest Individuals in the U.S. His home features beautiful wood paneling and stained glass and the first private art gallery in Minnesota.
Lunch: On your own to explore one of the many delightful dining options in St. Paul. A city of great ethnic diversity, you’ll have a great opportunity to try new cuisine! Maybe you’ll want to make your way to the Hmong Market for a sample of their fascinating cuisine and take in the charm of their culture.Afternoon: Time this afternoon on your own to explore those places you learned about yesterday but didn’t get to yet! Our group leader will be ready to go again this afternoon to lead those of you who want to join her into new adventures.Dinner: Gather together for dinner tonight at one of our local favorite eateries.
Evening: Head over after dinner to the Park Square Theatre, an intimate yet elegant progressive theatre, one of the most well-known in the Twin Cities. Get ready for an exciting production tonight of “Sherlock Holmes.” With the superb sightlines and acoustics, you are set for a great suspense-filled evening of fun!
Lodging: Crowne Plaza St. PaulMeals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Then we’ll say our “goodbyes” as we each head off this afternoon….maybe you’ll yet make a stop at Garrison Keillor’s bookstore….or Mickey’s Diner…or check out Indian Mounds! Guess you’ll just have to come back to savor some more of St. Paul's charm another time!
Meals Included: Breakfast
The Marjorie McNeely Conservatory is a half acre indoor and outdoor facility with a number of different wings dedicated to a variety of plant life including bonsai trees, ferns, orchids and seasonal flowers.
Information from www.comozooconservatory.org. For additional information call 651-487-8200 or visit their website.For additional information, visit: www.comozooconservatory.org