REGISTRATION: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar desk in the lobby to register with the program staff and pick up your arrival packet containing your name tag, up-to-date schedule, and other important information we will review during orientation this evening.Dinner: WELCOME DINNER: Enjoy dinner at the hotel and begin getting to know your fellow participants. The beautiful surroundings enhance a menu featuring fresh local produce and seasonal American cuisine.Evening: ORIENTATION: Welcoming remarks, introductions, and general program information. We will review the schedule and any changes, cover responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have.
PROGRAM OVERVIEW: As with all of Road Scholar's "Great American Get Together" programs, you will have opportunities to hear excellent speakers, go on field trips and excursions, attend events with the group, and explore on your own. The schedule that follows describes the major program activities. Participants will be sub-divided into logistically manageable smaller groups. Each presentation and field trip will rotate so that everyone has an opportunity to attend them all. Depending on which group you are in, you may follow the representative schedule shown or will have an itinerary with variations from day to day. If you have questions about the schedule your group will follow, please do not hesitate to ask your Group Leader.Lodging: Palmer House Hilton HotelMeals Included: Dinner
During breakfast, we will welcome a special guest, none other than "Bertha Palmer" (1849-1918) -- socialite, philanthropist, and wife of Potter Palmer, the wealthy business magnate, original owner, and namesake of the Palmer House.Morning: FIELD TRIPS: This morning we will divide into small groups to begin our expert-led explorations. Chicago’s reputation as a world class city comes in part from the rich and diverse collection of architectural styles that define our skyline and the buildings that define our city. We start the day with visits to two such structures.
Chicago Board of Trade: This national historic landmark is the home of the CME Group. Learn about the history of two of the city’s most important exchanges, the Chicago Board of Trade and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.
Willis Tower: Explore the tallest building in the western hemisphere -- 1,353 feet high. Take in an unforgettable view of Chicago from the Sky Deck, the glass balcony that extends four feet outside the 103rd floor!Lunch: We will have lunch at the Museum of Science and Industry.Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Museum of Science and Industry. MSI is the largest science center in the Western Hemisphere -- home to more than 35,000 artifacts and nearly 14 acres of hands-on experiences designed to spark scientific inquiry and creativity. MSI’s mission is to inspire inventive genius by presenting captivating and compelling experiences that are real and educational, realized through world-class exhibits.
The museum is housed in the former Palace of Fine Arts from the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition.Dinner: What’s a trip to Chicago without experiencing real Chicago-style pizza? Enjoy our savory deep-dish favorite at a popular local pizzeria.Evening: FREE EVENING: Make the program memorable by doing what appeals most to your personal interests. You might consider a Jazz performance at one of the many local clubs. Or, walk over to Buckingham Fountain on the lakefront to see the local denizens in their natural habitat. There’s lots to choose from, and your Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and recommendations. You are also welcome to join a group leader for a "Dutch treat" activity.Lodging: Palmer House Hilton HotelMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
PRESENTATION: Life and Times of Ernest Hemingway. One of Chicago’s most notable favorite sons, Hemingway was born in 1899 in the suburb of Oak Park, which he later called “a place of wide lawns and narrow minds.” But Chicago was also regarded as the literary capital of American by none other than H. L. Mencken, and it was here that Hemingway received his only formal education and became a keen observer of what was real in people’s lives.Lunch: Lunch at local restaurants.Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: City Exploration. Board a motorcoach for an expert-led exploration of the city from as far north as renowned Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs, to Hyde Park at the southern end of the city, home of President Barack Obama and the University of Chicago. See and learn more about Chicago history, the immigrants and neighborhoods who have given the city its rich culture and texture, and businessmen whose influence have made it the world-class city that it is today.Dinner: Dine at Chicago's oldest restaurant, The Berghoff, founded in 1898. Originally located one door away from its present location, the bar sold beer for a nickel and sandwiches for free! It has long been a favorite Chicago landmark, the menu reflecting its German roots.Evening: FREE EVENING: Stroll along the “Magnificent Mile” -- one of the world’s great avenues showcasing all that makes Chicago an international destination. This 13-block stretch of North Michigan Avenue is stacked with more than 460 stores, 275 restaurants, 60 hotels, unique attractions, and entertainment venues. Whatever your interests, your Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and recommendations. You are also welcome to join a group leader for a "Dutch treat" activity.Lodging: Palmer House Hilton HotelMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
PRESENTATION: Chicago Politics, The Back Story.Lunch: Lunch at local restaurants.Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Art Institute of Chicago. Hone your knowledge and appreciation for art at the world-famous Art Institute. Home to more than 300,000 works, the permanent collection includes “American Gothic,” the famed Chagall Windows and the Thorne Miniature Rooms. You will have ample time to explore the galleries in-depth.Dinner: Dinner is on your own to enjoy the foods of your choice. It’s Friday night and the city offers a broad range of choices for dinner. If you want to take in that game, you have time for ballpark food at Cellular Field prior to the 7:10pm start. If you prefer fine dining, group leaders will be pleased to suggest some favorite restaurants. You are also welcome to join a group leader for dinner at a popular downtown eatery “Dutch treat.”Evening: FREE EVENING: The city is alive with opportunities for a night on the town. If you enjoy classical music, you might consider getting tickets for this evening's 8:00pm performance at Symphony Center, where Pablo Heras Casado will conduct the Chicago Sympony Orchestra in an evening featuring dance-inspired works by Ravel, Debussy, and Falla. If it's musical theatre you prefer, you might want to attend a performance of "The Book of Mormon." Or, join a group leader for a "Dutch treat" night out.Lodging: Palmer House Hilton HotelMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
During breakfast, hear a local expert who will tell you about Chicago's musical heritage in Blues and Jazz.Morning: FIELD TRIP: Field Museum. Learn as you explore this world-class institution that was primarily an outgrowth of the World’s Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893. Combining the fields of Anthropology, Botany, Geology, Paleontology and Zoology, the Museum uses an interdisciplinary approach to increasing knowledge about the past, present and future of the physical earth, its plants, animals, people, and their cultures. It seeks to uncover the extent and character of biological and cultural diversity, similarities, and interdependencies so that we may better understand, respect, and celebrate nature and other people. You will have opportunities to see exhibitions on gems, dinosaurs, mummies, Africa, the Pacific, the Ancient Americas, Pawnee Indians, and much more during an expert-led exploration.Lunch: Lunch at local restaurants.Afternoon: CHICAGO RIVER CRUISE: Observe and appreciate more of the city's eclectic architecture from the deck of a boat cruising along the Chicago River.Dinner: Enjoy a delighteful farewell dinner at the hotel.Evening: PERFORMANCE: A special treat awaits with a musical performance exclusively for Road Scholar.Lodging: Palmer House Hilton HotelMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner