PROGRAM REGISTRATON: After you have your room assignment, go over to the Road Scholar desk in the lobby to register with the Philadelphia Landmarks program staff and pick up your welcome packet that will contain your name tag, updated schedule, and other important information we will review during orientation this eveningDinner: Dinner at a local restaurant provides an opportunity to begin getting to know your fellow participants and to savor a bit of local flavor.Evening: ORIENTATION: after dinner we will review the schedule of events, answers questions and have an opportunity to get to know one another. Weather permitting our Group Leader will take you LOVE Park in Center City to visit the Christmas Village (a traditional German Christmas Market.) Running from Thanksgiving through New Year's Day we will bring the spirit of the Holiday season to PhillyLodging: The Ritz-Carlton PhiladelphiaMeals Included: Dinner
FIELD TRIP: Winterthur. Designed in the spirit of 18th- and 19th-century European country estates, Winterthur (pronounced winter-tour) was the childhood home of collector and horticulturist Henry Francis du Pont and is now one of the most extraordinary museums in the country — premier showcase of American decorative arts — with an unparalleled collection of nearly 90,000 objects made or used in America between about 1640 and 1860. The collection is displayed in the magnificent 175-room mansion, much as it was when the du Pont family lived here, as well as in permanent and changing exhibition galleries.
During our private exploration, you will see exquisitely decorated trees, beautiful rooms that are only open during this season, and encounter traditions such as the evolution of holiday meals from the colonial period to the early national period. Depending on weather, you may also meander through a re-created woodland path offering vistas of the lovely Winterthur Garden. Yuletide at Winterthur is a feast for the spirit.Lunch: Lunch at Winterthur offers a selection of choices to satisfy almost any palate. Mushroom soup is a specialty of the Brandywine Valley as the adjacent town, Kennett Square, is known as the “mushroom capital of the world.”Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: enroute to Longwood Gardens, we will visit the Brandywine River Museum, home of The Wyeths Family paintingsAfternoon: FIELD TRIP: Longwood Gardens The legacy of Pierre S. DuPont is one of the great gardens of the world, with a 4-acre Conservatory and outdoor gardens spanning 1,077 acres. But it’s winter and you may wonder what you will see. The illuminated displays of plants, ornaments, and fountains — indoors and outdoors — are extraordinary. You will marvel at banks of poinsettias and other blooming plants, magnificent Christmas trees, and half a million twinkling lights that come on at 3:30pm each day. We arrive by 4:30 pm will depart at 7:30pm so that you can enjoy the full magnificence of the illuminated outdoor winter landscape and the indoor display of holiday plant rooms inside the conservatory.Dinner: Dinner this evening is on your own to enjoy the cuisine of your choice. OR due to our late departure you may decide to eat at Longwood's1906 restaurant. Reservations are required via Open Table or 215 388 1000 ext 5.Evening: FREE EVENING: There is so much to see and do in Philadelphia during the holidays, so we have set this time aside for your personal enjoyment.Lodging: The Ritz-Carlton PhiladelphiaMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
NEW YEAR’S EVE AT THE RITZ: After the concert, we return to the Ritz for a complete change of pace. Make your own New Year’s Eve revelry as you listen to lively music, mingle with the throng, and enjoy a toast at midnight. This is the place to be if you like the conviviality of a happy crowd. Cash bar. (Fair warning: It can get quite loud due to the rotunda’s acoustics.)Lodging: The Ritz-Carlton PhiladelphiaMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
The parade begins around 10:00am in South Philadelphia and concludes at City Hall sometime in the early evening. The five divisions march at different times during the day (see PhillyMummers.com for details). While the show is great fun, timing is erratic. There is no way to see it all, but if you’re adventurous and would like to get out and about on your own, you are welcome to try! We will have tickets for seats in the reviewing stands near the hotel. Just be aware that if you vacate your spot, someone else in the crowd will hop in.Brunch: New Years Day brunch at The Ritz, beginning at 9:30am, is a delight with a special buffet offering eggs, potatoes, bacon, sausage, pancakes, salmon, bagels, cereals, hot breads, and pastries. Coffee and tea are available in the lobby beginning at 6:30am.Afternoon: MUMMERS FANCY BRIGADE COMPETITION: At 11:30am, we will walk over as a group to the Pennsylvania Convention Center, three blocks from the hotel, to see the Fancy Brigades compete for prizes. This 2-1/2 hour ticketed show presents performances by each of the competing Fancy Brigades. The excitement — and the decibel level! — are high.
At 2:30pm, we will walk back in time to see the best part of the parade with the string bands performing as they proceed up Broad Street. As noted before, timing with this parade is erratic; be prepared for anything!Dinner: As a wonderful finale to an incredible day, enjoy dinner out at a favorite local restaurant.Evening: FREE EVENING: Relax! It's been a very full couple of days and nights, so take the evening to recover, rejuvenate, and restore.Lodging: The Ritz-Carlton PhiladelphiaMeals Included: Brunch, Dinner