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Fins, Fur, Feathers and Claws With Your Grandchild

Program Number: 2581RJ
Start and End Dates:
8/4/2013 - 8/9/2013; 6/21/2015 - 6/26/2015; 7/12/2015 - 7/17/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Newport News, Virginia
Price starting at: $725.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Intergenerational; Natural History; Science & Nature
Intergenerational
Meals: 15; 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners    

Program intended for grandchildren from 8 - 11 years of age.

Share the joy in discovering the natural world with the Virginia Living Museum! Come face to face with live, native animals, discover (on the land and in the bay) amazing critters that you’ll get to touch, learn the secrets of the Chesapeake Bay and find out what’s so special about a muddy salt marsh! Personal encounters with live birds, mammals and other unique animals will leave you amazed. Staff will tutor you on how birds can fly, help you to understand the different songs of frogs and reveal how plants are designed to entice local wildlife!




Highlights

• Learn the secrets of animal behaviors as you explore Virginia’s exciting ecosystems.
• Discover first-hand the rich biodiversity of America’s largest estuarine habitat with Museum experts.
• Enjoy personal encounters with live, native wildlife.



Activity Particulars

Walks up to three miles over uneven terrain; physical activity up to three hours.




Date Specific Information

8-4-2013

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Coordinated by Virginia Living Museum.




Newport News

Situated along the Chesapeake Bay in the heart of the mid-Atlantic region just an hour from Richmond, Newport News offers rich maritime and Civil War heritage, as well as abundant resources for relaxing and exploring.



Accommodations
Comfortable hotel, centrally located with indoor pool.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Betsy Wolin

Betsy Wolin has been an educator at the Virginia Living Museum since 2000, teaching field and classroom programs for both children and adults. Prior to her role at the museum, she worked as a wildlife biologist with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and investigated a wide variety of environmental issues and their impacts on fish and wildlife populations. Betsy can often be found hiking, birding and observing nature with a field guide in hand.
 
Jim Drummond

Jim Drummond has had an interest in the outdoors since childhood, and believes there is always something new to learn. An educator at the Virginia Living Museum since 1995, he has led classes for adults at Newport News Shipbuilding and taught math and science in public schools. Jim holds a BS in interdisciplinary studies from Christopher Newport College.
 
Susan Summers

Susan Summers has enjoyed working as an educator at the Virginia Living Museum since 1995. Following college, she spent time as a wildlife biologist working with a variety of species including black bear, Indiana bats and prairie falcon. Susan continues to work with local wildlife biologists by helping to monitor local frogs, and has received educational grants to travel to Costa Rica to research hummingbird behavior. At the museum she continues her conservation work with a local study of invasive turtles. When she is not traveling, Susan enjoys birding, kayaking and cooking.
 
Terry "Rock" Moeslein

Terry “Rock” Moeslein spent most of his youth developing a love of wild places in the mountains of western Pennsylvania. He enjoys birding, photography, hiking and exploring, and has led educational explorations worldwide, from the Peruvian Amazon River to Costa Rica and across the United States. He has shared his knowledge on earth care and field ecology while working for the National Audubon Society in Connecticut, the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh and other organizations.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Point Plaza Suites at City Center
  Newport News 5 nights
 Point Plaza Suites at City Center
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: Within 30 minutes of several multigenerational attractions, Indoor Pool, near local parks and hospital.
  Contact info: 950 J. Clyde Morris Blvd
Newport News, VA 23601 USA
phone: 800-841-1112
web: www.pointplazasuites.com
  Room amenities: Complimentary Coffee, Hair Dryer, Full-size iron and ironing board, Complimentary use of private in-room safe, Bath and Body toiletries, DirecTV with HBO, 1,2 & 3 ESPN and many more.
  Facility amenities: Indoor Pool (9 am - 10 pm), Exercise room (6 am - 10 pm), BBQ Pavilion with a reservation
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: $89.00 If you would like to come early or extend your stay, please contact the hotel prior to your arrival to confirm availability and make your reservations.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: $89.00 If you would like to come early or extend your stay, please contact the hotel prior to your arrival to confirm availability and make your reservations.
  Check out time: 1:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Newport News, VA - arrive 3:00 - 6:00 pm. Photographs are taken between 5:00 & 6:00 pm. You will be staying at Point Plaza Suites at City Center that night.
  End of Program:
Newport News, VA - 1:00 pm. You will be staying at Point Plaza Suites at City Center the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Parking is not available for campers.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Newport News
  Nearest highway: Route 64
  Nearest airport:  Newport News/Williamsburg (PHF)
  From End of Program
  Location: Newport News
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Point Plaza Suites at City Center

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Hotel Shuttle
Point Plaza Suites at City Center
phone: 757-599-4460
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

No cost
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

10 minute drive from Newport News/Williamsburg Airport (PHF) to Point Plaza Suites at City Center. 

 

Distance:

 

4.5 miles from Newport News/Williamsburg Airport (PHF) to Point Plaza Suites at City Center.

   

Transportation is provided free from the Point Plaza Suites at City Center to and from the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport (PHF). Transportation is also provided free within five miles of the Point Plaza Suites at City Center.

 
Driving Directions
  I-64 Take Interstate Route 64. Exit 258 B onto J. Clyde Morris Blvd. At the first light, turn right into the parking lot of the Point Plaza Suites at City Center.
Equipment Requirements: Tie-on shoes or Teva type sandals for the beach
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Evening program and live animal visitor!
(Sunday, August 4)

Note: Settle into your room, meet our welcoming staff and enjoy a relaxing evening program with a special animal guest.



   
 Afternoon: Check-in at the Point Plaza Suites and Conference Center (after 3:00 pm). Once you are settled, meet our friendly representatives from the Museum who will take your photo for your identification badge.
 Dinner: Dinner is served at the hotel from 6:00 to 7:00 pm. Menus are contracted for the program and are designed to offer balanced, healthy and kid-friendly meals for the participants.
 Evening: Enjoy a short orientation where you will get to know your fellow travelers, be heartily welcomed by our staff and meet a special guest. An introduction to the Virginia Living Museum will engage your sense of wonder at what is to come!
   
Accommodations: Point Plaza Suites at City Center
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Welcome to the Museum! Explore Virginia's habitats (past and present), discover the world of the pond, and learn about and meet, fascinating amphibians and reptiles. Meet a surprise guest after dinner!
(Monday, August 5)

Note: This day's activities will include hands-on exploration of the pond using nets and buckets, engaging classroom activities, as well as walks on our outdoor boardwalk and through our delightful exhibits.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Lecture: Learning about Animal Adaptations. Participants will tour the Museum's outdoor exhibits and learn about native wildlife. Hands-On Experience: Participants will explore (with nets, buckets and microscopes) the secret life of the museum's pond and see in an up close and personal way who lives there!
 Lunch: Lunch at the Museum
 Afternoon: Hands-On Experience: Amphibians and Reptiles. Learn how to tell these animals apart, discover special characteristics that make a lizard unique, try your hand at identifying the calls of frogs and toads, along with much, much more! Lecture: Animal Adaptations. With Museum staff, explore the indoor exhibits, and learn about unique adaptations of the inhabitants. Hands-On Experience: Ancient Life of Virginia. Learn about the geology of ancient Virginia while you touch rocks and fossils that are millions of years old! Meet some “living fossils” while engaging in an interactive classroom presentation. Participants will be returned to their hotel via the Museum shuttle.
 Dinner: Dinner is served at 6:00 at the hotel.
 Evening: CLASS: Museum staff will present an engaging live animal program featuring special birds, reptiles, mammals, or another group of fascinating creatures.
   
Accommodations: Point Plaza Suites at City Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Search for and collect 3 to 5 million year old fossils and discover the world of the Chesapeake Bay. Meet a surprise guest after dinner.
(Tuesday, August 6)

Note: This morning's trip will require walking on uneven terrain in search of fossil materials, stooping to collect and getting on and off buses multiple times.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Participants will be collected at their hotel and travel to a site where we will search for and collect fossils that are 3 to 5 million years old.
 Lunch: Lunch will be at the Museum.
 Afternoon: HANDS-ON EXPERIENCE: Upon return to the Virginia Living Museum, the focus will shift to the Chesapeake Bay. With beakers of water, museum specimens, and live animals, participants will study the invertebrates of the Bay, learning how to tell them apart and why they are unique!
 Dinner: Dinner at 6:00 at the hotel.
 Evening: CLASS: Museum staff will present an engaging live animal program featuring special birds, reptiles, mammals, or another group of fascinating creatures.
   
Accommodations: Point Plaza Suites at City Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Explore a salt marsh and a brackish river that flows to the Chesapeake Bay. Collect and release live animals! Your afternoon is free for exploration.
(Wednesday, August 7)

Note: We will walk into the muddy salt marsh to explore this habitat. We will use seine nets and buckets to collect live animals from the river.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Field Trip: Habitats of the Chesapeake Bay. Participants will be collected at their hotel and travel to the salt marsh. Immersion in this habitat will allow for a deeper understanding of this important ecosystem. Following this adventure, participants will next venture into the brackish York River where simple tools will allow for the collection of fascinating animals. This hands-on activity will involve seine nets, buckets and lots of fun!
 Lunch: Picnic Lunch
 Afternoon: The afternoon has been set aside for self-exploration. Participants will be returned to their hotel after lunch and will have a free afternoon.
 Dinner: Dinner is at 6:00 at the hotel if you choose.
 Evening: On your own.
   
Accommodations: Point Plaza Suites at City Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Visit the Abbitt Planetarium and learn about our solar system, delve into the fascinating world of birds, discover the differences between rocks and minerals, meet a surprise guest after dinner!
(Thursday, August 8)

Note: This morning we will walk to the Abbitt Planetarium for a lecture from a staff Astronomer. We will return to the classroom for hands-on lectures, and allow for participants to have free time to explore the Museum exhibits on their own.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Participants will be collected at their hotel and shuttled to the Museum. Lecture: Virginia's Skies. We’ll voyage into outer space in the Museum’s Abbitt Planetarium. Participants will enjoy a live program from staff astronomers, who will instruct about constellations and the night sky. Hands-On Experience: Birds, birds, birds! Participants will return to our lab classroom where a discussion about birds will begin. Feathers, wings, skeletons and bird calls will all be part of the hands-on fun as participants gain knowledge of ornithology while meeting some live birds.
 Lunch: Lunch at the Museum
 Afternoon: Free Time: Participants will be given time to explore the Museum. Hands-On Experience: Mineral Magic. Learn what it’s like to be a mineralogist with this engaging hands-on program. Discover how to tell a rock from a mineral, learn how mineralogists test minerals for hardness, luster, streak, and other special properties. Meet a live animal that depends on minerals for survival!
 Dinner: Dinner is at 6:00 at the hotel.
 Evening: CLASS: Museum staff will present an engaging live animal program featuring special birds, reptiles, mammals, or another group of fascinating creatures.
   
Accommodations: Point Plaza Suites at City Center
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Discover the secret life of plants followed by a heartfelt farewell ceremony.
(Friday, August 9)

Note: Day 6: Plant Investigations and Farewell Ceremony Breakfast: At the hotel Morning: Participants will be collected and shuttled to the Museum for a final morning of fun and excitement. CLASS: Plants will be the focus today. Through interactive activities, participants will learn about the secret ways plants have to survive. This will be followed with a simple, yet heartfelt farewell ceremony. Participants will be shuttled to their hotel for check-out and departure.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Participants will be collected and shuttled to the Museum for a final morning of fun and excitement. CLASS: The Secret Life of Plants. Plants will be the focus today. Through the use of live plants, microscopes and interactive activities, participants will learn the variety of ways plants have to survive. This will be followed with a simple, yet heartfelt farewell ceremony.
 Lunch: Lunch at the Museum
 Afternoon: After lunch, we will have a special farewell ceremony. Participants will be shuttled back to the hotel for a late check-out.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Atlantic Coast Beaches. A Guide to Ripples, Dunes and Other Natural Features of the Seashore


Author: W.J. Neal, O.H. Pikey & J.T. Kelley


Birds


Author: Ira N. Gabrielson, Herbert S. Sim, Chandler S. Robbins & James Gordon Irving


Fossil Collecting in the Mid-Atlantic States


Author: Jasper Burns


Life in the Chesapeake Bay


Author: Alice Jane Lippson & Robert Lippson


Mammals


Author: Donald F. Hoffmeister, Herbert S. Zim & James Gordon Irving


Pond Life


Author: George K. Reid, Sally D. Kaicher & Tom Dolan


Reptiles and Amphibians


Author: Hobart M. Smith, Herbert S. Zim & James Gordon Irving


Trees and Shrubs of Virginia


Author: O.W. Gupton & F.R. Swope


Wildflowers: Revised and Updated


Author: Alexander C. Martin, Herbert S. Zim & Rudolf Freund




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