Activity note: Minimal walking 3 short blocks
Afternoon: HOTEL CHECK-IN: Available from 3:00 pm. 4:00 ROAD SCHOLAR PROGRAM REGISTRATON: After you have your room assignment, go over to the Road Scholar chair 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 evening
Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant provides an opportunity to begin getting to know your fellow participants and to savor a bit of local flavor. All diet requests can be accommodated.
Evening: ORIENTATION: after dinner we will review the schedule of events, answers questions and have an opportunity to get to know one another.
Activity note: Winterthur-small group slow walking. Lots of leisurely walking at your own pace. Longwood wheelchairs are $4 and electric scooters rent for $25.
Breakfast: Breakfast will be provided in our private room at the hotel.
Morning: En route to Delaware in our private motorcoach, our educator will point out local landmarks along the way. 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. We will be divided into small groups of 10 as we enjoy our private tour through holiday decorated rooms. 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 paintings. 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 3:30 pm each day. We arrive by 4:30 pm will depart at 6:45 (arriving the hotel at 7:45 PM) pm 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 www.longwoodgardens.org (under dining)
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.
Activity note: Use of bus to sites. Walk back from Kimmel Center 3 blocks
Breakfast: BREAKFAST: will be off site, within walking distance to the hotel and it presents contemporary, regional American cuisine with emphasis on organic and utilization of local products. Offers scrambled eggs, oatmeal and cold cereals plus breads/rolls, juices and coffee. At this time coffee and tea will be available in the hotel lobby from 6:00 AM to 9:30 AM. Coffee is also in the hotel room
Morning: MUMMERY LECTURE: Learn about the Mummers, a 113 year old tradition from a mummer at the Fralinger's Club house on 2nd street for a behind the scenes tour of their costumes. 2012 Fralinger won First Prize in the String Band Division. They are nationally and internationally recognized having performed at New Orleans' Mardi Gras in 2012 and 1973, The Chinese New Years Parade in Hong Kong 2007, The Pearl Harbor Memorial concert 1997 and many more.
Lunch: Lunch will be at a local restaurant near The Barnes Foundation
Afternoon: FIELD TRIP:The Barnes Foundation for our private group tour. The city’s newest cultural landmark is the new home of the world renowned Barnes Foundation museum on Benjamin Franklin Parkway, housing the collection of Dr. Albert C. Barnes. Celebrated for its exceptional breadth, depth, and quality, the Barnes Foundation's art collection includes works by some of the greatest European and American masters of Impressionism, Post-Impressionist, and early Modern Art, as well as African sculpture, Pennsylvania-German decorative arts, Native American textiles, metalwork, and more. The new campus which opened to much fanfare in May 2012 boasts the greatest collection of Post-Impressionist art outside Paris including masterpieces by Renoir, Cezanne, Matisse, Picasso, and Van Gogh.
Dinner: Enjoy a festive New Year's Eve dinner out at a favorite local restaurant with choices of entree. All diet requests, gluten free and vegetarian can be accomodated
Evening: NEW YEAR'S EVE GALA CONCERT: Hear the incomparable Philadelphia Orchestra in the magnificent Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. This state-of-the-art facility — designed and built especially for the Philadelphia Orchestra — will be dressed in holiday splendor. The program features timeless music recalling the waltz rhythms of Vienna with Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor. 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.)
Morning: PHILADELPHIA MUMMERS PARADE: The Philadelphia Mummers Parade has been happening since the 1800s and became an official city event in 1900. It features amazing costumes, music, and pageantry organized by many individual clubs of volunteers who work all year on their lavish costumes and routines. The parade line up begins around 8:30 am at City Hall and concludes in South Philadelphia sometime in the early evening. For early risers, your Group Leader will walk you over too see the props and costumed mummers before they start the parade. 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 YEAR'S DAY BRUNCH AT THE RITZ starting at 9:30 to 11:30 AM,in our private room, however, coffee is available in the hotel lobby from 6:30 on. A sumptuous brunch to begin 2017 awaits us replete with nova lox salmon, waffles , eggs bacon, sausage and delicious pastries, breads and bagels to be enjoyed with a variety of juices, fresh fruit and coffee and tea. This expansive brunch replaces breakfast and lunch
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, again all diet requests can be accommodated.
Evening: FREE EVENING: Relax! It's been a very full couple of days and nights, so take the evening to recover, rejuvenate, and restore.
Activity note: The Wanamaker organ is housed at Macy's Dept Store, a cross the street from the hotel.
Breakfast: RITZ HOTEL BREAKFAST: will be served in our private room and provides contemporary, regional American cuisine . Offers scrambled eggs, oatmeal and cold cereals plus breads/rolls, juices and coffee.
Morning: WANAMAKER ORGAN; After Breakfast at, we will enjoy another Philadelphia tradition: The holiday spectacle, titled “Christmas Pageant of Lights,” features narration by the legendary Julie Andrews and the glorious sounds of the famous Wanamaker Organ. The Light Show takes the audience on a journey through popular Christmas stories including The Nutcracker, Frosty the Snowman, and a magical Christmas Tree. Hotel check-out is NOON. We trust you have enjoyed this very special holiday experience of New Year’s revelry and the fabulous Philadelphia Mummers Parade. Please join us again for other fascinating Road Scholar programs in the future. Best wishes for all your journeys!