15462
Richmond
A Very Richmond Christmas: Four Centuries in the Capitol District
Celebrate Christmas in Richmond, where you’ll revel in traditions of old, visit festively decorated historic homes and enjoy holiday illuminations and dinner at the Botanical Garden.
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Program No. 15462RJ
Length
4 days
Starts at
625
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4 days
3 nights
8 meals
3 B 2 L 3 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Registration, Orientation, Welcoming Dinner, Intro. Class
Richmond
D
Omni Richmond Hotel

Afternoon: Welcome to Richmond! Register for your room at the hotel's lobby desk between 3:30-5:00 PM. Most rooms will be available by 3:30 PM. Please also register for your program and get your program folder/materials at the Road Scholar desk in the lobby between 3:00-4:30 PM.

Dinner: Dinner will be at the hotel's second floor dining area. Buffet choice of three entrées, two salads with dressing options, vegetables, rolls, and assortment of desserts.

Evening: Class: Enjoy an introductory class about "Christmas Traditions" and a preview of the historic homes, churches, museums, gardens and other locations that you will be able to visit during this program.

DAY
2
Maymont, St. John's Church, Jefferson Hotel
Richmond
B,L,D
Omni Richmond Hotel

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel. Buffet with choice of eggs, bacon, sausage, breakfast potatoes, pancakes, oatmeal, fresh fruit, juice bar, cereals, pastries, and beverages. Chef made to order omelets with a selection of fillings and made to order waffles.

Morning: Class this morning: "Four Centuries in the Capitol District" explores the history, personages, events and traditions in Richmond's celebrated Capitol District. After class, depart for Maymont Arboretum. At Christmas, Maymont sets the tone for Christmas in the Gilded Age. We'll tour the lavish estate that is opulently decorated with original furnishings, giving a glimpse of the wonders of wealth and luxury and the differences between "upstairs, downstairs" at the turn of the century. For more than 30 years, Maymont has been a special part of the Christmas season in Richmond - the estate comes alive with the warmth, sights, sounds and all the traditions of a Victorian Christmas.

Lunch: Lunch at the hotel. Buffet with choice of three entrees, two salads with dressing options, vegetables, and assortment of desserts.

Afternoon: Our first field trip this afternoon is to historic St John's Church,which was the setting for the Second Virginia Convention and Patrick Henry's famous "liberty or death" speech. We'll have a special lecture inside the Church, and there will be a little time to see the grounds and visit the gift shop before we depart for our excursion to the Jefferson Hotel. Visiting the Jefferson Hotel at Christmas has become a Richmond tradition even -- and perhaps, especially -- if you couldn't find the time to attend the annual tree-lighting ceremony. This historic hotel is especially elegant at Christmas, with special music and local school performances during the month of December. Commissioned by entrepreneur Lewis Ginter, the Jefferson Hotel opened in 1895 to wide acclaim, and it immediately hosted the wedding of famous journalist Charles Dana Gibson to the "Belle of the South" (and of Richmond), Irene Langhorne. Ginter commissioned sculptor Edward Valentine to create a life-sized marble statue of Thomas Jefferson as a centerpiece for the upper Palm Court lobby. This elegant hotel is one of just a handful of 5-star, 5-diamond hotels in North America.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel. Buffet choice of three entrées, two salads with dressing options, vegetables, rolls, and assortment of desserts.

Evening: Class this evening...more Richmond history and culture...and preparation for your field trips tomorrow.

DAY
3
Lewis Ginter Gardens & Festival of Lights, Program Concludes
Richmond
B,L,D
Omni Richmond Hotel

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel. Buffet with choice of eggs, bacon, sausage, breakfast potatoes, pancakes, oatmeal, fresh fruit, juice bar, cereals, pastries, and beverages. Chef made to order omelets with a selection of fillings and made to order waffles.

Morning: Class contines with Richmond history and traditions.

Lunch: Lunch at the hotel. Buffet with choice of three entrees, two salads with dressing options, vegetables, and assortment of desserts.

Afternoon: We'll spend the afternoon in Richmond's historic Court End neighborhood. Court End became a preferred residential section in the 1780s, after Virginia's capital was moved from Williamsburg to Richmond. Court End today is a mix of VCU's Medical Center and Hospital and historic sites. Sites with special activites and decoration for the Christmas season include the John Marshall House, the Valentine Richmond History Center & its 1812 Wickham House, Monumental Church, and the Museum and White House of the Confederacy. These sites feature historic holiday decor, costumes of the era, and traditional holiday events.

Dinner: We'll travel from the Court End District to Lewis Ginter Gardens, where we'll have a splendid holiday dinner before viewing the Gardenfest of Lights. Buffet includes several choices of meats, vegetables, potatoes, salads and other vegetarian options, and desserts.

Evening: Prepare to be enchanted during this delightful evening at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. We'll begin with a talk just for our group, followed by a tour of Gardens that have been transformed by nearly one million lights into a fantasyland of flowers, bowers, fairies, woodland creatures, special Christmas displays, trains, and other delights.

DAY
4
Richmond
B

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel. Buffet with choice of eggs, bacon, sausage, breakfast potatoes, pancakes, oatmeal, fresh fruit, juice bar, cereals, pastries, and beverages. Chef made to order omelets with a selection of fillings and made to order waffles.

Morning: Your program ends after breakfast. Checkout time for hotel rooms is 11:00 a.m.