16303
Niagara Falls (New York)
The Gifts of the Niagara Region: From the Falls to the Underground Railroad
Immerse yourself in the story of Western New York though its local vineyards, Underground Railroad history, Native American heritage and, of course, the grandeur of Niagara Falls.
Rating (5)
Program No. 16303RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
729
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6 days
5 nights
14 meals
5 B 5 L 4 D
Getting There
See travel details and required documents
DAY
1
Check-in, Welcome Dinner, Orientation, Class
Center of Renewal at Stella Niagara, NY
D
Center of Renewal Retreat & Conference Center

Activity note: FINAL SCHEDULE DETAILS FOR ENTIRE WEEK ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE DEPENDING UPON SPEAKERS' AVAILABILITY. Detailed schedule with starting times will be provided when you register on-site. Feel free to call us in advance if you need specific details in advance of your arrival that are not reflected within this booklet (716-754-7376, Ext. 1).

Afternoon: Check-in from 1:00 to 4:45 pm. Earlier check-ins available with advance notice.

Dinner: 5:00 pm Dinner at Center of Renewal

Evening: 6:15 pm | Formal welcome and orientation session to introduce you to the program highlights this week. 7:30 pm | Welcome wine-and-cheese social

DAY
2
Underground Railroad, Native Americans, 1800s Re-enactors
Center of Renewal at Stella Niagara, NY
B,L,D
Center of Renewal Retreat & Conference Center

Activity note: Begin our first full day with a better understanding of Native Americans in Western New York history. Learn about the Underground Railroad from various perspectives, including a performance by historical re-enactors (including an abolitionist) from the mid-1800s.

Breakfast: 8:00 am | Breakfast at Center of Renewal

Morning: This morning we will meet Allan Jamieson, Native American Cayuga. He will acquaint us with the vital role of Native Americans in our history, and help us understand via replicas of important artifacts from his heritage.

Lunch: 12:00 pm | Lunch

Afternoon: This afternoon we'll study the importance of the Niagara Frontier during the time of the Underground Railroad. We'll learn about two key times in American history related to slavery as well as Native American history, and later this week see two statues commemorating the events: 1) "Freedom Crossing" statue depicting Josiah Tryon helping slaves cross the river into freedom in Canada; 2) Tuscarora Native Americans helping villagers escape from the British.

Dinner: 5:00 pm | Dinner at Center of Renewal

Evening: After dinner, join re-enactors from the 1800's in an Underground Railroad performance. Meet abolitionists "Josiah and Sally Tryon" (Lewiston Council on the Arts) as they share their stories of 19th Century life and related challenges during the time of the Underground Railroad in Western New York.

DAY
3
Niagara Falls: Geography/History, Maid of the Mist boat
Center of Renewal at Stella Niagara, NY
B,L,D
Center of Renewal Retreat & Conference Center

Activity note: BRING AN EXTRA PAIR OF SHOES you don't mind getting wet for the Maid of the Mist boat ride.

Breakfast: 8:00 am Breakfast at Center of Renewal

Morning: Morning lecture with Carol Rogers, knowledgeable educator from Niagara Falls State Park who will discuss Niagara Falls geography and natural history. Also explore what Niagara Falls is like in the wintertime and discover if the Falls have ever frozen over.

Lunch: 12:00 pm Lunch at the Center of Renewal.

Afternoon: 1:15 pm | Board bus to Niagara Falls State Park, the oldest state park established in the USA. Take a ride on the famed Maid of the Mist boat (pending seasonal availability and weather restrictions), and also tour Goat Island, part of the Niagara Falls USA State Park. A breathtaking afternoon experience!

Dinner: 5:00 pm Dinner at the Center of Renewal.

Evening: Board bus for an evening excursion to Canada. Experience Niagara Falls via panoramic view from Canada, plus nighttime illumination. MUST HAVE VALID PASSPORT TO CROSS BORDER!

DAY
4
Field Trip to the Ontario, Canada side of Niagara Falls
Center of Renewal at Stella Niagara, NY
B,L
Center of Renewal Retreat & Conference Center

Activity note: TO CROSS THE USA-CANADA BORDER, YOU MUST BRING VALID PASSPORTS (or other mandatory customs documents) as required by USA and Canadian Customs. Otherwise, we will not be permitted to have you join us on the bus crossing the border, thus you will not participate in any of the activities today. IMPORTANT REMINDER: THE ROAD SCHOLAR/ELDERHOSTEL "PASSPORT" IS NOT VALID TO USE TO CROSS THE BORDER. YOU MUST HAVE A VALID (UNEXPIRED) PASSPORT ISSUED BY A COUNTRY (such as the United States of America).

Breakfast: 8:00 am | Breakfast at Center of Renewal (rest of morning open until bus leaves for Canada)

Morning: 11:30 am Board bus for Canada trip. IMPORTANT! BRING VALID PASSPORT AND JACKET or SWEATER FOR TRIP TO CANADA (it gets cool near the Falls at night). We'll be in Canada all day/night through Illumination-on-the-Falls later tonight, after which time we will then return to the USA, not before. Feel free to bring a pillow from your room in case you want to take a nap on the bus; just remember to return it to your room after the bus trip ends later this evening.

Lunch: Enjoy a special dinner-type lunch served in the revolving restaurant at the top of the Skylon Tower overlooking Niagara Falls -- breathtaking views and a wonderful meal, too! Skylon Tower's world-famous dining simply must be experienced. Their award-winning continental cuisine is presented in an elegant setting 775 ft. above the Falls. Experience once-in-a-lifetime views of Niagara Falls, the Great Gorge, and Niagara Wine District. Lunch includes admission to the Skylon Tower Ride-to-the-Top and the Indoor/Outdoor Observation Decks after lunch.

Afternoon: Continue our visit on the Canadian side of the Falls and Ontario, Canada.

Dinner: Casual lunch-type dinner on your own along the way.

Evening: As we prepare to cross the border back into the USA, enjoy our early evening ride along the scenic 14-mile drive, featuring floral displays and other sights. Optional activity once we're back at the retreat center will be "Movie Night".

DAY
5
H2O power, Old Fort Niagara, Native American history
Center of Renewal at Stella Niagara, NY
B,L,D
Center of Renewal Retreat & Conference Center

Activity note: This afternoon includes more walking than the rest of the week, mainly outside on stones, gravel, and grass, so plan ahead. See notes under "Afternoon" with alternative activities for those who prefer to limit walking.

Breakfast: 8:00 am | Breakfast at Center of Renewal

Morning: This morning we'll board the bus for a field trip to New York State Power Authority to learn about hydroelectric power in the Niagara Frontier. Enjoy a fabulous view of the Niagara Gorge and Lower Niagara River from the deck of the Power Authority.

Lunch: 12:00 pm | Lunch

Afternoon: After lunch, we'll visit Old Fort Niagara in the nearby Village of Youngstown. There, we'll explore highlights of Native American history, the 1600s-1700s, the War of 1812, and much more. NOTE: This afternoon does involve walking outside on stones, gravel, and grass, along with listening to a knowledgeable docent who stops to lecture, so plan ahead. Those not wanting to do extensive walking or standing can tour the Fort on their own. Others may choose to just enjoy the Visitors' Center video and displays at Old Fort Niagara located right on the southern shore of Lake Ontario. If needed, the bus can make two trips back to the Center of Renewal in case some prefer to only stay at the Fort for an hour.

Dinner: 5:00 pm Dinner

Evening: Open evening

DAY
6
Final Learning Session, Lunch, Independent Departures
Center of Renewal at Stella Niagara, NY
B,L

Activity note: See how much you learned via the fun game, "All You've Learned about Niagara Falls" complete with prizes. Check out from your room by 10:00 AM, enjoy lunch, and prepare for a relaxing trip home or to your next destination. Thank you for joining us!

Breakfast: 8:00 am Breakfast at Center of Renewal

Morning: Free time until 10:00 am to finish packing and checking out from room. 10:15-11:45 am | Final learning session and fun competition exercise: "All You've Learned about Niagara Falls", facilitated by adult learning facilitator and Center of Renewal executive director Nancy P. Askins, PhD. Enjoy this session structured as an enjoyable end-of-week learning game complete with prizes for the highest scores, with insightful fun for all.

Lunch: 12:00 pm | Lunch at Center; program officially ends after lunch. Have a safe trip home, and thank you for enjoying our Niagara Falls area Road Scholar lifelong learning adventure!






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