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Discovering Historic Plymouth & Cape Cod With Your Grandchild

Program No. 16349RJ
Journey to Plymouth Rock with your grandchild to find out about life in America 400 years ago for pilgrims and native people. Learn about the Mayflower, and watch for whales!

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At a Glance

Ahoy, matey! Hop aboard this Atlantic adventure on the coast of Massachusetts with your grandchild. Have you ever wanted to meet a pilgrim who sailed aboard the Mayflower? Now you can! At Plimoth Plantation, costumed colonists will tell you what it was like to live in America almost 400 years ago. Find out about their dangerous journey across the Atlantic Sea, and walk through houses like the ones they built in their new home of Plimoth (later spelled Plymouth). Meet boat scientists who will help you navigate Atlantic waterways, and grab your binoculars as you search the waters for the largest mammal on earth: the whale. Plus, go on a scavenger hunt and have fun swimming in the ocean!
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to two miles a day on uneven terrain. Sitting and standing during lectures and activities. Riding motor coach for around 1-1.5 hour a day.

What You'll Learn

  • Step into the lives of Pilgrims and Native Americans who lived in the region through living history exhibits and workshops at the Plimoth Patuxet Museum.
  • While onboard a research vessel, become a scientist yourself as you fill your test tubes with plankton to learn about Cape Cod’s marine animals.
  • Set out on a whale watching expedition in Plymouth Harbor.

General Notes

Program is for grandchildren ages 7-10.
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While we make every effort to ensure the accuracy of our published materials, programs are typically advertised more than a year prior to their start date. As a result, some program activities, schedules, accommodations, personnel, and other logistics occasionally change due to local conditions or circumstances. Should a major change occur, we will make every effort to alert you. For less significant changes, we will update you during orientation. Thank you for your understanding.
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6 days
5 nights
13 meals
5 B 4 L 4 D
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Plymouth, MA
Hotel 1620 Plymouth Harbor

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 4:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: 4:00 p.m. After you have your room assignment, join us at the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff, get any up-updated information, and confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please locate your Group Leader and let them know you have arrived. Orientation: 5:15 p.m. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. We will review COVID protocols and will adhere to applicable requirements and guidelines throughout the program. This is a Road Scholar Grandparent program. Grandparents are responsible for their grandchildren. If/when separate age group activities are conducted concurrently, program staff will supervise. Minors are never to be left unsupervised. Our program is staffed with a knowledgeable Group Leader who is familiar with the Plymouth and Cape Cod area. We will also hear from local experts during field trips. Transportation will be via private motorcoach unless noted otherwise. We will have meals in the hotel private meeting room and local restaurants. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

Plimoth Patuxet Museum, Plymouth Waterfront
Plymouth, MA
Hotel 1620 Plymouth Harbor

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 10 miles, approximately 1/2 hour. Walking up to 2 miles and standing up to 2 hours at a time; unpaved, hilly terrain.

Breakfast: At the hotel

Morning: We’ll board a motorcoach for a field trip to Plimoth Patuxet Museum. Led by an expert, we’ll walk through this living history museum complete with reenactors who portray 17th century colonists and learn about these early settlers. We’ll then walk to the Wampanoag Village and the Pilgrim Settlement with a museum expert who will lead our exploration. We’ll also have some time to explore on our own.

Lunch: At the Plimoth Patuxet Museum café, we’ll have vouchers provided.

Afternoon: We’ll continue our field trip at Plimoth Patuxet Museum with on-site staff who will provide commentary related to pilgrim and Native American life as we learn about and explore activities on site. During a hands-on workshop, we’ll make a small colonial arts and craft item to take home. Next, we’ll ride to Plymouth Harbor and set out on a walking field trip. For the first few years of its existence, this was the exact location where the Plymouth colony stood. We will see Plimoth Plantation’s full-scale reproduction of the original “Mayflower” that sailed to Plymouth in 1620 and learn about its voyage from the local experts onboard. Additionally, with our Group Leader, we will see other major sites vital to Plymouth’s history including Plymouth Rock, Cole’s Hill, Leyden Street, and Town Brook. We’ll return to the hotel after our field trip.

Dinner: At the hotel

Evening: At leisure. You might like to take a dip in the hotel pool, walk down to the waterfront and through downtown Plymouth, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, or just relax.

Marine Biological Lab Study Cruise, Coastal Exploration
Plymouth, MA
Hotel 1620 Plymouth Harbor

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 60 miles throughout the day, approximately 1.5 hours total riding time. Getting on/off a vessel via small ladder; riding approximately 1.5 hours. Walking up to 2 miles throughout the day, standing approximately 1.5 hours; sand, rocks, seaweed beds, some slippery surfaces. Sneakers or sturdy water shoes required. Bring bathing suit for swimming. Note: The date and timing of activities may be adjusted due to changing tides.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We’ll ride to the dock in Woods Hole and board the Zephyr Marine’s boat, “Islander” with experts for an ocean study cruise. We’ll discover the wonders of ocean science and actively engage in oceanography through first-hand observations of natural marine phenomena and data collection. As guest scientists, we will take plankton and bottom samples to see what might be found in the area — a great way to learn more about Cape Cod’s ecological systems.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Next, we’ll ride to join a local expert for a field trip to experience marine life along the coast as we observe and learn about creatures that inhabit the shores of a nearby beach. On a walk by the water’s edge, we’ll take a closer look at the tide pools to learn about regional marine life and their environments. Bring a bathing suit, too!

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

Whale Watching Expedition, Free Time
Plymouth, MA
Hotel 1620 Plymouth Harbor

Activity note: Getting on/off boat via ramp; depending on tides, ramp may be at an incline or decline; boat ride approximately 3 hours. Extent of walking and other activities during free time according to personal choice.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will walk from the hotel to the boat ramp for a special highlight, a whale watching expedition out of Plymouth Harbor. Throughout our adventure, expert naturalists will provide an intriguing look into the wonderful world of whales while also providing commentary on local ecology and the area’s unique history.

Lunch: Aboard the whale watching ship, we’ll have box lunches.

Afternoon: We’ll return to the hotel after our field trip for free time. This period of time has been set aside for your personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Please note that the period scheduled for free time is subject to change depending on local circumstances and opportunities for independent exploration.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to have what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At the hotel, we’ll have an evening of fun and games with our Group Leader.

Cape Cod Maritime Museum, Whydah Pirate Museum
Plymouth, MA
Hotel 1620 Plymouth Harbor

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 60 miles throughout the day, approximately 2 hours riding time. Walking up to 2 miles throughout the day; standing and sitting at museums.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Boarding our motorcoach, we will ride to Hyannis, a charming and characteristic Cape Cod village, one of seven in the town of Barnstable. We’ll spend the morning at the Cape Cod Maritime Museum on the waterfront, learning about the Cape’s maritime history and culture, ships past and present, and participate in an expert-led, hands-on scavenger hunt.

Lunch: At the museum, we’ll have box lunches.

Afternoon: Our next field trip will be to the town of West Yarmouth, where we’ll explore the Whydah Pirate Museum. The pirate ship “Wydah Gally” sank in 1717 and was found off the coast of Wellfleet, Cape Cod, in 1984, making it the world’s only authenticated pirate ship. We’ll see real pirate artifacts and treasures being excavated and learn about the ship’s wreckage and discovery. We’ll then ride back to the hotel.

Dinner: At a local restaurant. Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends during our farewell dinner.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and departure after our final session in the morning.

Plimoth Grist Mill, Program Concludes
Plymouth, MA

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles; sidewalks. Hotel check-out 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: For our last field trip, we’ll walk to the Plimoth Grist Mill with our Group Leader. The Plimoth colony authorized construction of a water-powered corn grinding (grist) mill on Town Brook in 1636 after more than a decade of laboriously grinding corn by hand in wooden mortars. The official website for Plimoth Plantation tells us: “The mill we see today is a reproduction the 1636 original. Many of the parts — the stones, spindle, and stone furniture — are from the early 1800s and were salvaged from another mill.” We’ll explore the mill and learn how important the process of grinding corn was in the 1600s. We’ll also learn about the ecology of the Town Brook area, including the annual herring run, then return to the hotel. This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!

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