Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.
Activity note: Hotel check-in from 4:00 p.m.
Afternoon: Program Registration: 4:00 p.m. After you check in and have your room assignment, join us at the Road Scholar table in the hotel lobby to register with the program staff, get any 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: 4:30 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-19 protocols and will adhere to local COVID-19 guidelines and requirements throughout the program. Educational leadership will be provided by our knowledgeable Group Leader and local experts. Transportation for program-related activities will be via motorcoach and bus. 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/current conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
Dinner: In the hotel “Standing O” bistro on the lobby floor.
Evening: We will gather with a local expert for a lecture on the history of the Philadelphia Flower Show. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.
Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; city driving. Walking up to 2 miles at Flower Show depending on personal choice. Wheelchairs available at no charge, but must be reserved in advance; contact Philadelphia Landmarks to request.
Breakfast: In the Balcony Café on the mezzanine floor.
Morning: We will board a motorcoach and set out at 7:15 a.m. for a private, Road Scholar exclusive field trip to explore the Flower Show before the public opening. Flower Show staff will lead us around the exhibits in small groups. Some of America’s leading floral and garden designers will exhibits recreating jungles, forests and woodlands, and even arid landscapes that display the astounding array of flowers and plants thriving in each environment. Following our expert-led exploration, we will have independent time to see and do what interests each of us most at the Flower Show. Our tickets permit us to attend the Flower Show in the morning, afternoon, and evening. In addition to major displays, the Flower Show presents lectures, demonstrations, and special events. See the Flower Show website for details: https://theflowershow.com/events. As its website explains, “the Philadelphia Flower Show is the nation’s largest and longest-running horticultural event and features stunning displays by the world’s premier floral and landscape designers.” It was inaugurated in 1829 by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) and continues to operate under the same auspices today. Proceeds from the Flower Show benefit the year-round programs of PHS that have become national models of urban greening. The 2024 Flower Show theme has yet to be announced. Once the theme is announced this portion of the itinerary will be updated.
Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. We recommend Reading Terminal Market, adjacent to the Convention Center where the Flower Show takes place. This historic urban farmers’ market had its origins in the 19th century. It is now a foodie paradise, replete with locally grown produce, Amish merchants, and exotic specialties from around the world.
Afternoon: 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. You are welcome to return to the Flower Show to explore independently, attend lectures, other activities. We will provide our own Road Scholar shuttle bus back to the hotel from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. The convention center is 8 blocks from the hotel for those who wish to stay later and walk, take a taxi, or public bus back.
Dinner: At a popular local restaurant.
Evening: At leisure. Our tickets include entry to the Flower Show during the evening if you would like to return independently. It closes at 7:00 p.m.
Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 2 miles, approximately 1/2 hour. Walking up to 1 mile at Barnes and Rodin depending on personal choice.
Breakfast: At the hotel.
Morning: We will board the motorcoach and ride to The Barnes Foundation on the Parkway where we will explore the collection and galleries with a Barnes educator. This extraordinary collection, one of the greatest private art collections anywhere, got its start in 1912 when Dr. Barnes sent an artist friend to Paris to acquire modern paintings. Dr. Barnes himself began collecting what became a sophisticated trove of artistic treasures including old masterworks, Impressionist, post-Impressionist, and early modern paintings with numerous works by Renoir, Cézanne, Matisse, and Picasso — the greatest collection of Post-Impressionist art outside Paris. Dr. Barnes also collected Native American fine crafts; early American furniture and decorative art; and African sculpture. Uniquely, he displayed his collection in self-designed “ensembles” where he arranged masterpieces amid other objects. The exceptional, state-of-the-art Barnes on the Parkway facility opened in 2012. There are 15 viewing galleries with benches in each room; wheelchairs available at no charge.
Lunch: Boxed lunch provided at the Barnes in the Garden Pavilion.
Afternoon: We will regroup at an announced time and place, then walk across the street with our Group Leader to The Rodin Museum for a self-directed exploration. The museum houses the largest collection of Rodin’s sculpture outside of Paris. From the Rodin, we will board a motorcoach and ride to see some of the Philadelphia’s most significant landmarks with commentary by our Group Leader.
Dinner: At a popular local restaurant.
Evening: We will attend a Broadway show. This evening's performance will be "Girl from the North Country."
Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; city driving. Walking up to 2 miles at Philadelphia Museum of Art depending on personal choice.
Breakfast: At the hotel.
Morning: We’ll be joined by a local historian who will provide an overview of early days in the Colonial era when horticulture was developing, from the John Bartram estate in Philadelphia throughout the Brandywine Valley and Montgomery County — when the sylvan countryside was its own “garden of eden.” Following the lecture, ee will ride to the Philadelphia Museum of Art where a local expert will introduce some of the highlights of its incomparable galleries. Among the greatest in the U.S., the Museum has a collection of more than 227,000 works of art spanning the creative achievements of the Western world since the first century CE and those of Asia since the third millennium BCE. Its European holdings date from the Medieval era to the present, and the American collections are among the finest in the country. Following our expert-led exploration, we will have some time to see what interests each of us most.
Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like.
Afternoon: This afternoon is free for you to relax, continue at the PMA or to explore Philadelphia. Please talk to your group leader for suggestions.
Dinner: On your own to have what you like.
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: Activity Notes Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 80 miles total, approximately 2 hours riding time throughout the day. At Winterthur, walking and standing approximately 1 hour. At Longwood Gardens, walking at your own pace. Wheelchairs and motor scooters available at Longwood ($25 scooter rental fee).
Breakfast: At the hotel.
Morning: We will set out by motorcoach for a full day of field trips. Our first study site will be to one of America’s treasures, the Winterthur estate in the Brandywine Valley. The first members of the du Pont family arrived in America from France on January 1, 1800, settling in the Brandywine Valley. Winterthur (pronounced winter-tour) began in 1837 as a 12-room house on 450 acres. It remained in the family, growing and developing over several generations. The magnificent estate we see today is largely the work of Henry Francis du Pont, who was born at Winterthur in 1880. Throughout his life, he added to the facilities, the exquisitely landscaped gardens, and his beloved family home. H. F. was an avid collector of American antiques and decorative arts, expanding the house and filling it exceptional rooms and museum quality pieces. He opened it to the public in 1951. Winterthur is now the premier museum of American decorative arts. Its 175 rooms are filled with nearly 90,000 objects displayed much as they were when the du Pont family lived here. We will divide into small groups for private explorations with Winterthur educators. Depending on the weather, we may also have an opportunity to meander through a re-created woodland path offering vistas of the lovely Winterthur Garden.
Lunch: At the Winterthur cafeteria, boxed lunches provided.
Afternoon: Next, we will ride to Longwood, one of the world’s great gardens, for an expert-led exploration. The Lenni-Lenape people — ancestors of the Delaware Tribe of Indians — lived and cultivated these lands for thousands of years. In 1700, a Quaker family acquired several hundred acres they began clearing and farming, eventually establishing an arboretum. Pierre S. du Pont, a passionate gardener, bought it in 1906. Inspired by his travels to see great gardens of Europe, he set about transforming the farm into what would become Longwood Gardens. He built a grand, 4-acre conservatory housing a perpetual flower show, added fountains to the expanding outdoor themed gardens and landscapes, and in the process became one of America’s most influential gardeners. Longwood is his living legacy, now spanning 1,077 acres. We’ll return to the hotel from Longwood with expected arrival before approximately 6:00 p.m.
Dinner: At a popular a local restaurant. Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends during our farewell dinner.
Evening: Returning to the hotel, prepare for check-out and departure after our closing lecture in the morning.
Activity note: Hotel check-out 11:00 a.m.
Breakfast: At the hotel.
Morning: We’ll gather with by a local expert for a presentation on Philadelphia as a modern metropolis. We expect to end by 11:00 a.m. 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!