Activity note: Hotel check in is available from 3:00 p.m.
Afternoon: Program Registration: 3:00-5:00 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar table to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, and other important information. If your arrival is delayed, please ask for your packet when you check in. Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. We will be getting around Boston mostly via the MBTA public transportation system that involves stepping on/off subway cars, climbing up/down flights of stairs at some stations without elevators, and walking on city streets and sidewalks, some with brick and cobblestones, and occasional hills. Some activities depend on local conditions at the time of the program and could be modified or re-scheduled accordingly. Free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. Please be aware that program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
Dinner: At a local restaurant in downtown Boston, our welcome dinner will be plated meals with sodas, coffee, tea, water included.
Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the exciting day ahead.
Activity note: Use of MBTA public transportation system, stepping on/off subway cars; climbing up/down flights of stairs at stations without elevators. Walking up to 2 miles throughout the day including up/down hills and over cobblestones, paved streets and sidewalks, grass; standing at various sites. At Old North Church, two steep flights of stairs to bell tower.
Breakfast: At the hotel, enjoy a breakfast buffet with juice, coffee, tea, water included.
Morning: We’ll take MBTA and step back in time as we stroll the streets of Boston’s North End neighborhood where Paul Revere spent much of his life. Today, it includes some of the most historic sites on the Freedom Trail. We’ll see Old North Church (and explore there in the afternoon), learn the meaning of the phrase "One if by land, two if by Sea," hear stories of what life was like in the Paul Revere home, and much more. Start the morning at Paul Revere's House and retrace the beginning of his famous Midnight Ride in 1775. In April 1775, tensions between the Americans and British reached their breaking point. British troops were waiting to march on the rebels, capture their leaders, and take their ammunition. The Americans made plans to warn their compatriots when that happened. On the night of April 18, two men from Old North were alerted, climbed the steeple, and displayed two lanterns as a signal that British troops were coming by sea. (It would have been one lantern if by land.) It was the signal for Paul Revere’s ride and launched the American Revolution.
Lunch: At Mariners House, we’ll have plated table service with sodas and water included. This unique inn was founded in 1847 and has provided hospitality and guidance to mariners (professional seamen and women) ever since.
Afternoon: Returning to Old North Church, we’ll go top to bottom and learn all about Boston’s oldest surviving church building (1722), and the history that surrounds it. Led by a church docent, the brave and strong can climb all the way to the top of the steeple and learn about the ringing of the bells. We’ll then explore the crypt beneath the church. We’ll then go next door to one of Boston’s oldest surviving brick residences, Clough House (1713), that contains the Print Shop of Edes & Gill — an authentic 18th century printing press — and Captain Jackson’s Historic Chocolate Shop. Costumed interpreters will explain how popular chocolate was for Revolutionary-era Bostonians and other aspects of daily life.
Dinner: At Road Scholar HQ, we’ll have a pizza party. Learn to make the official Massachusetts state dessert!
Evening: At leisure. You might like to do some more exploring on your own, enjoy the hotel’s amenities, or just relax.
Activity note: Use of MBTA public transportation system. Walking up to 2 miles standing at various sites; grass and uneven ground. Getting on/off a ferry via a ramp with a few steps; The route of the DUCK boat may be modified depending on traffic or other local conditions at the time of the program.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: There are 30 islands in Boston Harbor, covering 50 square miles that make up both a National Recreation Area and a state park. We’ll take a ferry to Georges Island in the center of the harbor. It was originally used for agriculture but became part of the city’s coastal defenses when Fort Warren — built in a star shape — was constructed in 1825. During the Civil War, the fort served as a prison for captured Confederates. There’s even a ghost story! Stepping off the ferry, we’ll join a ranger for a narrated walk around the island.
Lunch: On Georges Island, we’ll have box lunches picnic style.
Afternoon: DUCK boats are amphibious vehicles, invented in 1942 for use during World War II. They’ve since become a popular way of exploring on land and water in selected cities. They appeared in Boston in 1994 and have been going strong ever since. An entertaining “conDUCKtor” will narrate the ride as we see nearly three dozen of Boston’s most noteworthy sites, from the golden-domed State House to Bunker Hill, Faneuil Hall & Quincy Market to Newbury Street, and much more, including a ride on the Charles River!
Dinner: At a local restaurant.
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: Use of MBTA public transportation system. Walking up to 2 miles, standing at various sites.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: We’ll spend the morning at the New England Aquarium, starting with a hands-on workshop with an aquarium instructor. During our field trip, we’ll learn about local habitats and animal adaptations and have an opportunity to see more than 70 exhibits featuring aquatic animals from around the world. Don't miss the fearsome lionfish, the delicate leafy seadragons, and the mysterious giant Pacific octopus. During some time for personal independent exploration, go out back to see the Northern fur seals in action in their open-air exhibit, and be sure to visit the Atlantic harbor seals out front.
Lunch: At the Aquarium café with lunch vouchers provided.
Afternoon: After returning to the hotel, the remainder of the afternoon is free. Take this opportunity for 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.
Dinner: 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.
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: Today we will transfer to/from field trips via motor coach. Walking up to 2 miles, standing at museum.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: Why was the Boston Tea Party such a big deal? There were no Dunkin’ Donuts or Starbucks then! Relations between the American colonies and the “mother country” of England were already on shaky ground when the English parliament adopted measures in 1767 and 1773 that taxed tea. It’s been estimated that colonists consumed more than a million pounds of tea every year, so these taxes promoted the rallying cry of “No taxation without representation.” What became known as the Boston Tea Party was a forceful response on the night of December 16, 1773. Members of a revolutionary group called the Sons of Liberty boarded three ships in Boston Harbor carrying cargoes of tea, smashed all the 340 chests holding more than 92,000 pounds of tea, and dumped it all into the harbor. The Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum takes us back to those days. Aboard authentically restored ships with live actors and interactive exhibits, we’ll get a feeling for what it was like on that night almost 250 years ago. We’ll even dump tea in the harbor! Then head to Charlestown.
Lunch: At a restaurant in Charlestown.
Afternoon: Next, we’ll go for a self-directed exploration of the USS Constitution Museum. Dedicated to one of the most famous survivors from early American history, the USS Constitution — a.k.a. Old Ironsides, the museum across from the ship brings her story vividly to life. The Constitution was launched in 1797 and saw active service before, during, and long after the War of 1812. She became a symbol of American strength and resolve and is still a ship of the U.S. Navy. Enter the House of Rendezvous where sailors were recruited and see what it took to be a member of the crew. Do you qualify? Walk through Charlestown Navy Yard, which is part of the larger Boston National Historical Park and a key stop on Boston's famous Freedom Trail. The world's oldest commissioned warship afloat is undergoing the final stages of a several-year-long massive restoration, something that happens only once every twenty years! It still sits in the Navy Yard but on dry dock while experts work on the restoration.
Dinner: Farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Evening: After returning to the hotel, the rest of the evening is at leisure. Prepare for departure after our final field trip in the morning.
Activity note: Use of MBTA public transportation system; walking up to 2 miles; standing at various sites, stairs at Fenway Park. Based on daily events at Fenway Park, the walking route around the park might be altered to accommodate games or other events. We will check out after breakfast. If you are departing later, hotel check out is by 12:00 Noon.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: After checking out of the hotel, we’ll take the T to Fenway Park, America's oldest working major league ballpark that celebrated its 100th birthday in 2012. Led by an expert, we’ll trace the history of what fans call the “cathedral of baseball,” see where Red Sox legends played, the Red Seat of Ted Williams fame, and stand on the Green Monster. We’ll then return to the hotel as a group.
Lunch: At the hotel with lunch vouchers provided. This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!