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Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.
Activity note: Hotel check-in available from 3:00 p.m.
Afternoon: Program Registration. 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. After you have your room assignment, come to the Road Scholar table in the lobby to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing the up-to-date schedule that reflects any changes, other important information, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in.
Dinner: At the hotel, enjoy a buffet meal with salad, choice of entrée, and dessert; beverage choices include sweet tea, lemonade, water.
Evening: Orientation: The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have. 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. Children are never to be left unsupervised. Periods in the daily 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. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.
Activity note: Walking up to 1 miles total throughout the day; some stairs. Getting on/off motorcoach; driving approximately 20 miles throughout the day; less than 1 hour total, with stops.
Breakfast: At the hotel, our breakfast buffet offers a selection of eggs, breakfast meats, hot and cold cereals, fruit, breads, pastries, juice, milk, coffee, tea, water.
Morning: A local entertainer will join us in the hotel meeting room for an introduction to Appalachian folklore, folk music, and instruments as we learn about the history of Appalachian music, see and hear unique instruments, and learn some of the songs of the mountains. Afterwards, we’ll have time to make our own musical instruments led by our talented guest, and maybe learn a chord or two.
Lunch: At the hotel, the deli lunch buffet offers a choice of sandwiches including PB&J and side dishes, plus sweet tea, lemonade, tea, water.
Afternoon: Next, we’ll travel by motorcoach with our Group Leader to the Titanic Museum for an amazing kid-friendly adventure. While impressive, this two-story construction is only half the size of the ship that became the most famous shipwreck in history. As we enter, we will receive a boarding ticket with the name of an actual passenger or crewmember, then get a feel for what it was like to be on that fateful voyage in 1912 as we explore recreations of key places on the ship. During our exploration led by museum staff and our Group Leader, kids will participate in a scavenger hunt through the bridge, passenger cabins, and the beautiful Grand Staircase.
Dinner: At a local restaurant, we’ll choose plated meals from a select menu, with coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.
Evening: We’ll then make our way to Country Tonite, one of the most consistently highly rated and popular performances in the Smoky Mountains. Blending together singing and dancing, comedy, gospel music, and American patriotism at an exciting pace, the adult and youth performers of Country Tonite keep families coming back to Pigeon Forge for more. We’ll then return to the hotel.
Activity note: Getting on/off bus; short driving transfers to/from park. Walking up to 3 miles during group activities. Opportunities for more dependent on personal preference.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: We’ll board our bus for the nearby Dollywood Theme Park, now the best-known attraction in the area. During our expert-led exploration, meet park personnel who may include entertainers, craftspeople, and other park staff. As we go, enjoy current offerings such as educational nature shows, performances, rides, and more.
Lunch: Vouchers will be provided for you to choose what you like from one of the Dollywood venues.
Afternoon: We’ll continue to independently explore Dollywood’s mix of activities that vary by season. You can watch master craftsmen in traditional Appalachian crafts, enjoy fun entertainment and shows — from country to bluegrass, Rock 'n' Roll and gospel music — as well as exciting amusement park rides and attractions. Afterwards, we’ll take our bus back to the hotel with time to relax and freshen up before dinner.
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 and give directions.
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: Walking approximately 2 miles throughout the day; uneven trails, unpaved ground. Driving approximately 45 miles one way; about 1.5 hours.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: With a local expert, we’ll take our bus through scenic Great Smoky Mountains National Park and visit the Sugarlands Visitor Center and view the exhibits to prepare us for our journey in the park. From here, we’ll take a short hike with our Group Leader to get a feel for the mountains and enjoy an activity along our journey, during which we’ll decipher the writing on old tombstones. After concluding our hike, we’ll travel to Gatlinburg.
Lunch: At a local restaurant in Gatlinburg, we’ll enjoy a delicious lunch today.
Afternoon: We’ll then go on a field trip to the city of Gatlinburg's Arts and Crafts Community where we’ll visit a local candle maker and have an opportunity to make our own candle. Next, we’ll make our way to a pottery studio to watch an expert throw pottery during a demonstration. Then we’ll travel to Dolly Parton’s Smokey Mountain Adventure Show. Upon arrival, we’ll settle in for a meet-and-greet session with the staff who will talk about the show and their involvement in the performance.
Dinner: At Dolly Parton's Smokey Mountain Adventure Show, we’ll enjoy music, comedy, storytelling, and high energy as we have our tasty plated meals with lemonade, coffee, tea, water.
Evening: Following the show, we’ll meet with the performers for a question and answer session before transferring back to the hotel. The remainder of the evening will be at leisure.
Activity note: Minimal walking throughout the day. Driving approximately 15 miles one way; less than 1 hour total.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: In the hotel meeting room, we’ll spend some time with the cast of the Impossibilities Theater in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, during which we’ll learn about the power of illusion, ask questions, and even learn a trick to take home.
Lunch: Hotel buffet.
Afternoon: With our Group Leader at the hotel, we’ll participate in a team-building workshop activity for students designed around storytelling. The remainder of the afternoon will be free to relax; you may wish to take a swim in the pool at the hotel.
Dinner: At the Hard Rock Cafe in Pigeon Forge, we’ll choose plated meals from a select menu with soft drinks, coffee, water; other beverages available for purchase.
Evening: Then we’ll travel to The Space Needle in Gatlinburg where we will visit the Impossibilities Theater and enjoy the show in the Iris Theater. Starring Chris Collins and Erik Dobell, we’ll experience a night of magic, mind reading and mayhem. We’ll return to the hotel following the show. Be sure to prepare for check-out and departures in the morning.
Activity note: Hotel check-out is by 12:00 Noon.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet. This concludes our program.
Morning: 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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We had music, magic, nature and more. Backstage tours and meets with costume designers, magicians, jugglers, and masters of ceremonies made the entertainment part of the program educational for all ages. We learned about the history and geography of the area on our coach rides to/from the various activities. Lots packed into our short week.
Magic, Music and Nature is a jam-packed and fun-filled program, which offers a number of special activities that will delight your grandchild.
My granddaughter enjoyed every minute of this fabulous program! We strongly recommend it!
This is an outstanding program! The leaders, accommodations, field trips and lectures were A+. If you have grandchildren within the recommended age group, please consider this. You won't regret it. We had such a great time!
My 8 yr old granddaughter and 11 yr old grandson thoroughly enjoyed the variety of things offered on this program. They especially enjoyed "active" time when they got to build a music instrument, learn magic tricks, create a play, and be a "ship guest" on the Titanic.
This was our first intergenerational Road Scholar program. Two grandparents and two 11 yr. old granddaughters had a great time in Pigeon Forge, TN! We highly recommend this program.