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Florida

Spaceships & Surfboards: Cocoa Beach With Your Grandchild

Program No. 22825RJ
Hang ten and blast off as you take surfing lessons, explore the Indian River Lagoon, strap into a space shuttle experience and chat with a real-live astronaut on the Space Coast.

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Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
Age 11 - 15
ROOMING OPTION PRICING
The figures below indicate the rooming options available.
DATES
Jun 16 - Jun 21, 2024
Per Adult
1,749
Per Child
1,249
Select
Jun 16 - Jun 21, 2024
1,749
/ Adult
1,249
/ Child
1,749
/ Adult
1,249
/ Child
2,249
/ Adult
1,249
/ Child
Select Date
Aug 4 - Aug 9, 2024
Per Adult
1,749
Per Child
1,249
Select
Aug 4 - Aug 9, 2024
1,749
/ Adult
1,249
/ Child
1,749
/ Adult
1,249
/ Child
2,249
/ Adult
1,249
/ Child
Select Date

At a Glance

Hang ten and blast off to Florida’s Space Coast. On this extraordinary adventure, you and your grandchild will learn to ride the waves together in one of the best surf spots in the East — Cocoa Beach, home to the legendary Ron Jon Surf Shop. Then head to Kennedy Space Center for an out-of-this-world experience. Come face-to-face with rockets and shuttles, watch larger-than-life 3D IMAX® films and strap into a shuttle experience designed by astronauts. From Florida’s lagoons and sparkling coast to the exciting new frontiers of outer space, explore three very different habitats with your grandchild by your side.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to two miles a day, two-hour surf lesson and kayaking 3-4 miles for 3 hours.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • At the Kennedy Space Center, chat with an astronaut and learn about life in space from someone who has been there firsthand!
  • Take a surfing lesson with your grandchild from one of Florida’s best surfing schools.
  • Kayak together around the harbor islands as you watch for wildlife like manatees, and see some wildlife up close during a live animal show.

General Notes

Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available.
Featured Expert
All Experts
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Emerson Fales
Emerson Fales is a Miami native who enjoys being outdoors in Florida. When not leading programs, he is a middle school substitute teacher and high school girls' soccer coach. He has spent as much time kayaking, biking, and walking around Miami and Florida as possible since becoming a group leader in 2009. He enjoys showing people the natural wonders and human-caused eccentricities of Florida.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Emerson Fales
Emerson Fales View biography
Emerson Fales is a Miami native who enjoys being outdoors in Florida. When not leading programs, he is a middle school substitute teacher and high school girls' soccer coach. He has spent as much time kayaking, biking, and walking around Miami and Florida as possible since becoming a group leader in 2009. He enjoys showing people the natural wonders and human-caused eccentricities of Florida.
Profile Image of Anita Allen
Anita Allen View biography
Anita Allen grew up in Indiana and now lives in Coral Springs, Florida. She earned her BA in zoology and MAs in environmental science and geography. She worked for many years in environmental protection and water management along with assisting with sports specialty travel groups around the world. Anita now leads groups for Road Scholar in Florida. When not leading groups, she enjoys running, kayaking and taking photographs.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
The History of Surfing
by Matt Warshaw
Matt Warshaw knows more about surfing than any other person on the planet. After five years of research and writing, Warshaw has crafted an unprecedented history of the sport and the culture it has spawned. At nearly 500 pages, with 250,000 words and more than 250 rare photographs, The History of Surfing reveals and defines this sport with a voice that is authoritative, funny, and wholly original. The obsessive nature of this endeavor is matched only by the obsessive nature of surfers, who will pore through these pages with passion and opinion.
The Florida Wildlife Encyclopedia
by Scott Shupe
In Florida Wildlife Encyclopedia, nationally known naturalist Scott Shupe has collected information on all the native wildlife that reside in the Sunshine State. The fifth in a series of state wildlife encyclopedias, this book will be a handy, usable, layman’s guide to Florida’s native wildlife.
Go for Launch! An Illustrated History of Cape Canaveral
by Joel W. Powell
From the first Bumper V-2 launch in 1950 to the Atlas V vehicles of today, more than 55 years of Cape Canaveral history is captured in this exhaustive collection of photographs celebrating the development and evolution of one of space exploration's most famous and significant facilities. Detailed maps and historical aerial photographs reveal the famous launch complexes and basic infrastructure of this storied base station, while missile and rocket tests are featured in never-before-seen images with descriptive captions. The bustling daily activity of thousands of employees at the Cape is captured on film, providing a behind-the-scenes look at rocket launches. Information on the current generation of space launch vehicles, trivia on various rockets and satellites that have flown out of Cape Canaveral, and amusing anecdotes are also included.
Cocoa Beach, Florida (Then and Now Series)
by Wade Arnold
Cocoa Beach welcomes millions of visitors every year, but the city has always managed to keep a small town atmosphere. In 1940, it was a cozy little waterfront town with less than 50 people. A few years after World War II, America's space race began, and the city was never the same.
A History of the Kennedy Space Center
by Kenneth Lipartito
This first comprehensive history of the Kennedy Space Center, NASA's famous launch facility located at Cape Canaveral, Florida, reveals the vital but largely unknown work that takes place before the rocket is lit.
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6 days
5 nights
14 meals
5 B 4 L 5 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Cocoa Beach, FL
D
Hampton Inn Cocoa Beach/Cape Canaveral

Activity note: Hotel check-in available from 3:00 p.m. Remember to bring your nametag (sent previously).

Afternoon: Program Registration: 3:00 p.m. After you check in and have your room assignment, join us at the Road Scholar table in the 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. The Group Leader will greet everyone 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 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 at all times. If/when separate age group activities are conducted concurrently, program staff will supervise. Minors are never to be left unsupervised. We will learn from a series of local experts who will give lectures and lead field trips. Program-related travel and transfers will be via private motorcoach unless noted otherwise. Meals will be provided at the hotel and a variety of 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.

DAY
2
Kennedy Space Center Field Trip, Meet An Astronaut
Cocoa Beach, FL
B,L,D
Hampton Inn Cocoa Beach/Cape Canaveral

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 40 miles roundtrip, approximately 1.5 hours riding time. Walking dependent on personal preference at the Kennedy Space Center; seating areas to rest throughout facility.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will hop aboard a motorcoach and start our learning adventures with a self-directed exploration of the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral. In addition to being the main launch site for NASA, the center houses facilities that are researching and developing innovative solutions for working and living on the surfaces of the Moon and other bodies in our solar system. Be sure to check out the “Heroes & Legends” exhibit, an amazing new addition to Kennedy Space Center that celebrates pioneers of NASA’s early space programs. After our self-directed exploration, we will gather in a private room where we’ll be joined by an astronaut who will tell us about their exciting experiences in space and working with NASA. There will be photo opportunities.

Lunch: At the Kennedy Space Center.

Afternoon: Our Kennedy Space Center field trip will continue with more self-directed exploration. Don’t miss the Apollo/Saturn V Center to explore the exhibits surrounding these two series of missions. The giant F1 thruster engines of the Saturn V moon rockets that took the first humans to the moon in the 1960s and 1970s are showcased here along with command modules from Apollo XIV, space suits, and real lunar samples we can touch. Also on display is the monumental 363-foot rocket that was launched 13 times from the Kennedy Space Center. We will then depart for dinner.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: We’ll spend the evening with our fellow Road Scholars and show off all of our newfound space knowledge with a trivia game about outer space.

DAY
3
Surf Lessons, Free Time, Surfing Lecture
Cocoa Beach, FL
B,L,D
Hampton Inn Cocoa Beach/Cape Canaveral

Activity note: Walking a short distance to/from the beach. Surfing lesson will be approximately 2 hours and will include swimming and paddling. Be sure to bring your own water and sun protection. Walking and other free time activities according to personal choice.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We’ll grab our swimwear and walk across the street for a group surf lesson on the beach. The instructors will provide a water safety lesson before we learn the basics of surfing. By the end, we’ll be amazed at how well we are doing. Grandparents are welcome to join grandkids in this activity, or relax in the Florida sun and take pictures of loved ones having fun while learning.

Lunch: On the beach, we’ll have box lunches.

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. Grandparents will stay with grandkids who want to continue practicing surfing skills.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: We will gather with our expert instructors who will give us an exclusive presentation about their experiences riding the waves and tales of “hanging ten.”

DAY
4
Space Center, Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge, Animal Show
Cocoa Beach, FL
B,L,D
Hampton Inn Cocoa Beach/Cape Canaveral

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 81 miles throughout the day, approximately 2 hours riding time plus stops for field trips. Walking up to 1 mile, standing up to 1 hour at a time; refuge equipped with running water, picnic tables, restrooms. Bring bug spray and sunscreen.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We’ll ride back to Kennedy Space Center with our multi-day passes for what we might have missed during our self-directed exploration last time. If you haven’t tried them out already, opportunities for independent exploration include IMAX movies, the Shuttle Launch Experience, and Astronaut Training Simulators. We’ll then depart for lunch.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We’ll board our motorcoach for a field trip to explore Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. Upon arrival at the visitor center, we’ll settle in for a talk by a park ranger to introduce the park, its wonderfully varied habitats, and animal inhabitants. Next, we’ll learn more about manatees at the observation deck, followed by a scenic wildlife drive around the refuge.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At the hotel, we will enjoy a live animal show featuring species such as alligators, snakes, arachnids, and other reptiles.

DAY
5
Kayaking, Mini Golf
Cocoa Beach, FL
B,L,D
Hampton Inn Cocoa Beach/Cape Canaveral

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 65 miles throughout the day, approximately 2 hours riding time plus field trips. Walking up to 2 miles throughout the day; up to 2 hours during mini golf activity. Getting in/out of tandem kayaks; paddling about 2 miles, approximately 2 hours. Note: All grandchildren ride tandem with a grandparent. Bring towel, bug spray, water, sun protection.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will board a motorcoach and ride to the launch point for a kayaking field trip around the harbor islands. Our kayaking leaders will give us a presentation on safety and proper technique before we grab paddles. They will also do their best set course to give us the best experience with current conditions. Paddling in tandem kayaks, grandparents and grandkids will have the opportunity to see wildlife that may be present such as manatees and various species of birds. Remember, wild animals come and go on their own schedules! We’ll return to the hotel after our field trip.

Lunch: At the hotel.

Afternoon: We’ll have some “down time” to do what we like. It might be taking advantage of the stretch of Cocoa Beach across from the hotel, enjoying the great outdoors, spending time with fellow Road Scholars, or just relaxing. We’ll rendezvous at an announced time and place and ride from the hotel to Golf N Gator. There we'll be able to play up to two rounds of mini golf in a tropical landscape.

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

Evening: Returning to the hotel, the remainder of the evening will be at leisure. Prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
6
Program Concludes
Cocoa Beach, FL
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We’ll get certificates of completion to take home with us. 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!






Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.