Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:30 p.m.
Afternoon: Program Registration: 4:00-5:00 p.m. Come to the meeting room 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. The meeting room location will be posted in the lobby. If you arrive late, please ask for your envelope when you check in.
Dinner: 5:00 p.m. In the Tick Tock Diner just off the hotel lobby, we’ll have our first meal together and order from a select menu. This 24-hour diner features American cooking and “comfort food.” Dinner in the diner is included even if you arrive late. You may eat later but please attend Orientation first. Or, get “take out” and bring your plate to the meeting room.
Evening: Orientation: 6:15 p.m. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date daily schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. We will have pre-paid debit cards to use for shared taxis and a quick lesson on how to hail a New York taxi. 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. After Orientation, our local expert will provide an overview of all five boroughs.
Activity note: Walking a few blocks in the Rockefeller Center area, approximately an hour on your feet; some stairs at Radio City Music Hall.
Breakfast: In the hotel meeting room, we’ll have bagels, muffins, bananas, hard-boiled eggs, cold cereals, cream cheese, jelly, and butter, plus milk (regular and low-fat), orange juice, coffee/decaf, tea.
Morning: In the meeting room, we will have a lecture on the history and architecture of Rockefeller Center. We’ll then board our private motorcoach and ride to Rock Center, with our first stop at Top of the Rock for a bird’s-eye view of the city.
Lunch: We’ll have vouchers for lunch in a Rock Center eatery.
Afternoon: Next, we’ll visit Radio City Music Hall, a masterpiece of Art Deco decoration, for an expert-led exploration that will take us behind the scenes to see the workings of its famous productions. We’ll marvel at the art, architecture, engineering, and see the hydraulic lifts from the early 20th-century that still move the many stages. We’ll then stroll through Rockefeller Center with our expert. We’ll also stop at St. Patrick's Cathedral. Completed in 1879, the cathedral is a symbol of the success of New York’s immigrant Irish Catholic population. We’ll return to the hotel by taxi.
Dinner: At a neighborhood Chinese restaurant, we’ll have a family-style meal with choices of soup, appetizers, and entrées; tea, water included, other beverages available for purchase.
Evening: Setting the stage for our field trip in the morning, we’ll be joined by a former Ellis Island National Park ranger for a presentation on the Statue of Liberty National Monument that includes Liberty Island, the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island. We’ll learn about historic preservation and restoration at Ellis and see some special objects including a piece of the Statue’s original glass.
Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; on/off New York harbor ferries.
Breakfast: In the Tick Tock Diner.
Morning: We’ll head straight out on our private motorcoach this morning to best take advantage of our time on Liberty and Ellis Islands and board the ferry to Liberty Island. The Statue of Liberty — officially “Liberty Enlightening the World” — was a gift to the people of America from the people of France, our oldest ally. It was the biggest event in the country on the Fourth of July 1884. Years later, these words of poet Emma Lazarus were added: “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” Our tickets provide access to the pedestal and the museum inside where audio guides tell the statue’s incredible story. We’ll then take the ferry to Ellis Island.
Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. Both Liberty and Ellis Islands have cafeterias, with larger facilities and selections available on Liberty Island.
Afternoon: We will explore the Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration. From 1892 when the immigration station opened until it closed in 1954, more than 12 million people coming to America passed through Ellis Island. This was their “golden door” to new lives. Today, the descendants of these immigrants make up almost half of all Americans. The museum tells the story of where people came from and what their experience was like. Museum exhibits chronicle Ellis Island’s role in the context of centuries of immigration to America. We will have time to explore at our own pace before returning to the hotel by ferry and taxi.
Dinner: At a local Greek restaurant, we’ll have a family-style meal of Greek salad, several entrées, and dessert choices of baklava (layers of filo filled with chopped nuts and honey) and galaktoboureko (custard in filo); coffee, tea, water included, other beverages available for purchase.
Evening: For those who want to get extra steps in, we’ll walk over to what may be New York's most acclaimed new park, the High Line. Written about in Smithsonian, National Geographic, and AARP Magazines, the High Line Park is built on an historic freight rail line elevated above the streets — a favorite destination for locals and visitors alike. We’ll stroll above the traffic below, through the gallery district of Chelsea and into the trendy Meat Packing District, with an expert leading the way.
Breakfast: In our hotel meeting room, we’ll have a choice of bagels, muffins, bananas, hard-boiled eggs, cold cereals, cream cheese, jelly, and butter, plus milk (regular and low-fat), orange juice, coffee/decaf, tea.
Morning: Our presenter will give us a New Yorker’s perspective on the many, varied, fun, and exciting things to do in New York during free time.
Lunch: In the meeting room, we’ll have sandwiches with coffee, tea, water included. The Group Leader will be on hand to offer suggestions for activities this afternoon and evening.
Afternoon: Free time. 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: On your own to enjoy what you like.
Evening: At leisure.
Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Walking at your own pace through the museum.
Breakfast: At the Tick Tock Diner.
Morning: We will board our private motorcoach for a full-day field trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A local expert will lead us on an introductory stroll through the museum. The Met, founded in 1870, is one of the world’s greatest museums with a collection spanning more than 5,000 years of creativity. Its artistic treasury from every corner of the world includes paintings, arms and armor, costume, decorative arts, musical instruments, photography, works on paper, and much more. There are 26,000 objects from ancient Egypt, the largest collection outside Cairo; 2,500 European paintings, one of the most extensive collections anywhere; and the most comprehensive collection of American decorative arts, paintings, and sculpture in the American Wing. The Beaux-Arts façade and Great Hall of the iconic flagship building, designed by architect and founding museum trustee Richard Morris Hunt, opened in 1902. Today, tens of thousands of objects are on view at any given time.
Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like. The Met has a cafeteria and cafés, and there are many food options nearby.
Afternoon: We will continue to explore the extensive holdings of the Metropolitan Museum of Art according to personal preference. There are a number of docent-led explorations available to examine different collections, before taking a taxi back to the hotel.
Dinner: At a local Italian restaurant near the hotel, we’ll have a plated meal with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase. Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends during our farewell dinner.
Evening: Returning to the hotel, the remainder of the evening is at leisure. Prepare for check-out and departure after our closing session in the morning.
Activity note: Hotel check-out by 12:00 Noon.
Breakfast: In the meeting room.
Morning: As a final highlight, we’ll be joined by a New Yorker who’s in touch with what’s happening around the city for a closing discussion. The session will end at approximately 10:30 a.m. 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!