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Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.
Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:30 p.m.
Afternoon: Program Registration: 4:00 p.m. After you have your room assignment and take your luggage to your room, come to the designated hotel meeting room (location will be posted) 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 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 takeout 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 up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. 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. After Orientation, we’ll have a presentation by an architectural historian who will give us an overview of all five New York City boroughs.
Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. 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, our architectural historian will rejoin us for a lecture on the history and architecture of Rockefeller Center. We’ll then board our private motorcoach and ride to Rockefeller 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 Rockefeller 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 in 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. Walking at your own pace on Liberty & Ellis islands.
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. An audio guide is included with each ferry ticket and can be picked up at the Acoustiguide booth on Liberty Island. Another short ferry ride goes from Liberty Island to Ellis Island. The Statue of Liberty was an amazing gift to the people of America from the people of France — our oldest ally — celebrating freedom and democracy. We’ve seen this national monument in countless movies and TV shows and may even take it for granted, but on the Fourth of July 1884, it was the biggest event in the country. 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 Statue of Liberty pedestal and the museum inside (not the crown). You will be able to explore Liberty and Ellis Islands at your own pace before we regroup in the afternoon. Both islands offer included Ranger and audio guides. The statue itself is 151 feet (46 meters) tall. Including the pedestal, it’s 305 feet (93 meters) from the ground to the torch. We’ll see it up close and imagine how millions of immigrants felt when Liberty greeted them. 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: Then, it’s on to Ellis Island. 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 Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration tells the story of where people came from and what their experience was like. Many went first from Ellis Island to the Lower East Side of Manhattan, at one time the most densely populated neighborhood on earth. We’ll meet on the front steps of The Ellis Island Museum to take the ferry back to Manhattan as a group, then take taxis back to the hotel.
Dinner: At a local Italian restaurant, we'll have a plated meal with 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 The Tick Tock Diner.
Morning: Broadway is the #1 attraction in New York, generating more money for the city's economy than all 10 local major league sporting teams combined. This morning, a theater historian will give us a rollicking look at the history of Broadway.
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. Maybe you'll continue the theatrical theme of the day and take in a Broadway matinee, or perhaps you'll head to one of the more than 100 museums NYC has to offer.
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: In the Tick Tock Diner.
Morning: We will board our private motorcoach for a full-day field trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. An art historian 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. You may stay as long as you like and take a taxi back to the hotel on your own.
Dinner: At a local Irish Pub, 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 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. 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!