Afternoon: Hotel Check-in: Available from 3:00 p.m. Program Registration: After you have your room assignment, come over to the Road Scholar desk in the lobby and pick up your arrival packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule we will review during Orientation, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet at the front desk when you check in.
Dinner: We will have dinner out at a neighborhood restaurant within walking distance of the hotel.
Evening: Orientation: The Group Leader will greet you with a warm welcome and introduce everyone. We will review the up-to-date daily program schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. During free time, the Group Leader will often be available to guide informal excursions, activities, or meals not included in the program. You are welcome to join if you wish, with any associated costs (if any) on your own, or explore independently. Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. The remainder of the evening is free to continue getting to know your fellow participants. Settle in to your room and get a good night’s sleep for the full day tomorrow.
Breakfast: Corner Bakery located at 360 N. Michigan Avenue. 0.11 miles from the hotel.
Morning: Mark Twain wrote in 1883, “It is hopeless for the occasional visitor to try to keep up with Chicago. She outgrows his prophecies faster than he can make them.” Led by an expert, we will have a motorcoach exploration to learn about Chicago history, the immigrants and neighborhoods who gave it a rich culture and texture, and the movers and shakers whose influence made it a world-class city. We begin our journey north along Michigan Avenue to Lake Shore Drive and up to Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs. As time and traffic allow, we will stop at various locations along the way.
Lunch: Enjoy traditional Greek food at a neighborhood restaurant in Greektown, setting of the fictional "My Big Fat Greek Wedding."
Afternoon: Continuing our motorcoach introduction to the city, we ride through Chinatown and down past U.S. Cellular Field (formerly Comiskey Park), home of the Chicago White Sox, to the Hyde Park neighborhood, home of the University of Chicago and longtime personal residence of President Obama. We continue to Planetarium Point and conclude in the city’s “front yard” -- Grant Park -- at the fabulous Buckingham Fountain inspired by Versailles.
Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the foods of your choice. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. You may also join the Group Leader for dinner at your own cost if you like. Please see attachment to preparatory materials for a full list of area restaurants.
Evening: At leisure. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities in the Information Packet. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions, give directions, and will also lead an informal excursion or activity you are welcome to join at your cost (if any).
Breakfast: at Corner Bakery
Morning: This morning, before heading out, we will have an expert-led lecture based on the 1893 Columbian World Exposition, its impact on Chicago and the United States. After the lecture we will head out for a deeper understanding of the rich history of this city. We will take the bus for an expert-led field trip to the Chicago History Museum. This institution houses 22 million historical artifacts and documents from Chicago and U.S. history, with an emphasis on five main areas: Living, Working and Governing in the Metropolitan Area, the Built Environment, and Individuals and Ideas. Gain a better understanding of Chicago’s past, its present, and prospects for the future.
Lunch: You will have the opportunity to enjoy lunch at the Art Institute in a private room.
Afternoon: After lunch we will have an expert-led exploration of the world-famous Art Institute of Chicago where you will hone your knowledge of and appreciation for art. Highlights of the permanent collection -- comprising more than 300,000 works in different media -- include “American Gothic,” the famed Chagall Windows and the Thorne Miniature Rooms. Led by art educator Joe Cunniff, we will have an introduction to key galleries, followed by free time to explore in greater depth on your own.
Dinner: At a local restaurant within walking distance of the hotel.
Breakfast: at Corner Bakery.
Morning: This morning at the hotel, we are joined by Professor Zbigniew Banas to learn about Chicago's power brokers, past and present, whose influence has made the city what it is today. Professor Banas will also discuss the notorious, flamboyant political history of “the windy city” (so called, legend says, for loud, long-winded politicians and the many conventions hosted here). After the lecture we will board our bus to begin a day at the world-class Field Museum of Natural History. It originated in 1893 as the Columbian Museum of Chicago. The name was later changed to honor the generosity of benefactor Marshall Field and to better reflect a focus on the natural sciences. During an expert-led exploration, learn about the museum’s work and collections.
Lunch: We will have our midday meal at the Field Museum.
Afternoon: Continue your exploration of this iconic Chicago museum, with free time to delve into exhibits that interest you. Among its collections, you can learn about gems, dinosaurs, mummies, Africa, the Pacific, the Ancient Americas, Pawnee Indians, and much more. The lakefront campus is also home to the Adler Planetarium and the Shedd Aquarium, together regarded as among the finest of their kind in the world. Bus will depart the Field Museum at 1pm. You are welcome to stay and continue exploring or you may return to the hotel for an afternoon and evening on your own. If you choose to remain at the museum, you will need to find transportation back to the hotel, at your expense.
Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the foods of your choice. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. You may also join the Group Leader for dinner at your own cost if you like..
Evening: Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities in the Information Packet. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions, give directions, and will also lead an informal excursion or activity you are welcome to join at your cost (if any).
Breakfast: at Corner Bakery.
Morning: Aboard a bus we head to the Federal Reserve Bank, where you will gain a deeper understanding of its functions, responsibilities and operations during an expert-led exploration. The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago is one of 12 regional Reserve Banks across the country that, with the Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., serve as the central bank for the U.S. The landmark building has a rich architectural history. We will continue to the Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower), tallest building in the western hemisphere at 1,450 feet (443 meters) high -- 1,730 feet (520 meters) including the twin antenna towers. A film about the building’s construction and history sets the stage for ascending to the Sky deck on the 103rd floor, highest observation deck in the U.S., where you can step onto a glass box balcony that extends four feet outside!
Lunch: At a restaurant within walking distance to the river cruise boat dock.
Afternoon: None other than Frank Lloyd Wright said, “It [modern architecture] all started here…" Our study cruise this afternoon presents more of Chicago’s extraordinary architecture and related social history. By necessity due to geographical limitations, Chicago’s business leaders had to look upwards to expand after the devastating Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Within less than a decade, new building techniques pushed the city’s skyline ever higher. Some of the world’s greatest architects, supported by visionary business leaders, built not just higher but sleeker and more sophisticated. And it was not only skyscrapers that forged a unique identity. Debris from the great fire created the base of Grant Park. The Merchandise Mart -- once the epicenter of high design and luxury goods, owned for half a century by the Kennedy family -- is the world’s largest commercial building. Chicago also has more moveable bridges than any city in the world including an engineering wonder, the Michigan Avenue Bridge, one of the city’s foremost thoroughfares. Learn about all this and much more during this cruise with expert commentary.
Dinner: Enjoy a tasty farewell dinner at a neighborhood restaurant located in the John Hancock Center.
Breakfast: at Corner Bakery.
Morning: We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures, and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys!