Day 1 You'll See:
- Boston Common
- Freedom Trail
- Boston Massacre Site
- Old North Church
- Bunker Hill Monument
- USS Constitution Museum
Day 2 You'll See:
Day 3 You'll See:
Day 4 You'll See:
Even the most enthusiastic young scholars need a break from routine; a little downtime and a fresh, new perspective can only enhance the learning process! Why not get them out of the classroom and off on the learning adventure of a lifetime on this exciting East Coast excursion? This dream-trip is jam-packed with Boston Highlights – you’ll visit historic landmarks along the Freedom Trail, team up for Boston’s most popular scavenger hunt, peruse the bookstores of Harvard Square and shop the Marketplace at Faneuil Hall, toss some tea into Boston Harbor, browse world-class museums and tour the home of the Boston Red Sox on this fabulously fun and immensely educational four-day re-charge. P.S.: baked beans, fish and chips and clam chowder are absolute musts on this delightful restorative lark!
Boston Common is located at the southern end of the Freedom Trail – easily the oldest public park in the world. Today, it’s the anchor for the Emerald Necklace, a system of connected parks that winds its way through many of Boston's neighborhoods. The "Common" has proven a versatile public venue throughout its long history: British troops camped on the grounds before marching into fierce colonial resistance at Lexington and Concord, public hangings were “common” there up until 1817, and fat cattle happily grazed on its green acreage from the 1600s up until 1830; today, it welcomes all manner of formal and informal gatherings. On October 21, 2006, the Common became the site of a new world record, when 30,128 Jack-o'-lanterns were lit simultaneously around the 50-acre park at the Life is good Pumpkin Festival!
A 90-minute gambol down this oft-traveled 2.5-mile brick-lined path will get your student group around to 16 historically significant Freedom Trail landmarks - the Old North Church, the Old Corner Book Store, the Boston Massacre Site, Copp’s Hill Burying Ground and the Paul Revere House among them - and all along the way, you’ll hear the fascinating true tales of the plucky Bostonians and colonialists who dared challenge Britain and went on to establish the greatest republic in the world!
Boston Massacre Site
In front of the old State House, also known as Boston's "Towne House", your students will find a ring of cobblestones marking the site of the Boston Massacre. Tensions between the colonialists and occupying Redcoats ran high that March in 1770, and a minor squabble between young Edward Garrick - a wigmaker's apprentice - and a hot-headed British sentry of the surname White quickly escalated into a deadly riot when White cracked the Garrick in the face with the butt of his musket. Soldiers coming to the aid of the sentry were met with an onslaught of sticks, stones, snowballs, and other such crude weapons of the moment, and fired directly into the angry crowd, killing five colonialists. Samuel Adams and other patriots dubbed the unfortunate event a "bloody massacre".
Old North Church
“One, if by land, and two, if by sea;” young scholars everywhere are familiar with Longfellow’s “Paul Revere’s Ride.” On the evening of April 18, 1775, Robert Newman, and Vestryman Capt. John Pulling, Jr. climbed the Old North Church steeple – at the time, the tallest building in Boston - and held high two lanterns as a signal from Paul Revere that the British were, indeed, marching to Lexington and Concord by sea across the Charles River - the most expeditious approach possible - and not by land. (This was actually a back-up plan; Revere was able to complete his daring ride and issue a timely warning to his fellow countrymen.) Founded in 1722 as Christ Church, it’s Boston’s oldest surviving church building and most visited historical site; popular 30-minute guided tours tender guests an engaging, in-depth look at the Old North and its crucial role in history. When next you hear “Paul Revere’s Ride,” you’ll have a perfect visual to accompany those famous words!
Bunker Hill Monument
The Battle of Bunker Hill – the first major conflict of the American Revolution - pitted a newly formed and quite inexperienced colonial army against the highly trained British. Despite the colonialists’ considerable tactical impediment, they marched under the skillful command of such men as Colonel William Prescott, Colonel John Stark, and General Israel Putnam - men who’d amassed plenty of experience fighting alongside the British in the French and Indian War. Although the British Army ultimately prevailed in the battle, the colonialists greatly surprised the British by repelling two major assaults and inflicting great casualties. The original monument to the Battle of Bunker Hill was an 18-foot wooden pillar with a gilt urn erected in 1794 by King Solomon's Lodge of Masons in honor of fallen patriot and mason, Dr. Joseph Warren. In 1823, a group of prominent citizens formed the Bunker Hill Monument Association to construct a more permanent, significant monument commemorating the famous battle; the existing 221-foot granite obelisk was completed in 1842 and dedicated on June 17, 1843, in a major national ceremony. The old admonition, "Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes!" is said to have been uttered by Colonel William Prescott himself, and has come to immortalize the steely resolve of the ill-equipped colonialists battling for their lives – and freedom from the British monarchy.
USS Constitution Museum
Once inside, you and your students will marvel at the largest assemblage of USS Constitution-related objects displayed anywhere. The collections – which encompass a wide range of artifacts spanning the 200+ year history of the venerable warship - focus on “Old Ironside’s” origin, the story behind her nickname, her role in the early republic and her part in the present day. Through the showcasing of personal possessions including images, journals, and correspondence, the museum endeavors to bring the story of the oldest U.S. commissioned vessel afloat to life.
Boston Mad Dash Scavenger Hunt
After a delightful turn through Faneuil Hall, get ready to rumble – it’s time to “do” the Boston Mad Dash! The East Coast’s premium ultimate scavenger hunt, now in its 14th year, takes place in the heart of Boston, utilizing all its surrounding areas to bring its players the ultimate in friendly competition, a-Rockin' alternative to standard sightseeing, endless giggles, and lifetime memories! Your students may choose from a broad variety of 2 ½ hour games including special seasonal events and teambuilding options; as a special bonus, you’ll receive the photos and videos from your group’s Dash, ensuring endless laughs long after you’ve left Boston!
This fabulous institution - a department of MIT - invites you and your young itinerants to browse its exciting series of interactive exhibitions, public programs, experimental projects, and renowned collections showcasing the fascinating world of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The museum’s range of ever-fresh exhibits and assemblage of more than 1,000,000 artifacts, prints, rare books, technical archives, drawings, photographs, films and holograms dating from 7th century BCE to today are all carefully arranged to reflect the wide interests of the MIT Community across the years and awaken an appreciation of scientific, artistic and technological innovations in the modern world.
From its foundation, this historic center of Cambridge has been a happy hearth and gathering place for authors, poets, publishers, printers, teachers, students, and booksellers; more than 300 years ago, the first printing press in this hemisphere set up shop in Harvard Square. It’s also home to the oldest and most prestigious university in America, was the center of the post-WWII design world, the nest of 19th century abolitionist upheaval, and 20th-century anti-war outrage, and has earned pivotal roles in a handful of cinematic gems including Love Story and Good Will Hunting. The modern Harvard Square experience recalls a hearty splash of that 17th-century ambiance, and annually draws over 8 million visitors to its bookstores and coffee shops, great pizzas, charming old theatres, world-class galleries, and truly eclectic shopping possibilities. Don’t forget to drop by LA Burdick’s for some world-famous chocolate mice!
Harvard Museum of Natural History
This institution hosts the largest and most important natural history collection in the world, featuring 80 million specimens, ranging from microscopic slides to mammoth skeletons. Established in 1998 as the “public face” of a trio of research museums — the Museum of Comparative Zoology, the Harvard Mineralogical and Geological Museum, and the Harvard University Herbaria – the Harvard Museum of Natural History presents the incomparable collections of its parent museums in a series of unforgettable exhibitions. Your student group will encounter a spellbinding cross-section of the diversity of life on earth in an array of creative multi-media presentations – you’ll meet a terrifying T-Rex, view the Wold Cottage Meteorite, discover the dramatic forces of nature in the Volcanoes and Earthquakes gallery and marvel at rare and wonderful insect collections. The breathtaking, unbelievably delicate and lifelike Blaschka Glass Flowers and Sea Creatures models promise to astonish, while other special exhibits illustrate unique perspectives on our ever-changing world: explore Thoreau’s Maine Woods - A Journey in Photographs and hear the tragic story of a bird that once filled the skies in Final Flight, The Extinction of the Passenger Pigeon.
New England Aquarium
In addition to a brilliant Marine Rescue Team that saves and rehabilitates injured and sick seals and the largest shark and ray touch tank on the East Coast, the New England Aquarium is jam-packed with so much to see and do, your student group won’t ever want to leave! Here, thousands of aquatic residents happily await your visit; peek into a penguin’s burrow, spy on a mysterious giant Pacific octopus and meet mystical moon jellies, entertaining balloon fish and delicate leafy sea dragons. Hang out with troops of wriggling seals and lumbering sea lions, explore an Amazon Rainforest or catch a popular 3D flick on New England’s largest movie screen. The Aquarium's awesome Animal Encounters let you customize your group’s visit—perch atop the 4-story Giant Ocean Tank, meet an animal for lunch or get behind the scenes of your favorite exhibits during these special 45-minute programs offered twice daily.
Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum
After the aquarium adventure, you and your young patriots will head off to the floating Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum for a “revolutionary” interactive experience not to be missed! These one-of-a-kind, one-hour Tea Party tours let you mix it up with the “colonialists,” explore authentically restored tea ships, enjoy a stirring multi-sensory presentation and dump your bale of Boston Tea overboard just as the Sons of Liberty did that fateful night of December 16, 1773. Afterward, pop by Abigail’s Tea Room for teatime then drops by the Gift Shop for those perfect Tea Party souvenirs!
Boston Harbor Cruise
After a rousing Boston Tea Party experience, you and your students will embark on an entertaining and educational Historic Sight Seeing Cruise of Boston Harbor! These splendid 90-minute excursions ferry you out onto the sparkling water where you’ll enjoy plenty of good ol’ ear-bending and an excellent view of local highlights including breathtaking views of the nation's oldest continuously-manned lighthouse, the Harbor Islands National Park Area, Boston's working port and a glimpse or two of “the lush life” on the stunning waterfront.
JFK Library and Museum
Next up: a tour of an impressive tribute to our nation’s 35th president, perfectly situated on ten idyllic acres overlooking Boston Harbor, Dorchester Bay, and the Atlantic Ocean he so loved. The JFK Library and Museum artfully portray the life, leadership, and legacy of President John F. Kennedy while conveying his unwavering enthusiasm for politics and public service and deftly illustrating the nature of the office of the President through its assemblage of engaging multimedia exhibits such as The Campaign Trail, The Briefing Room, The Space Race, The Oval Office, First Lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, and The Kennedy Family.
Museum of Science
Renowned for developing fabulous, innovative, and interactive exhibits and programs that both entertain and educate, the Boston Museum of Science affords guests of all ages a delightful foray into the wide, wonderful world of science and technology. Mugar Omni Theater’s towering five-story screen joins forces with state of the art film technology to bring big-screen buffs a thrilling IMAX experience; if movies aren’t your thing, strikeout and explore the museum’s 700 interactive exhibits! Catch an awesome laser show at the Charles Hayden Planetarium or tiptoe gingerly through a butterfly garden. Wander a bit, and you’ll meet triceratops Cliff and his fossilized “cohorts,” uncover the rise and fall of the Mayan Civilization and learn how turbines transform wind into Green Energy. You may even find yourself face to face with tiny Robo Bees, elect to chip away at intriguing Natural Mysteries, or try your hand at unraveling perception-bending Mind Games and Optical Illusions; the world is, indeed, your oyster at Boston’s Museum of Science!
Faneuil Hall and Marketplace
A stop by Faneuil Hall and Marketplace – the revered meeting hall and historic landmark established way back in 1742 – nicely rounds out Day Four of your educational adventure. It’s a popular gathering spot, tendering visitors a diversity of entertainment, fantastic shopping at over 70 retailers and wonderful dining options; it’s also the home of the world-famous Quincy Market Colonnade and the Finch and Bull – the watering hole made famous in the long-running mega-hit television sitcom, “Cheers.” A well-known stop on the Freedom Trail, Faneuil Hall is sometimes referred to as "the Cradle of Liberty"; this is “the” place to pick up those Boston sweatshirts, sample Boston baked beans, enjoy a bowl of creamy Boston clam chowder and fortify your dwindling stash of Boston tea bags!
You’ll wrap up day four of your fantastic East Coast adventure with a stop by iconic Fenway Park; opened in 1912, it’s home, sweet home to the Boston Redsox and “America's Most Beloved Ballpark", a place where dreams are made, traditions are celebrated and baseball “is forever.” Take your seat atop the world-famous 37 foot “Green Monster,” see “Pesky’s Pole”, and check out the lone “Red Seat” in the right-field bleachers. Experienced tour guides provide Sox fans thrilling, one-hour walking tours of Fenway, “the Pulse of the Redsox Nation” and the oldest major league ballpark in use today!