Day 1 You'll See:
- Concord Museum
- Minuteman National Historic Park
- National Heritage Museum
- Harvard Square
- Boston Harbor Sunset Cruise
Day 2 You'll See:
Day 3 You'll See:
- Freedom Trail
- Faneuil Hall & Marketplace
- USS Constitution Museum
- Old North Church
- Old South Meeting House
This fantastic 3-Day discovery campaign marches you and your young patriots around to some of Boston’s most popular historic attractions! You’ll hit the Freedom Trail, cruise beautiful Boston Harbor at sunset, trip the lantern light fantastic with the restless spirits of Burial Hill, step aboard “Mayflower II”, stop by Paul Revere’s home, experience the American Revolution firsthand at Minuteman National Park - and more.
Concord, Massachusetts boasts a long, rich American history. It was the site of the first battle in the American Revolution and the home of celebrated wordsmiths Henry Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Louisa May Alcott. At the Concord Museum, home to one of the oldest and most cherished collections of Americana in the country, the city’s role as a cultural center is celebrated throughout, in its ever-changing exhibits, in its galleries housing relevant displays of intriguing artifacts and in its care and authentically furnished period rooms. Here, as you browse myriad Colonial memorabilia, you’ll discover one of Paul Revere’s lanterns from the famous North Church tower, authentic weapons from the American Revolution and the contents of Thoreau’s Walden Pond house; you’ll even see Emerson’s study. A visit to the Concord Museum is the perfect way to kick off your group’s Pilgrims and Patriots Tour!
Minuteman National Historic Park
The Revolution comes roaring to life in all its fury as you explore the battlefields and structures associated with April 19, 1775, and brush shoulders with the American revolutionary spirit through the writings of the Concord authors. At the Minute Man Center, you and your group will enjoy an informative multimedia theater presentation outlining the events of that history-making, world-changing day, and an exciting array of ranger-led programs and demonstrations get you right into the thick of things- you ARE there! Experience the “combat area”, learn what battle training was like in 1775, witness a musket firing demonstration, view the Revolution from a Redcoat’s side of the fence, march the historic Battle Road Trail…and more!
National Heritage Museum (Lexington, MA self-guided)
Your group’s third stop on this exhilarating educational excursion will be The National Heritage Museum. This tidy-yet-venerable institution neatly tucked away on the Battle Trail of Lexington is a veritable hidden gem housing all manner of surprisingly wonderful treasure, with an emphasis on American history and Freemasonry at the core of its presentations. The Museum, founded and funded by the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the Scottish Rite, also houses the Van Gorden-Williams Library & Archives.
From the beginning, this historic center of Cambridge has been a happy hearth and gathering place for an endless stream of authors, poets, publishers, printers, teachers, students, and booksellers; over three centuries ago, the first printing press in this hemisphere set up shop here. It is home to the oldest and most prestigious university in America, was the center of the design world after WWII, the nest of 19th century abolitionist upheaval and 20th-century anti-war outrage, and has scored pivotal roles in a handful cinematic gems including Love Story and Good Will Hunting. The modern Harvard Square experience retains a hearty splash of that 17th-century ambiance, and more than eight million visitors per year flock to its bookstores, coffee shops, pizza joints and restaurants, charming old theatres, world-class galleries and eclectic shopping possibilities. P.S.: Don’t forget to stop by LA Burdick’s for some chocolate mice!
Boston Harbor Sunset Cruise
To neatly tie off Day One of your Pilgrims and Patriots adventure, you and your crew will embark on an entertaining and educational Sunset cruise of historic natural estuary Boston Harbor. These 90 minute excursions get you out onto the water where you’ll enjoy boatloads of popular legend and lore, breathtaking views of the nation's oldest continuously-manned lighthouse, the Harbor Islands National Park Area and Boston's working port, a peek at the “lush life” on the waterfront, and the best seat in the house to catch the USS Constitution’s evening ritual as she fires her cannon and lowers her flag, ceremoniously signaling the day's end.
Plymouth Plantation & Mayflower II
You and your students will get an authentic feel for the Pilgrim’s arduous 17th century voyage across the Atlantic as you board the full-scale Mayflower reproduction, Mayflower II. Close your eyes, fill your lungs with the bracing sea air, then open them wide and take a good look around: you’ll at once marvel and wonder how in Heaven’s name 102 people could cram themselves and their belongings onto such a small vessel – for 10 weeks at sea! At Plymouth Plantation, you’re whisked back to the 1600s, to visit an authentic Wampanoag Homesite, explore a recreated English village, and browse the bustling Craft Center – where everything on the Plantation - from Native implements and regalia to traditional cabinetry, pottery and clothing - is painstakingly crafted, the old-world way by skilled artisans. You’ll even meet the hardy – albeit unusual - Heritage Livestock of Nye Barn and tour a working grist mill!
Paul Revere House
Everyone is familiar with Paul Revere - the hard-charging, midnight-riding Patriot and enduring icon of the American Revolution. The son of a French immigrant artisan, the industrious and multi-talented Revere left this world a modestly well-to-do businessman and a popular local figure of some note and no less than sterling reputation. An obituary in the Boston Intelligence commented, "seldom has the tomb closed upon a life so honorable and useful." Self-guided tours let you and your students study the tidy and well-preserved two-story family home much as Revere left it the night of his famous ride. As downtown Boston’s oldest structure, it stands as a true memorial to American revolutionary history, sheltering wonderful exhibits that are, at once, a tribute to the legendary Paul Revere and a fitting memorial to Post-Revolution American life.
Bunker Hill Monument
The Battle of Bunker Hill pitted a colonial army in its infancy against the highly-trained British. Despite considerable shortcomings, the colonists 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 colonists greatly surprised them by repelling two major assaults and visiting great casualties on the Redcoats. 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 fellow 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. Feeling energetic? Jog the 294 steps to the top for exclusive panoramic views of Boston and the surrounding area!
Dead of Night Ghost Tours
After a pleasing evening’s repast, you and your young charges will meet up with your friendly area paranormal investigator who’ll neatly marshal one and all through Burial Hill, Plymouth’s oldest cemetery, on a truly “spirited” 90-minute ghost hunting expedition. Be ready; your tender ears will be filled with local legend and lore just oozing “mystery and macabre.” See the original burial site of the Pilgrims and wend your way down one of the oldest streets in America toward Town Square, said to be forever cursed by King Philip. You’ll marvel at tombstones dating back to the 1600s, pick up a few handy tips on deciphering “cryptic” effigies and epitaphs, and discover why restless spirits continue to roam these wicked, winding paths. You’ll even learn how to capture any apparitions you may encounter on film!
Freedom Trail (with Boston Tour Guide)
Rise and shine, sleepyheads! You and your young patriots are in for a true Boston treat. A 90-minute guided gambol down this well-worn 2.5-mile brick-lined path will take you around to more than a dozen historically significant Freedom Trail landmarks - the Old North Church, Boston Common, the Old Corner Book Store, the Boston Massacre Site and the Paul Revere House among them – and 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!
Faneuil Hall and Marketplace Faneuil Hall and Marketplace
A post-trail break at Faneuil Hall and Marketplace - a revered meeting hall and historic landmark established way back in 1742 – nicely rounds out your Day 3 morning. It’s a popular gathering spot, tendering visitors a rich diversity of live entertainment, fantastic shopping at dozens of retailers and a pleasing plethora of 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 frequently referred to as "the Cradle of Liberty", this is the place to pick up your Boston sweatshirts, sample baked beans, enjoy a bowl of creamy clam chowder and fortify a dwindling stash of – wait for it - Boston tea bags.
USS Constitution Museum
Inside, you and your students will encounter the largest assemblage of USS Constitution-related objects displayed in any one location. The impressive collections – which encompass a wide range of artifacts spanning the 200+ year history of the venerable wooden-hulled warship - focus on “Old Ironside’s” origin, her crew, the nickname she earned during a battle of the War of 1812, 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. The Museum Store showcases a “boatload” of USS Constitution-themed merchandise - coins, stamps, jewelry, artwork, apparel and more; you’re certain to haul up that perfect memento of your visit!
Old North Church
“One, if by land, and two, if by sea;” while you’re familiar with Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “Paul Revere’s Ride”, perhaps you’ve forgotten the story behind the verse! 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 aloft two lanterns as a signal from Paul Revere that the British were, indeed, advancing to Lexington and Concord by sea across the Charles River - the most expeditious approach possible – not by land. 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 look at the Old North and its important place in history, and promise to send you and your students on your way with a rousing visual to accompany Longfellow’s famous words.
Old South Meeting House
Last – but certainly not least - on your Pilgrims and Patriots itinerary, this important colonial landmark is more than just another stop on the Freedom Trail. A visit to this 1729 Puritan Meeting House lets you and your young charges stand in the very place the Boston Tea Party was launched in 1773. Browse the “Voice of Protest” Exhibit; you’ll encounter a variety of authentic artifacts including tea leaves and a tea crate label from the actual Boston Tea Party, a 3-D model of colonial Boston more than a century old, John Hancock's portable writing desk and a first-edition 1773 book by slave and poet Phillis Wheatley. Exciting special events are calendared year-round; there’s always plenty to see, do and hear at the Old South Meeting House, and The Museum Shop tenders an array of relevant, high-quality souvenirs – something for everyone.