Day 1 You'll See:
- Mark Twain Cave
- Cameron Cave
- Jim Waddell - Mark Twain Impersonator
- Sawyer's Creek Family Fun Park & Restaurant
Day 2 You'll See:
- Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum
- Mark Twain Himself
- Mark Twain Clopper
- Hannibal Trolley Company Sightseeing Tours
- Tom Sawyer Diorama
You’ve enjoyed his colorful writings, and shared and discussed them with your students; why not give life to the words that have delighted countless readers the world over with a trip to Mark Twain’s Hannibal in beautiful Northeast Missouri? You’ll visit his boyhood home and experience the neighborhood he grew up in - rich in regional charm - exploring relevant historic highlights by horse drawn carriage and open air trolley. You’ll journey deep into the ancient caves that held special fascination for a young Twain , delight to a world-class performance by the best Samuel Clemens impersonator in the business, while away a lazy afternoon at Sawyer’s Creek Family Fun Park on the Mighty Mississippi – and more!
The Mark Twain Cave
Earliest documentation claims this cave was first discovered in the winter of 1819-1820 when Jack Simms and his dog were out hunting and chased a panther into a small opening on the side of a hill. Since it was late in the day, he blocked the entrance and went home, then returned with his brother and torches the next – and was amazed at what they found! You and your young spelunkers will have an opportunity to re-discover all the natural wonder, beauty and history that this cave - written about in five of Twain’s works - has to offer. Mark Twain tells us: “I got lost in there myself with a lady and our candle was knocked out by a bat...we were in there for 3 days and 2 nights.” You may not get lost while exploring this popular Show Me State attraction, but your imaginations can’t help but run wild as you descend into the very same dark, damp and mysterious recesses of the Earth plundered by a young and adventurous Twain!
Next up: another Mark Twain Country cavern adventure, this time in Missouri's newest show cave, first discovered on a cold, wintery day in 1925 by Arch Cameron, whose family opened the Mark Twain Cave. While tending cattle on his property, he saw steam swirling from the ground, then noticed a sinkhole, and started digging away at the hot ledge. Further exploration revealed a cave much larger and incredibly more complex than Mark Twain Cave – and it’s awaiting your students’ amazed “ooohs and ahhhs!” *This cave is accessible to guests Memorial Day through Labor Day, or with special reservations.
Jim Waddell – Mark Twain Impersonator
Hold onto your hats! Cave Hollow Theatre presents celebrated wordsmith and entertainer Jim Wadell, artfully weaving the yarns so familiar to Mark Twain readers from some of the country’s most treasured literature. Waddell’s authenticity is praised by Twain scholars around the world, and you and your students will catch a live performance at Mark Twain Cave's Cave Hollow Complex. Twain was world-renowned for his stage routines, and Wadell, with 30 years of experience - brings his characters and stories roaring to life with amazing ease!
Sawyer’s Creek Family Fun Park & Restaurant
This popular family fun destination nestled on the scenic banks of the Mighty Mississippi directly across from the Mark Twain Cave and Campground tenders student groups a perfect afternoon’s entertainment. Whether you’re an avid mini-golfer, a pinball wizard, a bumper-boat Master Mariner, Lord of the Lasers or really just want to feed the ducks and fish, Sawyer’s Creek is the place to be. The Sweet Shop serves up a delightful selection of homemade candies, fudge, freshly-popped popcorn specialties and hand-dipped ice cream treats along with a tasty menu of lunchtime favorites, and the Gift Shop is well-stocked with an array of colorful Hannibal-themed souvenirs! Grab a snack and head for the shady tables in the peaceful garden-on-the-water setting or watch the riverboats and wildlife over lunch or dinner at the Riverview Café, where every table boasts unsurpassed views of the Mississippi!
Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum
Rise and shine! Day Two in Mark Twain’s Hannibal begins with a visit to the place where the beloved author and brilliant stage presence grew up for a fascinating, fun and informative morning tour of eight historic structures, including the landmark Boyhood Home of Samuel Langhorne Clemens – aka, Mark Twain.
Mark Twain Himself (Based on Availability)
Talented actor Richard Garey whisks audiences at Hannibal's Planters Barn Theater back more than 100 years to Mark Twain’s heyday with his nationally acclaimed “Mark Twain Himself” performance. Chockfull of Twain wit and wisdom and packed with rollicking comedy suitable for the entire family, this “Samuel Clemens” extravaganza features stories, insights, and “Twainisms” on topics ranging from politics to education, and will have you chuckling with Tom Sawyer and experiencing the world through the eyes of Huckleberry Finn as if they were seated right beside you!
Mark Twain Clopper
All aboard! You and your students will step back in time on Glen Yoder’s popular twenty minute narrated horse-drawn tour that gets you out and around historic Hannibal’s charmingly reawakened downtown. Mr. Yoder’s delightful sight-seeing jaunt has been a favorite of Mark Twain aficionados’ for more than 20 years!
Hannibal Trolley Company Sightseeing Tours
You and your students are pulling out all the stops today! This next river town adventure is a wonderfully narrated 14-mile tour of Mark Twain’s Historic Hannibal aboard an open-air trolley. Passengers are afforded the opportunity to step off and explore each attraction at their leisure before resuming this popular and entertaining tour of the author’s stomping grounds.
Tom Sawyer Diorama
Once inside the tidy North Main Street historic storefront that started life as a candy store you and your students will discover an amazing collection of sixteen hand-carved miniature scenes by renowned diorama artist Art Sieving illustrating the life and times of Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer. The series of colorful dioramas – truly a treat for all ages - tenders an excellent cross-section of life in Hannibal in the 1840's and shares quarters with a full-service yarn and gift shop.