A Senior Class Trip to Washington D.C. with Some Fun Sprinkled On Top

by Howard Clemens

For high school seniors, two events define their final year: the senior class trip and the prom. Spring is the time to celebrate senior year together by taking one last trip as a class. For those student trips looking for excitement and world class entertainment, a trip in and around the Washington D.C. may be in order. Here are some ideas on what to include on an itinerary for a senior class trip that will be unforgettable.

A Day at the Beach: Ocean City Maryland
What better way is there to spend at least one day on the senior class trip then at the beach relaxing, sunning and enjoying the surf. Ocean City, Maryland is just a short bus ride from Washington D.C. and provides one of the widest beaches and largest boardwalks on the East Coast. Students can spend some time on the beach, then head for the boardwalk to visit arcades, amusement parks, and shop for souvenirs.

Go to the Game: See the Washington Wizards and Washington Capitols in the Spring or the Baltimore Orioles in Summer or Fall

Many students who visit from different areas of the United States do not live in towns or cities where there are major league baseball, hockey or football teams. A visit to the Washington D.C. area is the perfect opportunity to have a night out at the ballgame. Baltimore Orioles or Washington Nationals are an introduction to the major leagues for many students. In the early spring, student trips can see the Washington Wizards play basketball or the Washington Nationals play professional hockey. Whatever the student group leader’s preference for the choice of game, attendance is bound to be a great experience.

Spend the day at Six Flags America Theme Park

Just a half hour from downtown Washington D.C. is a student favorite: the Six Flags America Theme Park. There are serious roller coasters and other thrilling rides as well as a water park. Entertainment includes live music and performances all day long and into the evening. Student groups can enjoy a diverse choice of food, shopping, and games when they take a break from rides.

Dance the Night Away on a Spirit D.J. Dinner Dance Cruise on the Potomac River
Washington D.C. Spirit Cruises has a special event that appeals to young audiences: they host some of the best DJs in Washington D.C. for the evening. Students will definitely remember the Dinner Dance Cruise on the Potomac River. They will have a Grande Buffet Dinner and enjoy a three-hour cruise of Washington harbor with panoramic views of the city, including some of the monuments.

Take in a Show: Medieval Times Dinner Show or a Broadway Dinner Show
Students trips that journey a short distance into Maryland will be intrigued by the Medieval Times Dinner Show, which includes a jousting tournament with knights in armor who also fight with swords as entertainment. A four-course meal is served during the tournament. If the group is not in the mood for a medieval tournament, then perhaps a Broadway Dinner Show would be in order. The Broadway shows that make it to Washington D.C. are on par with those performed regularly in Manhattan. Many of the most popular Broadway musicals, such as Wicked and High School Musical have been performed in the area.

For a senior class trip, the choices for entertainment in and around the Washington D.C. area are interesting, fun, and memorable. Washington D.C. is more than the nation’s capital; it is also a diverse, large urban area with many different choices for dining and entertainment. Remember to book a senior class trip to Washington D.C. with a qualified educational travel consultant.

Take a Student Trip to Lowell, Massachusetts and Journey Back to the Beginning of the Industrial Revolution

by Howard Clemens

When bringing a student group to tour Boston, you may also want to consider adding a short excursion to Lowell, Massachusetts. Lowell was founded as a manufacturing town in the Merrimack Valley and is considered the “cradle of the American Industrial Revolution.” Also the birthplace of author Jack Kerouac, Lowell is rich with history and stories of the beginning of the United States.

Historical Sites of Interest to Student Groups
Lowell is home to the Lowell National Historical Park, a 141-acre park. Though it is not the first urban national park, it is the largest in the country. The park includes a Visitor Center, and many restored and un-restored sites from the 19th century. The Visitor Center provides a free self-guided student tour of the history of Lowell, including exhibits such as the patent model of a loom by local inventor S. Thomas. The visitor center also includes a 20 minute video entitled “Lowell: The Industrial Revolution.”

Right Outside of Boston, Mass. Lowell Provides Insight into the Industrial Revolution
The Boott Mills sit along the Merrimack River, on the Eastern Canal, and are the oldest and most fully restored manufacturing sites in the district. The Boott Mill provides a walk-through museum with living re-creations of the textile manufacturing process in the 19th century. Adjacent to the Boot Mills is the Tsongas Industrial History Center, a hands-on center where weaving, creating canals, testing water wheels and working on an assembly line are some of the interactive activities for students.
A walkway along the river leads to several additional un-restored mill sites, providing views of restored and un-restored canal raceways once used by the mills. Additionally, the park includes the Patrick J Mogan Cultural Center, which focuses on the lives of Lowell’s many generations of immigrants.

The park includes a 5.6 mile power canal system. Boat and trolley tours along the Pawtucket Canal are offered late Spring through fall. Reproductions of 1901 electric trolley cars operate Spring through Fall. Other exhibits include canal boat tours exploring some of the city’s gatehouses and locks and the River Transformed/Suffolk Mill Turbine Exhibit, which shows how water power, namely the Francis Turbine, was once used to run Lowell’s textile factories.

Lowell is also home to Lowell-Dracut-Tyngsboro State Forest, University of Massachusetts Lowell, Vandenberg Esplanade, and the University of Massachusetts Lowell Radiation Laboratory which houses a small nuclear reactor. Lowell is the birthplace of Jack Kerouac and Academy Award-winning actress Bette Davis. Jack Kerouac’s gravesite is in Lowell’s Edson Cemetery. Another literary historical site of interest to student tour groups is The Worthen House, where Edgar Allan Poe allegedly wrote “The Raven,” a story known to all American students.

Women’s History in Lowell, MA
The term “Lowell Mill Girls” is used to describe the city’s 19th century female textile workers, who comprised about 75 percent of the city’s textile workforce. In 1845, the women organized a group called the Lowell Female Labor Reform Association and demanded a ten-hour workday. The petition they sent to the Massachusetts General Court led to the first government investigations into labor conditions in the United States.

Lowell is also the birthplace of Mary Hallaran, former director of the United States Women’s Army Corps. When asked by a superior what someone of her short stature could do for the military, she famously replied, “You don’t have to be six feet tall to have a brain that works.”

Touring Lowell with Student Trips
The Western Avenue studios provide an artistic picture of Lowell’s culture for student groups. A converted mill on Western Avenue which houses over 160 working artists and musicians, the studios are open to the public on the 1st Saturday of each month from 12-5 p.m.

With Lowell’s textile history, it is particularly suited as home to the New England Quilt Museum. The Quilt Museum includes 150 quilts which showcase the history of American textiles in quilts and quilt tops. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and has special hours on Sundays from May through December. The museum also offers discount tickets to students.

Lowell, MA. is the Perfect Add on to a Boston Student Trip
The city uses old freight lines to run streetcars from the center of the city to many of the city’s historical destinations. It also runs a public transit bus system throughout the city and is connected to Boston through commuter rail making it easy for educational groups visiting Boston to add Lowell, Massachusetts to their itinerary. Your educational travel consultant can help you make the best arrangements for your student group.

Learn the Importance of Science and Math: Plan a Student Trip to Boston, MA

When it comes to science and math, student trips offer some of the most memorable and insightful experiences of a young person’s academic life. Boston, MA has long been considered one of the brightest spots for educational tours, as it offers customizable class trips to exciting destinations such as: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), The Boston Science Museum & the New England Aquarium. All of these venues showcase eye-opening exhibits highlighting: engineering, chemistry, space exploration, technology, medicine and much more.

Student Trips to MIT Celebrate the History of Science

MIT is home to some of the most innovative and profound breakthroughs in math and science in the world. If you’re planning a student trip, be sure to visit the Edgerton Center Corridor Lab (http://web.mit.edu/Edgerton/www/CorridorLab.html). This lab is filled with interactive displays that give students a hands-on demonstration of various scientific and engineering properties. The MIT Museum (http://web.mit.edu/museum/) has its share of wonders as well including Kismet, the world’s first sociable robot. Whether it’s holographic, oceanic or architectural, students are bound to find something that’s truly captivating.

The List Visual Arts Center is also located on MIT campus. Here students can explore the creative arts, science and mathematics, especially in the mixed-media art gallery. There are over 1,500 permanent pieces on display, and the center also frequently hosts temporary exhibitions by world-class artists such as Pablo Picasso and Michael Heizer.

Have a Hands-On Class Trip at the Boston Science Museum

The Boston Science Museum is a perfect destination for an upcoming math field trip, as space exploration is one of its most extensive exhibits. The museum includes over 700 permanent exhibits, as well as countless temporary exhibits and shows. For students of astronomy, the museum offers a planetarium with shows scheduled throughout the day. For students craving more visual stimulus, the museum also includes a high-end laser show, an HD 3D theatre that requires no glasses to witness, and an IMAX theatre. All in all, the museum offers an in-depth, exciting look into life sciences, earth and space sciences, math, physics and nanotechnology. And best of all, group rates are available for student trips.

Discover the Seas at the New England Aquarium

The New England Aquarium is a must-stop venue for any class trip. The aquarium sees over 1.5 million visitors per year, and they have experts standing by for customized educational tours (http://www.neaq.org/education_and_activities/index.php). With over 20,000 animals on site, student tours will get an intimate look at African penguins, Atlantic Harbor seals, sea dragons, and even a giant Pacific octopus.

One of the aquarium’s greatest draws is the 200,000-gallon salt-water tank. It stands over four stories tall and gives guests the opportunity to see a Caribbean ecosystem first-hand. The tank has over 600 species inside and can be viewed from all angles, including a view straight down into the coral reef from above.

For student groups interested in a Whale Watch, schedule a time to take the Voyager II, a high-speed catamaran that takes groups 30 miles off the coast of Boston to the whale feeding grounds. Voyager II leaves from the New England Aquarium dock. Whale watching is seasonal so check with an educational travel consultant to see if it is in sync with the student trip being planned.

Explore More on a Student Trip Boston

Boston has long been considered one of America’s brightest cities. Student trips can also include popular historic destinations in and around the city such as the Boston Commons, the Mayflower, Plymouth Rock, the Freedom Trail, Salem, Walden Pond, Faneuil Hall, the U.S.S. Constitution, Quincy Market and more. Its streets are lined with history, and its universities are admired throughout the world. An educational science tour through the halls of MIT will undoubtedly make a lasting impression. And whether it’s the vast expanses of space at the Museum of Science or the brimming life in our oceans at the New England Aquarium, one cannot help but feel a rare sense of awe and wonder at the utter complexity and magnificence of planet Earth and all its inhabitants.

Boston, Massachusetts is Ideal for Student Trips

If you are looking for a great destination for a history or social studies tour, Boston is an ideal choice for an educational trip with students. Boston, MA is a city steeped in American history from the Puritans who founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630 to the Boston Tea Party and the American Revolution to America’s first subway. Student tours in and around Boston are easily managed in what is known as the “Walking City.”

Boston is an indoor-outdoor museum of history and architecture. All educational trips to Boston should include at least a portion of the Freedom Trail. The Freedom Trail is 2.5 mile walking tour through Boston that winds its way around 16 significant historic sites from the USS Constitution to the Boston Commons. Guided tours are available for student groups but the Freedom Trail is well-marked and the Freedom Trail Foundation offers maps and other resources for educators at www.thefreedomtrail.org.

Educational Travel to Boston: Excursion to Lexington and Concord
Boston was one of the epicenters of the American Revolution. It was home to many famous patriots including Paul Revere, best remembered for his ride through the countryside warning the Minute Men that the British were marching toward Concord. Lexington and Concord, the sites of the first battles of the American Revolution, are just west of downtown Boston. Here history students can come face-to-face with the Daniel Chester French’s Minute Man statue and the Old North Bridge where the Massachusetts militia defeated the British shortly after the “shot heard ’round the world” was fired.

Adjacent to the Old North Bridge is the Old Manse, the ancestral home of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Nathaniel Hawthorne lived and wrote in the Old Manse for three years and Henry David Thoreau tilled a garden there for Hawthorne and his wife. Not far away, students can visit Walden Pond where Thoreau lived and wrote in semi seclusion for two years. History, social studies, and American literature almost come to life for students in Concord and Lexington, Massachusetts.

Student Trips to Boston Should Include Salem
A short jaunt north along the coast takes student groups to Salem, a town associated with one of the darkest and most fascinating episodes in American History: the Salem Witch Trials. The Salem Witch Museum takes student visitors back to Salem in 1692. The museum offers a dramatic history lesson through the use of stage sets, life-size figures, and a narrated overview of the Witch Trials. The museum also has an exhibit, Witches: Evolving Perceptions, examining the changing definitions of “witch” and “witchcraft,” stereotyping, witch hunts, and even the modern practice of Wicca. This exhibit also includes contemporary examples of witch hunts based on the “fear + trigger = scapegoat” formula, bringing the past into a present day perspective for students.

A Salem, Massachusetts building that will inspire students’ imaginations is the House of the Seven Gables, complete with a hidden staircase. Author Nathaniel Hawthorne, a descendent of Witch Trial judge, John Hawthorne, spent time in this house owned by his cousins, the Ingersols, when he was a child. Stories he heard about it merged with his family’s history in his dark romantic novel of the same name as the house. Hawthorne’s birthplace is now located on the grounds of the House of the Seven Gables as well.

Include Plymouth in Student Trips to Boston
A field trip to Boston, Massachusetts wouldn’t be complete without an excursion south along the coast to Plymouth. Here students can see Plymouth Rock where the Pilgrims first landed in 1620, visit the Mayflower II, and visit the living history museum, Plimoth Plantation. The plantation is located at the site of the first colony in New England. It recreates life in a Wampanoag village and a 1627 English settlement bringing two worlds together and to life making a great experience for students studying Native American and Colonial history. Teachers can find a variety of resources and curriculum guides for Plimoth Plantation on the museum’s Web site, www.plimoth.org.


Educational Trips to Boston are Enriching Experiences

Educational travel to Boston, Mass. can include many other points of interest like the New England Aquarium and the Museum of Science. Student trips to Boston can also feature whale watching trips or even a Boston Red Sox game. Contact an experienced educational travel consultant to help you plan the best trip for your student group.