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Student travel to Chicago, Illinois: A World of Possibilities


At Peak Performance Tours, we’ve been arranging student travel programs that include Chicago hot spots for years. We can therefore say with certainty that it is one group travel destination that has a lot of diverse activities on offer. To get a glimpse of what’s available, you may want to check-out this list of more than 20 different Chi-town tour stops that we’ve used in the past.

Chicago Skyline

Millennium Park:  It’s a sprawling 25-acre area that is situated on East Randolph Street, in between Columbus and Michigan Avenues. Included in the outdoor space are large sculptures, gardens, a theater, pavilion, restaurant and more.They are not the only attractions that Chicago has going for it either. So today, we wanted to mention some others. With a rich variety of culture and nature, Chicago has something for any type of student group.

The Art Institute of Chicago: With exceptional exhibitions year round, The Art Institute of Chicago is an ideal destination for any student group, whether on an educational or inspirational trip.

Bird Sanctuaries: Despite being a major metropolitan area, Chicago has a surprising number of bird sanctuaries. Three venues of note are the Bill Jarvis Migratory Bird Sanctuary, Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary and the McComick Bird Sanctuary. Each one offers students a chance to learn about, photograph and sketch Illinois’ diverse flora and fauna.

Museum of Contemporary Art: This is a perfect trip for a student group of artists or musicians.  With a diverse collection ranging from music to performance art to sculpture, there is something for any group looking for new and interesting experience.

Brookfield Zoo: If your group is looking for a fun and educational outing, try the Brookfield Zoo. They have a “Seven Seas” exhibit with an underwater view of the Bottlenose dolphin, a “Fragile Rainforest” exhibit which includes an African Giant Millipede and much, much more.

The Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum: This is another museum that would make a fun and educational trip. It’s also perfect for younger groups, as there is plenty for children do. Take a walk on the Nature Trail or visit the butterfly greenhouse.

Theater District:  Student travel groups may want to visit the city’s theater district. Some of the venues, like the Chicago Theatre, allow groups to rent space and enjoy guided tours. The list of additional venues that offer workshops and other services to student groups includes the Court Theatre, the Victory Gardens Theater and The School at Porchlight.

To learn more about these Chicago tour stops and discover others of note, please contact us at (800) 220-0165. Our student tour planners would love to chat. When you have time, you may also want to watch one of our informative webinars. They spotlight a variety of different Student travel destinations and change often.


Give a Magical Performance at Disney Performing Arts


Ask the next guy you meet on the street where to find the best performance opportunities for young people, and it's unlikely that Disneyland and Walt Disney World will be at the top of the list. Take another look—If you're a teacher or parent and aren't familiar with Disney's disney performing arts Onstage, formerly Magic Music Days allows bands, choir, orchestras and dance ensembles to perform on a disney stageprograms in instrumental music, vocal music, dance, and theatre, you're missing something spectacular. Traveling to Disney Performing Arts competitions, festivals, and workshops can be a memorable and educational experience for students, both on and off the stage.

The Stage: Inspiring Excellence. You and your group will have the chance to watch performances by (and perhaps even compete against) ensembles from around the country. Even if you're not participating in a competition, you'll receive constructive comments on the performance to help you in your teaching. In addition to these opportunities to perform, Disney also offers workshops taught by professionals in the arts and infused with fresh ideas to inspire your students to excel.

The Parks: An Educational Exploration. Today's Disney parks are about far more than talking mice and charming princes: take, for example Disney World's Epcot Center, where attractions focus on geography, history, science and technology. Students will be thrilled by the freedom to explore with their classmates, and parents can rest assured that they're doing so within a safe and educational setting.

For help in planning your group's Disney performance adventure, contact us. We'll figure out the logistics of your travel experience, allowing you to focus on what's most important: your students!


Baltimore - A Perfect Day Performance Tour…


Traveling with Peak Performance offers the added support of an on-site Tour Escort! The following is written by one of the fabulous Tour Escorts after a Performance Tour to Baltimore! 

Assuming, of course, that you live within 3 hours of Baltimore!  But let’s roll with that assumption and embrace all that Baltimore has to offer.  Picture a perfect spring morning - clear skies, bright sunshine - the beginning to a warm and breezy day.  Now think about starting that day at Ft McHenry.  Taking a trip back in time to the War of 1812 and theFort McHenry is a perfect performance destination for school music tours battle that would rage through the night inspiring Francis Scott Key to pen The Star Spangled Banner.  On a morning like this, it’s hard to imagine the conditions the soldiers had to endure, but it is easy to let your imagination take over as a Park Ranger explains the events that took place here and then to explore the nooks and crannies of this fort with your classmates that yield some interesting discoveries. Not the least among them being, if you stand straight up in the storage spaces you will bang your head!


From there it is just a 15 minute drive to Inner Harbor and one of my favorite outdoor performance venues.  Lunch time concerts here always draw and audience, especially on a day like this one.  These young people got themselves unpacked, set up and ready to share their joy in performing with passers-by and as a result many of those people became seated audience members.  Always fun to witness!  After the concert, a well deserved break - lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe!  Everyone always seems hungrier after they have finished performing - maybe it’s the adrenaline. 


After a yummy lunch and relaxation it’s over to the National Aquarium for a few hours of communing with the sea creatures!  This aquarium has so many different things to see and do, the kids are never at a loss for how to fill their time. Then it’s back on the bus and head for home.  Short and sweet, but oh so affordable and a perfect combo of education, performance and fun all in one day!


Entertaining and Educational: Boston Class Trips


Boston, Massachusetts is a great location for a class trip for a variety of reasons. First, Boston has a long history, and the city has a played a vital role throughout the history. The sites are entertaining as well as educational for middle school and high school age kids. If you are planning Boston Class Trips for your school, here are some of the sites you will not want to miss. of America. Also, Boston is home to some of the best sites dating back to the Revolutionary War.

USS Constitution

With these commissioned war ships still afloat, the USS Constitution is an interesting site in Boston. A tour of Old Ironsides provides visitors with a history lesson in the earliest days of the AmAs one of the old American Navy. The nearby USS Constitution Museum provides further information on the people associated with building and working on the ship.

Freedom Trail

Boston's Freedom Trail is a step back in time. The trail is a 2.5-mile trail that takes visitors past the top sixteen historic sites in Boston. These historical sites include Boston Common, the Old State House site of the Boston Massacre and the Bunker Hill Monument. Visitors on the trail can take a guide, the d tour and meet guides dressed in period costumes, telling the tales of those who played a significant role in historic events.

Take students to visit the famous house of Paul Revere

Paul Revere's House

The Paul Revere house is located on Boston's North End and lets visitors experience what it was like to live in the city during Revolutionary times. It also provides visitors with the full story of the life of Paul Rever and the role he played in the Revolution and his famous midnight ride. 

For more information about attractions in Boston and other destinations for student travel, contact us at Peak Performance Tours. We help educators plan and book travel for a variety of class trip options. Tourists can also get information on how they can retrace the steps of that famous ride through the streets of Boston.


Student Travel: A Look at the Tampa Bay Area’s Educational Venues


Tampa Bay, Florida, is situated in an area of Hillsborough County that is often included in student travel itineraries. The sheer variety of educational venues is part of the reason why many scholastic groups are attracted to Hillsborough. With that said, what follows is an outline of four student tour stops that tend to garner a good bit of attention:

1.) Straz Center for the Performing Arts (N. W.C. MacInnes Place)

The Straz Center for the Performing Arts is one student travel destination in Tampa Bay worth inquiring about. It offers access to works of art, sculptures, live performances, field trip programs, theatrical workshops, classes and dining opportunities. There are also a handful of theaters and a rehearsal hall on location that may be rented by visiting students and their educators.

2.) Tampa Museum of Art (W. Gasparilla Plaza)

The Tampa Museum of Art is another spot that is popular with student groups. The venue offers year round programming targeted towards children, families, educators, adults and groups. The list of programs includes such activities as onsite art camp, art classes, hands-on activities and guided tours of special art exhibits. In addition, the museum offers student travel groups opportunities to enjoy onsite dining, shopping and a large rental space.

3.) Florida Museum of Photographic Arts (N. Ashley Drive)

Student travel groups visiting the Tampa area also tend to appreciate visits to the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts. The venue’s staff runs excellent programs designed to help children explore the use of digital photography. Some of the venue’s offerings include hands-on photography workshops, children’s art shows, access to loaner cameras and guided tours of the museum’s exhibition areas. Student groups are welcome to visit the venue year round.

4.) Cracker Country Living History Museum (Orient Road)

History focused student groups may want to stop by Cracker County too. Unlike the other venues mentioned previously, it’s a living history museum. So the kids will have an opportunity to be thoroughly engaged in their studies from start to finish. The historical period covered by the museum’s displays presently runs from 1870 to the early 1900s. Guided tours for homeschoolers and other student groups are on offer at select times of the year.

For more information about these Florida attractions and other student travel destinations in and around Tampa Bay, please contact us at Peak Performance Tours. We can help educators arrange all aspects of student tours to Florida and beyond.The Starz Center for Performing Art offers performance opportunities


USA Student Travel: Destination Miami Beach, Florida


One USA student travel destination that you may want to put onto your radar this year is Miami Beach, Florida. Situated in the southeastern tip of The Sunshine State, it is part of the well settled County of Miami-Dade. Although many people associate the general area with sugar sand beaches, South Beach food festivals and spring break revelers, it offers much more than that.Have students visit the cultural hub of the New World Center in Miami

Wolfsonian-FIU Museum (Washington Avenue)

Take the Wolfsonian-FIU Museum as an example. Located in the bustling city’s Art Deco District, it is open daily year round. Friday evenings are a particularly fortuitous time to visit because admission fees are generally waived from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. The venue has an onsite café and offers guided tours, facility rentals and educational programs for students of various ages. Art exhibits change throughout the year.

Bass Museum of Art (Collins Avenue)

The Bass Museum of Art is also located in Miami-Dade County. It too is open year round and offers guided tours, special events, facility rentals and educational programs. Many of the art objects on display are associated with the contemporary, Baroque and Renaissance periods of world history.

ARTventure (Throughout the City)

In addition, Miami Beach is home to a series of public art displays that have been incorporated into an ARTventure Tour. The tour is well suited for USA student travel itineraries. Stops on the tour include, but are not restricted to the Sunset Island Art Bridge, the Fillmore Lawn Mermaid and the N. Shore Youth Center’s wall mural titled, Circle. A complimentary map and brochure highlighting the various art exhibits are available through the City of Miami Beach.

Ars Flores Symphony Orchestra

Thanks to venues like the Ars Flores Symphony Orchestra, USA student travel groups seeking music related activities won’t be disappointed either. They offer free concerts, master classes and other music themed events throughout the year, many of which are geared towards young children. It would pair perfectly with a tour of the New World Center.

New World Center (17th Street)

The New World Center is a superb place to visit with students interested in culture, architecture and orchestra music. It also happens to be a stop on the ARTventure tour. Guided tours of the venue are given throughout the year to both student groups and individuals. Furthermore, children centered concerts, educational programs, young artist competitions and music labs are available onsite too.

To learn more about these educational venues and other fantastic, USA student travel opportunities available in Miami-Dade County, please contact us at Peak Performance Tours.


Educational Tours in Missouri: 5 Sensational Stops in Springfield


Located less than an hour’s drive from Branson is the history filled City of Springfield, Missouri. At one time, it was home to Civil War soldiers, Native American tribes and famous pioneers like Wild Bill Hickok. As such, student groups visiting Missouri’s Ozarks Region have several options when it comes to educational tour stops. Among them are the following five Springfield attractions:

1.) Smallin Cave (North Smallin Road)

Why not start out by letting the kids visit Smallin Cave? It is a Civil War site that offers a variety of guided cave tours and programs. Some of the tours focus on the cave’s Civil War connections. Others are geared towards budding geologists, spelunkers and naturalists.

Groups that decide to take the Civil War route, may want to consider combining the cave tour with the Battle of Springfield Driving Tour and a stop at the Springfield National Cemetery. Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield and the Civil War Library are also located nearby.

2.) History Museum on the Square (Park Central Square)

A stop at the History Museum on the Square could also be incorporated into a Civil War themed tour. That’s because it contains a few Civil War artifacts as well as information on early modes of transportation and the state’s famous, former residents. Off-site walking and motorcoach guided tours are offered by the museum’s staff too.

3.) Riverbluff Cave/Museum (West Farm Road)

Another fabulous, educational place to visit with students is the Missouri Institute of Natural Science. It features museum exhibits and opportunities to participate in field trips as well as fossil hunts. The institute also manages the Riverbluff Cave site. At the moment, the cave is not open to the public. However, those excavating the cave often give lectures about their finds to student groups.

4.) Springfield Art Museum (East Brookside Drive)

For the art students, a visit to the Springfield Art Museum would be in order. It is home to an array of changing exhibitions, student workshops, art classes, special events and an art library. The library is also a good place to let the children find information about their favorite artists.

Discover wildlife at the Dickerson Park Zoo

5.) Dickerson Park Zoo (North Fort)

Finally, there are educational tours available at the Dickerson Park Zoo too. They offer students a chance to do such things as interact with the animals, hike

 the grounds and complete zoo themed crafts. Onsite classes, workshops and R

To discuss booking an educational tour to Springfield and other student friendly destinations in Missouri, please contact us at Peak Performance Tours. We’d be happy to provide your group with a no-obligation, complimentary proposal.oots & Shoots programs are sometimes available as well.


Music Tours to KC Will Leave Student Groups Singing


Are you looking for a music tour destination that will have your students singing rhythm and blues? If so, look no further than the city that inspired two, enterprising teens to extol its virtues in a timeless song. Yes, we are talking about Kansas City, Missouri. In all the years since Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller first put pen to paper, the city’s appeal has only grown among students and educators alike. With that said, here are five spots that are sure to appeal to a broad audience:

1.) Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts (Broadway)

Thanks to programs like EncoreTix , music tours and facility rentals, the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts is quickly becoming the best place in Kansas City to take student groups. Located on Broadway, it is a wonderful, year round, entertainment venue. While there, groups can perform on stage, catch an affordable show and learn about behind-the-scenes maneuverings.

2.) Kansas City Convention Center (West 13th Street)

The Kansas City Convention Center is another great place to take music students. That’s because it is home to several, gorgeous performance areas that may be rented or toured by groups. Among the various performance areas that may interest students are the Little Theatre, Music Hall and the Wagstaff Theatre. In addition to housing great performance areas, the center is located within close proximity to picnic areas, restaurants and lodging options too.

3.) New Theatre Restaurant (91st & 95th Street, Overland Park)

Speaking of food and fun, students may enjoy a matinee or evening performance at the New Theatre Restaurant in nearby Overland Park as well. The venue hosts various productions throughout the year, including those that focus on songs by Stoller and Leiber. Most productions include a meal as part of the show.

4.) American Jazz Museum (18th Street)

The American Jazz Museum is another venue of note. It features performance space, exhibits and educational programs designed for students of all ages. Exhibit highlights include collections of album art, interactive displays and a recreated, 1930s jazz room. Lodging is available nearby at The Aladdin. It’s a charming boutique hotel that features an onsite restaurant, market place, meeting rooms and a fitness center.

5.) The Folly Theatre (West 12th Street)

Finally, students may appreciate a visit to one of the oldest theaters in the state. Known simply as “The Folly”, it is available for group rentals. Not only will students enjoy performing there, they’ll likely be captivated by its rich history too. Many famous people have graced its stage over the years, including Shirley Boothstar.

For more information about arranging music tours to Kansas City and points beyond, please contact us at (800) 220-0165. At Peak Performance Tours, we’ll treat you and your music students right.The American Jazz Museum is a great performance space!


Disney Performing Arts offers workshops for young performers.


Talented young students from all over the world attend Disney Performing Arts every year. Marching bands, choirs, and dance companies apply for this program, and if selected, they have the opportunity to perform at one of the theme parks, Disneyland or Walt Disney World, for crowds from all over the world. 

Not only does  the Disney Performing Arts program offer once-in-a-lifetime performance experiences, but they also have workshops and competitions for all ages. From elementary students to college students, the program has something for everyone. 

The workshops are held by Disney performers and offer an array of lessons in dance, music, acting, costuming, and even how to audition. Students will rehearse for simulated performances and learn to work together as a unit. Backstage tours and behind the scenes experiences are part of the workshops, to give the students a taste of what it takes to put on a show. Lighting, special affects, music and technical equipment are among the many aspects of these workshops and will give the students an experience they will never forget.

Festival Disney is a Disney-produced competitive music festival and open to marching bands, concert bands, show choirs, jazz ensembles, and vocal ensembles. You can choose between competitive and non-competitive programs. The festival is held annually at both Disneyland in California and Walt Disney World in Florida. 

Disney Performing Arts is dedicated to giving youth programs a challenging experience and inspiration for excellence. Disney also realizes all the hard work that goes into rehearsals, education, and performances and rewards the students the opportunity to explore the magic at the theme parks with special discounted tickets. Please contact us for more information, applications, and available dates. We are also available to assist you with transportation and accommodations. Disney Performing Arts can give your choir or band some Disney Magic!


5 Great Group Travel Tour Destinations in Georgetown, South Carolina


Situated on South Carolina’s Hammock Coast is the lovely community of Georgetown. Considered to be one of the oldest settlements in the state, it is located within driving distance of Myrtle Beach and Murrells Inlet. It also happens to be an ideal spot for group travel tours that focus on communing with nature and learning about history. With that said, here is a look at five tour spots located in Georgetown:

Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge

Groups seeking to get outside and explore Georgetown’s terrain should contemplate visiting the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge. It is where the Waccamaw and Great Pee Dee Rivers converge. So visitors can feel confident that they’ll encounter a good deal of South Carolina flora and fauna. In addition, it is a superlative place to go picnicking, hiking and boating.

Hobcaw Barony Discovery Center

The Hobcaw Barony Discover Center is another wonderful group tour destination in Georgetown. It is a large wildlife refuge that features hands-on, ecology study programs and guided motorcoach tours for groups. There’s also a discovery center onsite that includes a variety of live and static nature exhibits.

South Carolina Maritime Museum

For the history lovers, a trip to the South Carolina Maritime Museum may be in order. Giant, wooden sailing ships and 14 foot wide, solid metal propellers are just two of the things that are on offer there. The museum is also home to old, maritime photos, 19th century documents and other intriguing artifacts from Georgetown’s past.

Hopsewee Plantation & Rice Museum

Group travel tours focusing on South Carolina’s past shouldn’t miss the Hopsewee Plantation and Rice Museum either. Although they are two, distinct attractions, they pair well together. The plantation offers visitors a chance to tour the grounds, take sweetgrass basket making classes and partake in culinary events. Among them are lowcountry dinners and afternoon teas. The Rice Museum, on the other hand, gives visitors a glimpse at Gullah Geechee culture and some of the region’s former residents.

Georgetown County Museum

Finally, groups may want to spend an hour or two at the Georgetown County Museum, It’s a hodge podge of artifacts that spans several centuries. Some of subjects covered include Native American history and the region’s connection to 1920s Hollywood.

To learn more about these group travel tour destinations and others in the Georgetown area, please contact us at (800) 220-0165. At Peak Performance Tours, we can custom create packages for groups of all sizes.Take students to the South Carolina Maritime Museum

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