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How To Save Money On Your Disney Trips

 

We all love taking trips.  But we don't like spending too much money on them.  One of the country's favorite places to visit is Disney World.  It's easy to spend a fortune at the mouse's house.  Here are some ways to save on your Disney Trips.

Disney World's Cinderella's Castle

Check out www.mousesavers.com.

It’s an entire site dedicated to showing Disney visitors how to save money on their trip.

Plan accordingly for time allotted.

For most people it takes about a day to really enjoy one of the parks.  You may save money by rethinking the "park hopper" option.  Chances are by the time you ride all of the rides at one park you won't have much time to enjoy another one for the same day.

Carry a water bottle.  

There are water fountains everywhere inside the park and it's free to drink from them.  Sodas and other drinks purchased inside the park will cost you upwards of $5 each.

Check for discounts on tickets. 

WDWINFO.COM has a list of the currently available discounts.

Bring your own food.  

You are allowed to bring your own food into the park.  You aren't allowed to bring in coolers, but stuff your sandwiches in an insulated bag and you're good to go.

Stay at a local hotel and not at one of the park's resorts.  

Several chains offer great deals and often Wyndham offers free tickets and deeply discounted stays just for taking a tour and learning about their ownership program. There's no commitment and the tours usually last about an hour.

Buy your souvenirs outside of the park.  

You can usually find the exact same spray fans, tee shirts and toys at Walmart near Disney for a drastically lower price than what you'll pay inside the park.

Purchase Disney gift cards ahead of time when there's a special.  

A lot of places like Kroger offer special discounts or promotions when you purchase other retailer gift cards from them.  Or you can get 5% off if you purchase them at Target with a Target Red Card.  You will also find special offers and discounts on Mousesavers.com.

Some affordable or free activities at Disney

Play miniature golf.

Miniature golf is a fun and inexpensive activity. The Fantasia Gardens (near Hollywood Studios) and Winter Summerland (near Blizzard Beach Water Park) are local and affordable. They are both $14 for adults and children over 10 years old.

Rent a boat.

There are plenty of resorts that have marinas and boat rentals. A kayak, canoe or pedal boat will cost about $7 for a half hour, and a 12-foot, 2 person sailboat is about $21.30/hr.

Go fishing.

There are two places to rent cane poles with bait. Port Orleans Resort and Ft. Wilderness both rent poles for “catch and release” fishing. Pole rentals come with bait and are very inexpensive.

By planning ahead and looking for special offers and deals, your Disney trip can be affordable while still being full of fun and adventure.

Contact us for more information.

 

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Class Trip to Los Angeles: 5 Great Museum Row Restaurants to Enjoy

 

If you are planning a class trip to Los Angeles, there is a good chance that your group will want to spend at least some time exploring Museum Row and the Miracle Mile. Of course you’ll also need to eat. So we’ve compiled a list of five great restaurants that are ideal places to enjoy a group meal.

 The Los Angeles County Museum of Art

1.) The Counter Burger (4 LA Locations)

The Counter Burger is one restaurant that welcomes groups of all ages for lunch and dinner. The kids menu features classics like PB&J, mini-cheese burgers, sweet potato fries and grilled cheese. The adult menu has much more than that, including burgers in a bowl. They consist of a salad, burger and side dish.

2.) Baja Fresh (5 LA Locations)

Groups may also find great value and phenomenal food at Baja Fresh. It’s a Mexican restaurant that also sells party packs. The party packs are excellent for groups that want to eat lunch or dinner at a public picnic area. The packs typically contain tacos, cheese quesadillas, taquitos, burritos, salsas, chips and a choice of salad or rice and beans. Plus, they toss in picnic paper supplies like disposable plates and plastic cutlery.

3.) Du-Par’s at the Farmers Market (4 LA Locations)

Prefer classic Americana diner fare? Then consider adding Du-Par’s Restaurant and Bakery to your Los Angeles class trip’s itinerary. They serve amazing comfort food like chicken strips, homemade onion rings, corned beef hash, eggs over easy, country-fried steak and club sandwiches. The venue is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Catered, take-out and sit-down meal options are available for groups.

4.) Cooks Country Restaurant (Beverly Boulevard)

Another fabulous place to take the class for lunch, brunch or dinner is the Cooks Country Restaurant. They run specials on various days of the week (e.g. fried chicken Mondays) and offer catering services. Some of the dishes that you’ll find are faro sauté, fish sandwiches, black kale salads and strawberry ice cream pie.

5.) Andre’s Italian Restaurant (West 3rd Street)

Finally, groups can’t go wrong with adding an Italian restaurant like Andre’s to their class trip’s itinerary either. They serve all of the traditional fare one would expect to find at an Italian restaurant during lunch and dinner. Among the classics are spaghetti, pizza, cheese ravioli, eggplant rollatini and chicken parmesan.

For more information about elements that would help complete a class trip to Los Angeles, please contact us by calling (800) 220-0165. At Peak Performance Tour, we can make your students’ visit to the City of Angels perfect.

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Caribbean Group Travel Tour & Adventure Vacation

 

Costa Rica On a Mountain Bike

Mountain biking has become a popular feature of a group trip to Costa Ricaaccording to a recent article in the Costa Rica News. It is a wonderful way to experience rural Costa Rica on and off the beaten paths and in an environmentally friendly way as part of a group travel tour. Most mountain biking excursions can range from three hours to two weeks, depending on factors like skill level, travel budget, and the time allotted.

Costa Rica Rain Forest

Arenal Volcano The area around the Arenal Volcano is a favorite venue for a mountain bike excursion. Trips, ranging from a seven day journey to a more strenuous, uphill 12 hour trip, features rain forests, waterfalls, wildlife and, of course, the smoldering volcano. The week long trek ends with a relaxing dip in some thermal pools fed by the volcano.

Nicoya Peninsula Another popular trip is the 9 day Nicoya Peninsula excursion. This package starts with whitewater rafting on the Pacuare River, a hike at the Arenal Volcano, and then kayaking on Lake Arenal. The mountain biking portion concludes the trip with a journey to the beaches of the Nicoya Peninsula.

Irazu Volcano If you are looking for a trip through a more populated region try mountain biking in the shadow of the Irazu Volcano. This is a 22 kilometer journey, beginning at the top of the volcano, which passes by coffee plantations and cattle ranches and ends at the city of Turrialba. There is also a 32 kilometer trip available that passes by the National Monument of Guayabo and ends at the central park of Turrialba.

There are also day trips through some of the coffee plantations and a coast to coast trek for the more physically fit and adventurous.

Turrialba This is considered one of the country’s best areas for mountain biking. From the city of Turrialba one can ride on a route that passes by a number of archeological sites as well as some wilderness pools for a refreshing swim break. The route reaches the Caribbean in about 16 hours.

Poas Volcano National Park Finally, a mountain bike trip in and around the Poas Volcano National Park. The route starts in the parking lot, to the town of Poasito, then to the town of Sabana Redonda. After a brief rest there, one visits the La Hilda coffee farms. The trek continues past the Poas River and ends at the Doka Estate farm.

No matter which trip you choose, you are sure to experience the natural beauty of Costa Rica.

For more information contact us.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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