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Music Tours in North Carolina: Exploring America’s Musical Roots


There are many different places located across America that are rich in music history. North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains are one of them. If you plan on teaching your students about bluegrass and folk music, it’s really a “must visit” area. Because the mountainous region is so vast, there are quite a fewmusic tour stops to think about adding to an itinerary:

Wilkesboro (Wilkes County)

Designated a Blue Ride National Heritage area, Wilkesboro is one spot to consider including in your next music tour. It is home to the Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame, the Wilkes Heritage Museum, MerleFest and the Walker Center. The Walker Center features three areas that may be rented for private events. They are the Nan Van Every Auditorium, the Lakey Ballroom and the Doc & Merle Watson Theatre. The auditorium is perfect for student concerts.

Mars Hill (Madison County)

Another great place to take a student music group is Madison County. It’s the location of one of the oldest folk music festivals in America. The annual event is called the Bascom Lamar Lunsford Minstrel of Appalachia Festival and it traditionally takes place at the town’s college campus. The campus also houses The Rural Life Museum, which contains exhibits about folk music.

Shelby (Cleveland County)

You might want to contemplate booking a music tour in Cleveland County too. There are two places there that may be of particular interest. The Earl Scruggs Center is one of them and the Don Gibson Theatre is the other. Both contain music exhibits and are available for private rental. The Earl Scruggs Center is the more modern of the two. It is scheduled to open in January 2014.

For more information about these great music tour stops in North Carolina and others, please contact us at (800) 220-0165. We’d love to help you and your students experience all that the Blue Ridge Mountains have to offer in the way of music heritage.Take your band to explore music's roots in North Carolina!


Student Tours to Canada May Offer a Glimpse into the Labor Movement


Are you hoping to teach your students about the Canadian labor movement’s history? If so, you may want to schedule student tours to Canada’s historic sites in the near future. Here’s a quick look at a few highlights of the country’s labor movement history and where you may want to take your students:

As you may very well be aware, the Canadian labor movement’s roots go back to the late 1800s. It was marked by the activities of several groups, including those made up of printers, miners, fishermen and shoemakers. One of them, the printers, was immortalized in a poem by Alec H. Wingfield. It is titled The Nine Hour Pioneers. Men associated with the movement at the time were James Black, John Hewitt and James Ryan. They were partially responsible for one significant event that took place at that time, the Trade Unions Act of 1872. It made unions legal and later helped to spur the formation of the national Labour Day holiday in July 1894. The prime minister connected to the act’s passing was Sir. John A. Macdonald.

Because of those facts, you may want to arrange for student tours of the Canada Science and Technology Museum. It contains exhibits that focus on printing and other industries. It isn’t the only facility that features such exhibits either. You can also find labor related exhibits at the Crystal City Community Printing Museum, Upper Canada Village and the Britannia Mine Museum.

We should also note that the 1800s marked the start of the Canadian Labour Union, which later became the Canadian Labour Congress in the 1900s. Speaking of the early 1900s, it was a period of great union activity and more than 400 strikes. A few of the strikes worth mentioning are the Winnipeg General Strike, the Oshawa Strike and the Fort William Freight Handlers Strike. If you are particularly interested in teaching your class about the Winnipeg General Strike, we’d suggest booking a student tour to the Manitoba Museum or the Canadian Museum of Human Rights. Both have recently been working together to assemble exhibits about the historic event.

Those are just a few of the Canadian labor movement’s milestones and historic sites. To learn more about what the country has to offer and set up student tours in the weeks ahead, be sure to contact us at (800) 220-0165.Start planning your educational trip to Canada with Peak Performance today!


Washington DC Class Trips: A Visit to the International Spy Museum


The International Spy Museum in Washington D.C. would be a sure hit for Washington DC Class Trips. As the name suggests, it celebrates the history of spies and espionage, both real life and that depicted in fiction and cinema.

Recent exhibitions at the International Spy Museum include

“Covers and Legends,” which examines the roles of secret identities and cover stories in the art of espionage;

“School for Spies” which displays over 200 spy gadgets used throughout history, including cameras hidden in things like ball point pins, bugging devices, and other technologies;

“The Secret History of History” which examines the role of espionage in great historical events, dating back to Moses. Great leaders, it is learned, relied on intelligence;

“From the Ballroom to the Battlefield” is a recent exhibition that looks at the role of espionage during the Civil War. Great battles such as Gettysburg were often determined by what the various generals knew and not just the size of the armies they led. Spies included women who infiltrated society in both Washington and Richmond and picked up gossip;

“Spies Among Us” looks at espionage during World War II, with a special emphasis on code making and breaking. It also looks at how the secret of the atomic bomb was kept and eventually revealed.

Another recent exhibit is “Exquisitely Evil: 50 Years of Bond Villains.” What would James Bond be without megalomaniac villains like Dr. No, Blofeld, or Goldfinger? The exhibit also examines how the Bond stories affected public perception of how espionage is really conducted.

The International Spy Museum is located at 800 F Street, NW in Washington D. C., close to the National Mall. Admission to the museum is steep, about $21 for adults, $16 for seniors, active duty military and law enforcement, and $15.00 for young people under 12 and free for children under 7. Groups of over 10 or more get special rates.

For more information contact usUncover the secrets of espionage with students at the International Spy Museum!


Educational Tours: Learning about the Immigrant Experience


Educational Tours may not necessarily be at the top of the list when it comes to what students want to do on a class trip, but then again, it is a class trip, right? A trip to that part of America that first transformed from the site of immigration entry into the center of what America came to mean offers students (and teachers) the perfect opportunity to learn that America is the the country it is today thanks in large part to the influence of immigrants.

The National Park system has recognized the continuing and unabated dispensation of the best that those born the farthest away have made to democracy. If you want to give students a real portrait of the history of immigration in America, schedule visits to these National Park system historical sites as part of a class trip. 

Castle Clinton National Monument: New York, New York

Ellis Island gets all the press, but there is another National Park historical site in the Big Apple that served duty as a depot processing immigrants into the dream factory that is America. Castle Clinton National Monument does serve duty as a soldier in your tour of National Park units devoted to increasing understanding of immigration in America. For those students not particularly excited about the prospect of educational tours, don't forget to mention that over the course of its long history, the site of this National Monument has also been both an entertainment complex and aquarium. Castle Clinton National Monument became a tribute to the glories of immigrant contribution somewhere between the entertainment complex and the aquarium. Once you have completed the guided tour of this National Park unit, you can very quickly up the ante on this educational tour by hopping on a ferry to in the much more famous memorial to the immigrant experience.

Statue of Liberty National Monument: New York, New York

Statue of Liberty National Monument actually encompasses perhaps the two most famous historical sites within the purview of National Park system sites dedicated to the immigrant experience. What educational tour of New York City would not be complete without meeting Lady Liberty herself? This is especially true for an education tour devoted to increasing understanding of the immigrant experience. The Statue of Liberty stands proudly in the middle of the harbor as a welcoming beacon to millions of people who can trace their lineage back to the arrival of immigrant parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and beyond. It can be easy to forget that the Statue of Liberty is a celebration of immigration. Until you actually visit Statue of Liberty National Monument.

For those students who may still not quite grasp the consequence of what she stands for, the next stop on this educational tour should more than punctuate the significance. One mile to the north of Lady Liberty sits Ellis Island. Yes, Ellis Island is part of the Statue of Liberty National Monument. As far as educational tours for students on a class trip goes, Ellis Island may be the most important stop when it comes to gaining a fuller picture of the immigrant experience. Only the student who is the very definition of being too cool for school trips could possibly take in the amazing psychic energy that still pervades this entry point for millions and millions of new Americans without coming to a greater appreciation of the contribution to this country of those who were born in another country.

Lowell National Historical Park: Lowell, Massachusetts

One question that can be far better answered with an educational tour than through classroom instruction is the query of what, exactly, was the immigrant experience in America after they made their way through the gates of Ellis Island? Your students can get a tactile answer to that question visiting the Lowell National Historical Park. The 137 acres that make up this historic site is an actual textile mill from the 19th century and provides an authentic glimpse into the daily life of those who came from abroad in search of the American Dream. What this unit of the National Park system ultimately reveals is that the American Dream very often resulted in waking up as an immigrant laborer cog in the factory machinery that was helping the Industrial Revolution change only everything about the United States. The Lowell National Historic Park provides insight into not just what it was like for immigrants to work in factories, but also what it was like to survive in mill worker housing and to be a female worker with very little rights in the face of male-dominated management.

If you would like to schedule education tours for your class trips, don't hesitate to contact us for any reason.The Statue of Liberty is a great place for a history class to visit!


Educational Tours in Houston, Texas: A Chance to Focus on Science


Are you in charge of planning a science focused, educational tour for your school’s student body? If that’s the scenario you’re faced with, consider taking the children to Houston, Texas. The Lone Star State has several destinations that would be ideal for science themed trips. Here’s a look at just one option:

Why not begin the day at The Breakfast Klub? Located on Travis at Alabama, it opens at 7 a.m. during the week and at 8 a.m. on the weekends. The restaurant serves a variety of southern breakfast platters including one filled with wings, grits, eggs and biscuits. Of course assorted beverages are available as well.

Situated roughly 10 minutes away from the restaurant is The Health Museum. It’s the next stop on our suggested itinerary. The Hermann Drive venue is home to incredible exhibits, interactive science classes, laboratory programs, a 4D theater, banquet space and a gift shop. While at the museum, the kids could tour the exhibits and watch a 4D film. They could also engage in such value-added activities as dissecting a sheep’s brain and conducting a chemical analysis of human flatulence.

The Health Museum’s hours of operation vary throughout the year. However, in most instances, it opens at 9 a.m. during the week and on Saturdays. On Sundays, the amusement normally starts at noon. Closing time at the Health Museum tends to take plac

The Health Museum is a great place for students to explore science!

e around 5 p.m. It should be noted that depending on the activities selected, it is not uncommon to spend three hours exploring the venue.

When you finish touring The Health Museum, consider bringing your group to the Hermann Park Conservancy. It is located near the museum and is open daily. The park is home to the Pinewood Café, a Japanese garden, museums, an outdoor theater and a variety of activities that would keep the kids busy for hours. Among the activities on offer are pedal boat rides, train rides, catch-and-release fishing, hiking and bike riding. Boat and bicycle rentals are available onsite.

The Houston Zoo is also located nearby. So you could elect to visit it instead. The facility features many educational field trip programs to choose from. The Natural Encounters is one area that the kids may enjoy. It offers access to superior exhibits that 

To learn more about these educational tour destinations, please contact us at (800) 220-0165. We can help you set-up the best single or multi-day student tour in Houston, Texas as well as trips to other educational venues.will put your students safely in the center of the animal kingdom.


5 Great Senior Class Trip Options to Enjoy in Atlanta, Georgia


When it comes to fun and exciting senior class trips, Georgia’s City of Atlanta is certainly worthy of contemplation. It is host to a multitude of entertaining spots, including those that have some educational merit. With that in mind, here is a smattering of senior class destinations to consider:

#1: Six Flags Over Georgia

Six Flags Over Georgia is one great place in the Peach State to visit with a senior class. It features a variety of group tour experiences including catered picnics, private shows, educational programs and opportunities for seniors to perform in front of park attendees. Of course there are plenty of thrill, kids and family rides to enjoy while onsite too.

#2: Six Flags White Water Atlanta

While we’re on the topic, Six Flags White Water would also make a wonderful senior class destination. Although it is far from being an educational spot, the venue features group picnic options as well as access to multiple water rides and attractions. Thus, the students should end up having an excellent time.

#3: Andretti Indoor Karting & Games

Another fun destination that may be ideal for your school’s senior class is Andretti Indoor Karting & Games. The facility features video games, meeting space, a comedy club, redemption games and a pair of SuperKart Tracks. There are also private lounges and a restaurant area onsite. So providing the kids with ample food and beverages won’t be a concern. In addition, you can rent the entire facility and make it an overnight, lock-in affair.

 #4: Georgia Aquarium

Atlanta Aquarium is a great addition to a senior class trip

If you prefer a senior class trip destination that has an educational component, the Georgia Aquarium is one to put onto your list of consi

derations. The venue features fantastic overnight and day programs. The overnight ones tend to be among the most popular. They include interactive programs, dinner, breakfast, behind-the-scenes tours and onsite sleeping accommodations.

#5: Zoo Atlanta

Last on our list of senior class trip suggestions is Zoo Atlanta. It is another incredible senior class trip option that is as enjoyable as it  is educational. The facility offers a barrage of group offerings including overnight programs. The zoo’s overnight programs include a private, behind-the-scenes tour, onsite sleeping accommodations and continental breakfast for all of the event’s attendees.

For more information on planning a senior class trip to Atlanta, please contact us at (800) 220-0165. We also welcome inquiries made through LinkedIn.


Patriots, Pops and Presidents in Atlanta, Georgia for your Class Trip


Ask any one of our tour operators and they’ll quickly tell you that The Peach State is home to many group travel tour options. For those that have an interest in America’s history, our patriots, pops and presidents tour idea is sure to please.

Begin your group’s day at the Flying Biscuit in Little Five Points. They open daily at 7 a.m. and serve breakfast all day long. While there, consider ordering the Southern Scramble. It comes with collard greens, cheddar cheese grits, turkey bacon and scrambled eggs.

After a hearty, southern breakfast, proceed to the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum. It is located less than 10 minutes away from the restaurant. The museum traditionally opens at 9 a.m. Monday through Saturday and at noon on Sundays. As you’ve probably guessed, it is devoted to exploring the Carter presidency. Standout permanent exhibits include replicas of the Crown of St. Stephen and the Oval Office.

From there, travel less than 10 minutes away to the city’s famed Millennium Gate. It features a 360 degree view of the city, interactive museum exhibits and banquet space

Experience Southern Hospitality in Atlanta, Georgia!

 suitable for a group luncheon. The exhibits will give your group a solid understanding of the state and city’s history. The facility usually opens Monday through Friday at 10 a.m. and closes a

t 4 p.m. On the weekends, the venue is open to groups by advance reservation only.

After visiting the “Gate”, your group may want to spend some time at the Atlantic Town Center. It is home to a seasonal ice skating rink, retail shops, theater, restaurants and special events. It’s Sugar is one of the places that is worth visiting while there. The store is home to some of the world’s largest candies in the world. So your group may find it very e

Remember, just like all of the other group travel ideas available through Peak Performance Tours, this one can be customized to suit your needs too. With that said, do you have additional questions about group travel tours? If so, please contact us online or by calling (800) 220-0165. Our group travel tour operators would love to put their years of experience to work for you.ntertaining. Among the more notable candies are five pound Gummy Bears and 12-inch tall Tootsie Pops.


Disney Trips: Add Extra Magic to Your Disney Trip by Fish Extending


The idea alone evokes magic and fairy dust. Disney trips are like magic exemplified. Fun is literally around every corner. Is there room for more? You betcha. Fish extender fun is a phenomenon Disney Cruise senior trip adventurers have taken and made their very own.

The Internet is part of every facet of modern life and vacation time is no exception. Disney cruise line connoisseurs and new travelers alike gather in forums, message boards and social media venues across the world to connect and discuss, plan and network with each other pre-cruise. Nothing brings total strangers together like the prospect of new adventure and Disney thrills.

Once connected, Disney cruisers are unlike any others. The sheer magic awaiting them conjures a giddiness that is palpable for months preceding the trip. Plans are hatched for meetings and wine tastings and dinner dates. Strangers wait with baited breath to meet their new virtual friends and share an amazing adventure.

Cruisers post pictures of past trips and prep for the upcoming cruise. They post family photos, interests and itineraries. Some of these forums even offer cruisers sweepstakes, contests and prizes. For example, randomly selects posters for $25 shipboard credits. Camaraderie develops and lifelong friendships are built.

It is within this atmosphere that the idea of fish extenders comes along. Fish extenders are a system of gift giving onboard via Secret Santa style. Cruisers fashion hanging shoe caddies or cleaning supply organizers into personalized gift receiving receptacles and hang them outside their stateroom doors. Other participants will deposit various small gifts into these receptacles throughout the cruise.

Fish extenders provide a way to not only enjoy the cruise but also the time before and after it. The gifts exchanged in the fish extenders are often handmade, usually inexpensive and always memorable.

The time spent online planning and discussing brings Disney cruisers together in a very personal way. Weeks and even months before they meet, these people have gotten to know each other and forged friendships. The fish extender gifts serve as fun memories of each cruise and the relationships forged through them.

Fish extender gifts can be anything under the sun. Pricey or cheap, handmade or purchased, the choices make no difference. Here, it truly is the thought that counts. Magnets, favored Disney character toys, photos, attraction tickets and homemade gifts like scrapbook

Get all the magic of Disney on a Disney Cruise!

s and picture frames are popular fish extender gifts. The fun, however, is not only in receiving and giving the gifts but also in the making or purchasing, and surprise delivery. Timing is part of the magic.

Cruisers so enjoy returning to the stateroom after a day of fun to find their fish extenders stuffed with fun and friendly reminders of the magic surrounding them. It’s the true magic of Disney that makes fish extenders happen. The sheer joy of coming together with other people who appreciate the splendor of Disney is more than enough but the personal touches

Feel free to contact us today to find your next senior trip in the magic of Disney. exchanged in fish extending spread that magic far into the rest of your life.


Educational Tours in Williamsburg, VA: Spend the Day Lost in History


Did you introduce your students to our country’s founding fathers this year? Was the book or miniseries John Adams a part of your lesson plan too? If so, have we got the e

Take your class trip to Colonial Williamsburg to experience history

ducational tour for you! It takes place in Williamsburg, Virginia, where part of the series was filmed.

Begin your day of educational touring at Richard Charlton’s Coffeehouse. Created to resemble an 18th century building, it’s a great place to enjoy a slice of history complete with period dressed thespians and beverages. The subjects of the 45 minute to one hour reenactments on offer vary. So it’s a good idea to check the schedule and plan accordingly.

From there, stroll on over to the nearby, historic Capitol for another reenactment. Many of the one hour reenactments that take place there focus on court cases that would have occurred during in the 1700s. Most of the performances also include audience participation.

After the Capital visit, consider stopping by the Governor’s Palace. It features historic grounds, one hour reenactments and a look at the foodservice techniques of early Americans. That’s what makes it such a superlative educational tour stop before lunch.

Speaking of lunch, you may want to take your student group to Chowing’s Tavern for a young patriot’s repast and live, 18th century style entertainment. The lunch men

When you’ve finished lunch, why not let the kids do a little bit of sou includes such childhood favorites as Thomas Jefferson’s macaroni and cheese. Each child’s entree tends to come with chips, a beverage and applesauce. The period entertainment, on the other hand, typically consists of costumed fiddlers and wait staff.

uvenir shopping. The historic post office is a good place to start. The kids can write postcard with quill pens and mail them to their parents. They may also enjoy The William Pitt Shop and the Prentis Store. Each one features period gifts.

To learn more about these educational tour stops in Williamsburg and others, please contact us at (800) 220-0165. Our student tour travel specialists can help you develop the scholastic itinerary of your dreams.


Music Tours in Baltimore, Maryland: Spots to Visit with Students


Are you hoping to invigorate your students with music tours that include a variety of components? If that’s the case, Baltimore, Maryland may be one spot to contemplate visiting. There are multiple venues in the city that would make wonderful, student tour stops. Here are several that may leave you and your students inspired:

Top of the World

Consider starting your Baltimore music tour at the Top of the World. Situated high above the city, the panoramic views from the building’s 11,000 square foot observation area are sure to give the students’ shivers of anticipation. The staff offer group tours of the building and the observation area is available for private gatherings.

Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall

Once your students make it back down to ground level, think about taking them to the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. It features a 2,443-seat hall, rehearsal space and an assortment of private meeting rooms. Understandably, the space is available for rent.

Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute & Cultural Center

Depending on your lesson calendar, a trip to the Eubie Blake National Jazz Institute & Cultural Center may also be in order. It features rental space that is ideal for rehearsing and dining. There are opportunities to participate in various onsite clinics, workshops and special events as well. Examples include jazz vocal workshops and a class on the ba

performance opportunuties in Baltimore including multiple parades per year

sics of sound production.

France-Merrick Performing Arts Center

The France-Merrick Performing Arts Center is another entertainment venue that is available for student group use. It features several dressing rooms, a 110 foot x 50 foot stage, onsite café, meeting space and more. In addition, there is lodging and parking nearby.

For more information on these and other Baltimore music tour stops, please contact us at (800) 220-0165. We can help you arrange music tours that include everything from meals, accommodations, transportation and workshops to dedicated hotel security

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