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Class Trip to Richmond, VA: 5 Historic Spots to Explore with Students


If you are a history teacher, Richmond, Virginia is one class trip destination that is definitely worth considering. The charming city offers students access to many Civil War sites that will undoubtedly add to their understanding of our nation’s history.

American Civil War Center (Tredegar Street)

The American Civil War Center is one that should be at the top of a history teacher’s list. It includes period reenactments, guided tours and student programs that put the kids at the heart of the action.

Museum of the Confederacy (E. Clay Street)

A visit to the American Civil War Center would also pair perfectly with a stop at the Museum of the Confederacy. Understandably, the exhibits spotlight General Lee and the Confederate Army. It opens daily and interactive student programs are available onsite.

Richmond National Battlefield Park (Multiple Locations)

Of course we can’t forget about the Richmond National Battlefield Park. It offers an entire day’s worth of class trip activities, starting with 13 historic sites. In addition, the students can partake of the park’s guided educational programs, visitor center exhibits, picnic areas, self-guided walking trails and a bookstore.

Hanover Tavern (Hanover Courthouse Road)

Students that find themselves famished may enjoy a quick stop at the Hanover Tavern too. It’s one of those class trip destinations that serve more than one purpose. The colonial era tavern played a role in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars as well as early Virginia politics. As such, a series of tours are available that may be paired with a lunch stop. There’s also a 1950s theater, rental space and a restaurant onsite. The restaurant is traditionally open for brunch, lunch and dinner.

North Anna Battlefield Park (Verdon Road)

Lastly, the North Anna Battlefield Park would make a good class trip stop as well. This is especially the case if you want to let the kids stretch their legs and enjoy a bag or box lunch before getting back onto the bus. Located along the North Anna River, in nearby Dosewell, it contains a roughly 2 mile long walking trail, historical markers and earthworks from the Civil War era. Managed by Hanover County, it’s open year round, weather permitting and admission is free.

To learn more about these class trip suggestions and other student friendly locations in Richmond, please contact us at (800) 220-0165.Take students back to the Civil War in Richmond


Boston Class Trips: Best 4 Science Destinations for Students


This year, why not take your science students on a Boston class trip? Not only is the city historic and full of life, it’s also home to attractions that will get your students thinking.

Museum of Science

Take the Museum of Science for instance. It covers a vast array of scientific topics, including nanotechnology and green energy. Students can also explore those topics in a variety of ways. Those methods include on-hands activities, interactive displays, static exhibits, overnight programs and special events. If you do decide to take the kids to the Museum of Science, we’d suggest planning on spending the entire day. Refreshments are available onsite.

MIT Museum

The MIT Museum is another Boston class trip venue that we would recommend considering. Not surprisingly, its exhibits and student workshops focus heavily on technology. The museum also hosts and sponsors special science events throughout the year.

Cambridge Science Festival

One of those special events is the Cambridge Science Festival. It traditionally takes place each year in April. This year’s event is slated to run from the 18th through the 27th. Depending on the children’s ages and science skills, they may be able to participate in the event organizers’ programs and challenges. Among the programs on offer for 2014 are the Robot Zoo, Central Elements, Game Corner and the Curiosity Challenge.

Laser Quest

When you’re ready to let the kids blow off steam, you may want to take them to Laser Quest. It’s a laser tag facility with an educational element. The educational element involves lectures on topics like laser lights, optics, electromagnetic principals and the law of refractions. There’s also an area where the kids can enjoy a catered meal.

To learn more about these Boston class trip destinations and others, please contact us at (800) 220-0165. Our tour planners can assist educators and group leaders alike in planning customized trips for students of all ages.Let students blow off some steam at the exciting Laser Quest in Boston!


Philadelphia Class Trips: 4 Great Tour Stops for Aspiring Doctors


When it comes to studying anatomy and the medical sciences, there’s nothing like a Philadelphia class trip to liven things up a bit. The City of Brotherly Love is home to multiple, healthcare related stops that are sure to fire up the curiosity of aspiring doctors:

Mutter Museum

One “must see” stop for students is the Mutter Museum. Associated with The College of Physicians of Philadelphia, it contains the most interesting medical exhibits and a medicinal garden. Students can also participate in onsite, 45 minute long, medicine related programs on a wide variety of topics.

Marvin Samson Center for the History of Pharmacy

A stop at the Marvin Samson Center for the History of Pharmacy may also be in order. Its exhibits address the progression from natural healing methods to the use of manmade medicines. There are also items on display connected to nursing and orthopedics. The museum is located on the University of the Sciences’ campus, which may prove to be of interest for college minded students as well.

Pennsylvania Hospital

Next on our list of “must see”, Philadelphia class trip stops is the Pennsylvania Hospital. It’s significant for three reasons. It is believed to be America’s first hospital, surgical amphitheatre and medical library.  While on site, students can view exhibits, take a guided tour and enjoy educational lectures in a lovely medicinal garden. The garden is unique in that it is specifically designed as a hands-on teaching space.

The Physick House

From there, we suggest visiting The Physick House. It once served as the home of Dr. P.S. Physick. Many people consider him to be the founder of American surgical techniques. He also had ties to the Philadelphia Hospital. The house features an onsite museum that students may find interesting. Part of the venue’s exhibits focus on what life was like for a physician in the 1800s. The other half highlights period surgical instruments and other tools of Physick’s profession.

To learn more about these Philadelphia class trip destinations and others, please contact us at Peak Performance Tours. Our class trip planning pros may be reached by calling (800) 220-0165.Budding doctors will love Philadelphia's Mutter Museum


Washington DC Class Trips: A Day Trip to Mount Vernon


During a Washington DC class trip a day trip to Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington, America’s first president and commanding general during the revolutionary war, is practically a must. The estate is about 16 miles outside of Washington D.C. in Northern Virginia.

Mount Vernon was the home of Washington and his wife Martha for four decades, It was a working plantation that now contains the mansion, more than a dozen other structures, Washington’s tomb, working four acre farm, a treading barn, a reconstructed slave cabin, and a blacksmith’s shop. About three miles down the road from the main mansion reside Washington’s distillery and gristmill. An introductory film can be seen at the Ford Orientation Center. The Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education center contains over 500 artifacts from Washington’s era as well as an immersive theatrical experience.

Washington’s career as commander of the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War and subsequently as America’s first president is well known. Less well known is how he lived as a wealthy Virginia planter and entrepreneur. A visit to Mount Vernon provides a window into that 18th Century life, built as it was on human slavery.

There are group tours that have been specifically tailored for student groups. The admission for groups of students K through 12 includes the Mansion and Historic Area, the Ford Orientation Center, the Donald W. Reynolds Museum and Education Center and the Distillery & Gristmill site. There are also special programs available for student groups, discounted meal options, including a lunch with a reenactor in character from the time of Washington, a discounted river boat tour on the nearby Potomac River, and an expert guide trained in conducting student tours.

For more information contact usTake your students on a tour of the home of George Washington


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.

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