Archive for the ‘educational travel’ Category

American Museum of Natural History Hosts ‘Mystery at the Museum’ Adventures

December 6, 2011

The American Museum of Natural History is presenting Mystery at the Museum, a 90-minute adventure that sends participating “detectives” through the Museum to investigate the halls and encounter characters along the way to aid in their journey © 2011 Karen Rubin/

The American Museum of Natural History, in collaboration with Accomplice—theatrical experiences set on the streets of New York City, Hollywood, and London—presents Mystery at the Museum, a unique public program and educational adventure for families and friends. Using the storied institution as its stage, this original production takes participants on an exciting journey through the Museum’s halls, exhibits, and behind-the-scene locations.

Mystery at the Museum begins with a tale and quest for the inheritance of Chester Q. Cooperspenny, an eccentric billionaire and world explorer. The 90-minute production sends participating “detectives” through the Museum to investigate the halls and encounter characters along the way to aid in their journey. Limited to 10 people per tour, Mystery at the Museum encourages participants to use their observational skills and deductive reasoning, while working as a team to complete their mission. Part of the challenge is figuring out who in the Museum is part of the story and who is not. Engaging, comical, and poignant, Mystery at the Museum is an enjoyable experience for the entire family.

This December, Mystery at the Museum’s talented cast turns up the holiday humor with whimsical references to Santa Claus, holiday meals, and other festivities. The actors engage, entertain, and educate participants—and unsuspecting Museum visitors—as they celebrate the season while helping to solve the Mystery at the Museum.

Mystery at the Museum is a weekend program with eight daily performances. It is appropriate for participants 10years old and up.

For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.

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New Deluxe Universal Travel System Tour of Croatia Features UNESCO World Heritage Monuments

July 8, 2011

Universal Travel System (UTS) has created a luxury tour to Croatia and the Dalmatian Coast that features all six UNESCO World Heritage Monuments. Also included is the best preserved Roman amphitheater in the world in city of Pula, which is not under UNESCO protection. Local professors and scholars are recruited as guides to provide an historical perspective on each of the sites. Croatia’s turbulent and rich history has left many traces, symbols and reminders on its past. The small country today has more UNESCO monuments than any other country in the world. Croatia also has the only UNESCO natural monument; Plitvice Lakes.

The tour features these UNESCO monuments:

  • Porec (Euphrasian Basilica Complex)
  • Sibenik (St. James Cathedral)
  • Plitvice (National Park Plitvice)
  • Trogir (Old city of Trogir)
  • Split (Diocletian Palace Complex) and of course
  • Dubrovnik (Old City of Dubrovnik)

The 14-day tour itinerary also includes Zagreb, Bled, Ljubljana, Lipica, Postojna Caves, (in Slovenia), picturesque Rovinj and the charming village of Opatija.

This tour starts by picking up clients by limo at their home to take them to their departure airport for their overseas flight. The limo is supplied with chilled water, a bottle of Champagne and delicious hors d’oeuvres. The driver will collect the luggage at the client’s home. UTS staff will be on hand at the airport to check in the luggage and clients at their specified airline and will handle their bags during the entire trip. Express baggage and check-in service is provided at hotels. Upon arrival at the hotel, clients will be escorted directly to their reserved rooms.

A Personal Tour Director (PTD) is assigned for the duration of trip to oversee handling. Clients are driven around for sightseeing in private shiny limos. Various excursions, visits to museums and galleries are scheduled with the assistance of private guides and interpreters. Breakfasts are served in bed, lunch and dinner open a la carte dining; clients may choose the restaurant and order anything on the menu. Meals are preceded with cocktails and aperitifs. After dinner there is usually a concert, opera or some kind of live show and entertainment. There are Old Europe’s traditional “digestifs” or good-night drinks before retiring. But wait! This is not all. High tea in the afternoon is provided to soothe and relax. This kind of pampering, and more, is repeated every day of the tour.

The UNESCO tours are customized, deluxe and are limited to eight people maximum. The tours operate from mid-April until the end of October, and are priced from $3,780 per person in double room for land (call  310-393-0261, CA: 800-537-0773,USA: 800-255-4338, E-mail:, or visit

For more travel features, visit

St Lucia’s New State-of-the-Art Attraction, Our Planet Centre, Promotes Environmental Conservation

June 24, 2011

Our Planet Centre entrance with hologram globe

Saint Lucia recently unveiled a new state-of-the-art visitor attraction, Our Planet Centre, designed to engage visitors on environmental conservation in a fun, interactive way through the use of new wave technology.  Opened June 2011, the multi-million dollar Our Planet Centre will donate all proceeds to local environmental projects on island.

“Our Planet Centre seeks to promote awareness of conserving the earth’s environment and we believe that Saint Lucia, with its unspoiled beauty and unique variety of species, is the ideal place to start leading our conservation efforts,” said Sarah Adams, Executive Director of Our Planet Centre.

Utilizing cutting edge technology, Our Planet features the largest mirror-sphere in the world, producing a giant kaleidoscopic display for video screening; a hologram recorded specifically for Saint Lucia by Prince Charles; multiple touch screen displays; a simulation hurricane room; as well as a “NASA Room” designed specifically by the NASA team to stream weather information.  Visitors will have the experience of learning more about the island of Saint Lucia with an interactive floor about endangered species of Saint Lucia and even the wonder of viewing the never-before-seen Castries harbor through a snowstorm with the use of snow machines.

“As the first center of its kind in the Caribbean, Saint Lucia wholeheartedly welcomes the opportunity to educate our community and visitors on the necessity of environmental conservation to preserve our island’s natural beauty, from the coral reefs to the rainforest and the UNESCO World Heritage Pitons,” said Louis Lewis, the Director of Tourism for the Saint Lucia Tourist Board.  “We look forward to being a model for other centers of this kind to open worldwide.”

The attraction is funded primarily by the German Government with support from other corporations including Marks & Spencer, Hilton Group of Hotels, and the Saint Lucia Air and Sea Ports Authority (SLASPA).

Our Planet Centre is conveniently located at La Place Carenage in the Castries harbor.

For more information about the island of Saint Lucia call 1-800-456-3984, or visit

About Saint Lucia

One of the Windward Islands of the West Indies’ Lesser Antilles, Saint Lucia (pronounced Saint LOO-sha) is nestled halfway down the eastern Caribbean archipelago. The “Helen of the West Indies,” Saint Lucia is known for its natural beauty and diverse attractions, including the signature Piton Mountains – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – a tropical rainforest and one of the world’s few drive-in volcanoes. Culturally rich offerings include the bustling marketplace in the capital of Castries, quaint fishing villages along the coastline, and the annual Saint Lucia Jazz festival. Saint Lucia’s wide range of accommodations includes world-class five-star resorts, all-inclusive resorts, intimate inns and value-oriented properties.

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April 20, 2011

The American Museum of Natural History is known for its thought-provoking exhibits like "Brain: The Inside Story" © 2011 Karen Rubin/

From the creators of Accomplice—theatrical experiences set on the streets of New York City, Hollywood, and London—comes an exciting new way to explore the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Part walking tour, part game, and part theater, Mystery at the Museum is an immersive adventure through the Museum’s halls. Meet characters, follow clues, and solve puzzles as you unravel a tale that takes you through iconic Museum locations and behind-the-scenes areas. Challenging and engaging, comical and poignant, Mystery at the Museum is an experience you won’t soon forget.

Mystery at the Museum is offered Saturdays and Sundays (8 performances per day; each performance runs approximately 2 hours) Admission is $50 (10 and up); advance purchase is required.

For more information and to book tickets, visit:

World’s Largest Dinosaurs

Meanwhile, the museum best known for its dinosaurs has just opened its newest blockbuster exhibit The World’s Largest Dinosaurs (on view April 16, 2011–January 2, 2012). The World’s Largest Dinosaurs  focuses on sauropods, a group that includes the largest animals ever to have walked on Earth. Sauropod dinosaurs were extraordinarily successful, surviving for more than 100 million years. The World’s Largest Dinosaurs examines the biology and behavior of sauropods, looking particularly at how these animals evolved to such tremendous sizes. he highlight of the exhibition will be a life-sized model of the 60-foot-long sauropod Mamenchisaurus. The dramatic model is fully fleshed out on one side, while the other side will be a “visible dinosaur,” revealing bones, muscles, and internal organs. The exhibition also features specimens from the Museum’s collections of sauropod teeth, vertebrae, skin impressions, and a variety of other ancient specimens. Hands-on, computer-based activities let visitors investigate adaptations that allowed these animals to grow so big. The World’s Largest Dinosaurs is organized by the American Museum of Natural History ( in collaboration with Coolture  Marketing, Bogotá, Colombia.

To plan a visit, go to Find the American Museum of Natural History on Facebook at or visit to follow on Twitter.

See also

‘Brain: The Inside Story’ at American Museum of Natural History makes you think

Gap Adventures Announces 2011 Cuba Trips

January 24, 2011

President Obama eased restrictions on "purposeful" travel to Cuba, facilitating the ability for religious, civic and academic groups from the U.S. The Administration stated, "These measures will increase people-to-people contact; support civil society in Cuba; enhance the free flow of information to, from, and among the Cuban people; and help promote their independence from Cuban authorities." Photo of Viva Cuba Libre sign, which means long live free Cuba, supplied by Gap Adventures.

While ice and snow pile up across North America, United States relations with Cuba are thawing. Gap Adventures (, a leading adventure travel company based in Toronto, Canada,, announced details of its 2011 trips to the island, which offer travelers the chance to soak up the sun and immerse in Cuba’s culture while changes within and outside the country continue. Offering unique homestay options, the most competitive pricing in the industry, and only local Cuban guides, the adventure tour operator expects a significant increase in bookings to Cuba.

“Our travelers rely on us to provide unique, life-changing travel experiences, and this is an ideal time for adventure seekers to take advantage,” says Gap Adventures founder Bruce Poon Tip. “Not only is the world view of Cuba changing, but Cuba is changing dramatically and rapidly, so opportunities are fleeting to experience the island at this exciting juncture,” Poon Tip adds.

Gap Adventures offers affordable trips of 8, 9, and 15 days for active travelers seeking off the beaten path experiences away from resorts or large groups. In 2011, the company continues its commitment to changing people’s lives with local homestays and competitive pricing.

“Through homestays our travelers connect directly with a local family by enjoying meals and staying overnight at their home,” says Leah Griffin, Destination Manager, Central America & Caribbean. Griffin says that it is an immersive cultural experience that few travelers get to know.

Travelers can explore the island for 8 days on either the Cuba Libre (CCL) or Central Cuba Adventure (CCCA). While both offer ample time in nature and at the beach, the Central Cuba trip provides more time to relax on Cuba’s famed white beaches. Travelers on the Cuba Libre trip can explore the world-famous Robaina tobacco plantation, walk through the pincushion hills, and wander amongst orchids and lush mountain coffee plantations during this week-long tour through the ‘Garden Province’ of Cuba. Both trips include a local homestays with Cuban families and options to snorkel crystal clear waters full of colorful coral and walk the footsteps of pirates along the Guanahacabibes Peninsula.

Gap Adventures’ 9-day Cuba Explorer (CCCE) trip offers travelers the chance to tour bustling Havana in a vintage car, explore natural Cuba, and take in some historic sites on this comfort service level adventure. In addition to tobacco plantations, travelers can visit the Che monument and take a guided tour on the cobblestone streets of Trinidad.

“The music in Cuba is mind-blowing, and our CEOs (Chief Experience Officers) are passionate about their culture and having a great time, so they know the best places for great live music,” Griffin says. Optional salsa dancing lessons get people on their feet, where they can dance with locals for a truly memorable experience.

Another great way to leave behind the manicured resorts of Varadero and discover the real Cuba is on Gap Adventures’ 8-day Cycle Cuba (CCB). Active travelers can get their blood pumping while biking in the El Rosario mountain ranges, walking in pirate footsteps, and relaxing in the sun on some of Cuba’s most incredible beaches. This tour of the less-travelled western side also includes rum sampling at a distillery, a tour of a tobacco operation, and plenty of time to walk and relax in Havana.

For travelers with more time Gap Adventures offers a 15-day Cuba Colonial (CCC) adventure. In addition to salsa dancing with the locals in Santiago and Baracoa, the heart and soul of the county’s music, travelers can bond with the Cuban people during meals and 10 homestay nights. This trip has plenty of options for all tastes and interests, including snorkelling at Ancon Beach, live music at the Casa de la Trova, the Revolution Museum, and hiking in Topes de Collantes National Park.

For more than 20 years Gap Adventures has demonstrated unparalleled commitment to authentic, small group adventure travel. The company offers a wide array of features and benefits ( for seasoned globetrotters and those new to adventure travel, from the industry’s first lifetime deposits, to industry-leading 24/7 service, no single supplements, a commitment to sustainable tourism, and opportunities for travelers to give back and support sustainable development projects in the places they visit.

Already, one million of the two million international visitors to Cuba annually are from Canada.

The Obama administration issued new rules easing restrictions on US citizens travelling to Cuba. The changes, which do not require Congressional approval, will be enacted within two weeks. The measures will allow eligible students and academics; religious, and other NGO’s to  conduct “purposeful” travel to the island. This could ultimately set the stage for the administration to lift the decades-old travel ban, enabling individuals and tourists to travel.

The first Cuban Communist Party Congress in 14 years will take place in April, and many expect Cuba’s Congress to authorize the first major overhaul of the island’s Soviet-style economic model in 50 years, which could create opportunities to increase tourism.

About Gap Adventures

Gap Adventures is a world leader in the adventure travel industry offering small group adventures on all seven continents and beyond to more than 100,000 global travelers annually. The award-winning trips, which focus on culture, nature and active travel, are ideal for those with a sense of adventure – people who want to leave the beaten path and authentically immerse themselves in a local culture or environment to experience the real world in a sustainable manner. Demonstrating its ongoing cultural, social and economic commitment to responsible tourism, Gap Adventures established the Planeterra Foundation, as a way the company and its passengers can give back to the communities visited. For more information, visit and

See more about what eased travel restrictions to Cuba will mean at:



August 18, 2010


A blacksmith at Old Bethpage, LI demonstrates the craft; Grafton Forge is offering classes this fall © 2010 Karen Rubin/

Grafton Forge, a regional center for the preservation, promotion and education of the art of blacksmithing is offering two learn to blacksmith programs this fall. One class will be a week-long class in September and the other will be a three consecutive weekend program in November. For those wishing to stay on the premises, a special lodging price is offered at The Old Tavern at Grafton, an historic country inn located steps from Grafton Forge.

Owned by the Windham Foundation and operated by noted blacksmith and educator Adam Howard, Grafton Forge’s mission is to further of the art of blacksmithing and the share its vital role past and present in the daily life, economy and community of Grafton and rural Vermont.

“This season’s class offerings are for the beginner or for those with limited experience,” explained Adam Howard, director of Grafton Forge. “Each student will execute a project of their own design. Classes are small and very hands on.”

The shop is host to visitors from far and near including numerous school groups and others interested in learning about this ancient art and its contemporary applications.

The Old Tavern at Grafton is an historic country inn with 45 rooms including seen suites and four guest houses. The inn is located in the heart of Grafton, Vermont, which has been named one of the 10 most beautiful places in America by USA Magazine.

A week-long Forge Class is being offered September 19-24, 2010, at $600 which Includes lodging at The Old Tavern at Grafton, daily breakfast and daily classes at Grafton Forge (for class only, the program is $300).

Or, you can opt for a Three-consecutive Weekend Forge Class (perfect for locals or weekend warriors) is available weekends: Nov. 6 & 7, 13 & 14 and 19 & 20, 2010, and costs $300 for six days of classes (consecutive weekends). (If you desire lodging, it is $165 per night with a full country breakfast.)

To book, contact: Adam Howard, Grafton Forge, 802-843-1029,

Headquartered in Grafton, Vermont, the Windham Foundation is an operating foundation engaged in philanthropic, charitable and educational activities. Since its inception in 1963, its mission is to promote the vitality of Grafton and Vermont’s rural communities through its philanthropic and educational programs and its subsidiaries whose operations contribute to these endeavors. The Foundation is the owner of Grafton Village Cheese Co., The Old Tavern at Grafton, the Retreat Farm and Grafton Village Nursery.


August 7, 2010

Lights on Broadway

Want to see your name in lights on Broadway? Broadway Inside and Out, presented by Broadway Classroom, offers the opportunity to study with current Broadway performers, learn music and choreography and see a Broadway show. © 2010 Karen Rubin/

For young people who grew up watching “High School Musical,” and have graduated to “Glee,” and dream of a musical theatre career – or those who just want to have fun learning a song and dance routine – performing on Broadway is one step closer to reality.  Broadway Inside and Out, presented by Broadway Classroom, is an innovative program that allows promising young artists at every skill level an opportunity to study with current Broadway performers, learn music and choreography and see a Broadway show.

Broadway Inside and Out’s fall workshop and theatre schedule begins on Saturday, September 25, 2010, featuring the Tony Award-winning Billy Elliot; followed by the Broadway classic, West Side Story, on Saturday, October 9, and the Tony Award-winning In the Heights on Saturday, November 13.  (December workshop to be announced shortly.)

Each Broadway Inside and Out theatre workshop is priced at $165 per person and begins with the three-hour workshop with a Broadway professional at 9 a.m., followed by lunch at Planet Hollywood and a ticket to see the featured musical.  Students, ideal for ages 10 and up, will learn music and choreography from the show, talk one-on-one with Broadway professionals about careers in theatre and have an opportunity for photos and autographs.

Over the course of the three-hour workshop, participants will be challenged by working theatre professionals to surpass the level at which they are currently performing by developing skills to learn music and choreography not just quickly, but simultaneously.  Team work, listening skills, self-expression, self-esteem and confidence are just some of what students will learn in this high-energy, nurturing and rewarding experience.

“The new Broadway Inside and Out program directly addresses the explosion of interest in musical theatre among young people,” said Carl Prince, executive vice president of   “As a result, we’re seeing highly interested ‘students’ at every talent level who love the opportunity to learn and be challenged by a real Broadway insider and, most importantly, to have fun while they’re doing it.”

The deadline for applications for the September 25 Billy Elliot workshop is August 15; for the October 9 West Side Story workshop, applications are due September 1; and October 6 for the November 13 In The Heights workshop.   Schedules, information and applications are available at  Workshops are held at Pearl Studios, 500 Eighth Avenue, 12th Floor, New York City.

About Broadway Classroom – Since 1998, more than 300,000 students and adults have experienced Broadway Classroom, a series of private workshops for both individuals and groups designed to enhance the Broadway experience.  As the leader in educational Broadway workshops, Broadway Classroom’s goal is to inspire students to bring the performing arts to life not only during the workshop, but also in their daily lives.  Broadway Classroom is a division of  For more information visit