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Here are some citywide opportunities for teachers to supplement traditional classroom instruction with hands on, experiential learning for their students. See a list of current offerings below, organized by borough.
- Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum Through touch-tours, open-ended inquiry challenges, craft projects, and interactive games, Bartow Pell’s curriculum-rich sessions build critical thinking and evidential reasoning skills that benefit students across disciplines.
- Bronx River Alliance The Bronx River Alliance's Education Program helps schools and community organizations use the river as a classroom, engaging youth and adults in a variety of enjoyable and educational activities. The Alliance provides teachers with training, curriculum consulting, lesson plans, equipment and supplies to support students in becoming river doctors, scientists and more.
- Bronx Zoo The WCS Education Department offers a variety of standards-based learning experiences at our parks and at schools.
- Rocking the Boat Rocking the Boat's On-Water Classroom exposes students to the joy of rowing and the ecological diversity of the Bronx River.
- Wave Hill Immerse your class in nature as you explore Wave Hill’s glorious gardens and woodlands. An experienced educator leads your class in outdoor exploration and hands-on activities that help students at all levels make meaningful connections to the environment.
- 826 NYC storytelling and bookmaking 826NYC hosts classes across New York City for Write Together: an interactive writing experience that encourages creative expression, explore the elements of storytelling and strengthens writing skills. Elementary and middle school classes collaborate on illustrated children’s books, middle schoolers can choose their own adventure with multi-ending stories, and high schoolers learn the art of memoir writing during a fast-paced and whimsical 90-minute narrative program. The Write Together program is now available as either a virtual workshop or an in-person field trip to a "secret library." Read about a 2nd-grade class trip to the Secret Library »
- Aviator Sports and Events Center This 175,000-square-foot facility has two regulation NHL ice rinks, a 20,000-square-foot field house, a gymnastics center, a rock wall and two outdoor fields. Groups can participate in basketball, volleyball, soccer, gymnastics, ice skating, flag football, rock climbing, team-building activities, swimming and bubble soccer.
- Brooklyn Botanic Garden Registered school groups can visit the Brooklyn Botanic Garden for free. The Garden also offers 90-minute guided workshop programs for students in pre-K through 8th grade ($150 per class; a discount is available for Title I schools) to help students explore trees, plants and flowers.
- Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy The Conservancy offers a variety of programs for children in grades K-12, with topics including the ecology of Brooklyn Bridge Park, engineering, geological formations, sustainability and more.
- Brooklyn Children's Museum The Brooklyn Children's Museum offers on-site school programs as well as "Museum on the Go" art, culture, math and science curriculum kits that can be used in your classroom. A limited number of free school programs for Title I schools are available.
- Brooklyn Navy Yard BLDG 92 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard partners with the Brooklyn Historical Society to offer free education programs. Students visiting the Brooklyn Navy Yard will learn to think like historians and engineers through hands-on investigation of Brooklyn’s material culture, art and written documents. Read about a 3rd-grade class trip to the Brooklyn Navy Yard »
- Brooklyn Robot Foundry Show your students the wonder of building robots with workshops on simple circuits, vibration, switches, LEDs and more.
- Environmental Study Center This 7,000-square-foot learning center in Bergen Beach, Brooklyn, is home to over 200 living organisms, four learning labs, an outdoor learning space with a pond habitat and urban garden, and a greenhouse laboratory.
- New York Aquarium Classes, group tours and self-guided tours are available for all grades.
- New York Transit Museum Led by a staff of skilled educators, school programs complement curricular exploration of the New York City history, the engineering sciences, the mathematics and art of subway and station design, and the urban landscape.
- Newtown Creek Alliance The Newtown Creek Alliance offers guided tours through the Newtown Creek watershed focusing on the history, industrial use and environment challenges in the area.
- Prospect Park Zoo Guided tours on themes including animal adaptations, animal families, animal defenses, diets and habits are available. Self-guided tours and classes are also offered.
- Waterfront Museum Docked in Red Hook, Brooklyn, this floating classroom helps students learn about geography, history, social studies and science aboard the last remaining covered wooden barge.
- Weeksville Heritage Center Weeksville Heritage Center, Brooklyn’s largest African-American cultural institution, is a multidisciplinary museum dedicated to preserving the history of the 19th-century African American community of Weeksville, Brooklyn — one of America’s first free black communities.
- Wyckoff House Museum The Wyckoff House Museum preserves, interprets, and operates New York City’s oldest building and the surrounding one-and-a-half acres of park. Through innovative educational and farm-based programs it builds cultural and agricultural connections within our community, emphasizing immigration, family, food, and community through history.
- American Museum of Natural History The Museum of Natural History is a top field trip destination in New York City: amazing new exhibits, over 32 million objects in their permanent collections, and exceptional programs, resources and classes for students and teachers.
- Asia Society and Museum Building on the idea of the Museum as an extension of the classroom, Asia Society offers interactive guided tours for school groups in grades 3–12. In the galleries, teachers and students can learn about the works of art on view, discuss how art relates to their own experiences, and discover what’s new and compelling about art today.
- Battery Urban Farm Explore The Battery with lesson materials covering agriculture, urban ecosystems, nutrition and history.
- Cathedral of St. John the Divine This landmark building offers numerous field trips aligned with state standards, some free, for NYC schools. Programs are available in architecture and geometry, medieval journeys, immigration, shapes and patterns, world religions, civic engagement and more.
- Center for Architecture The Center for Architecture offers hands-on workshops at its SoHo location and school-based residency programs for K-12 students.
- Central Park Zoo Self-guided tours, guided tours and classes are available.
- Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment Center This 80,000-square-foot center offers a variety of sports activities, including soccer, rock climbing, gymnastics, basketball and more.
- Children's Museum of Manhattan The museum’s theme-based, 90-minute guided group visits for grades K-8 are led by a museum educator and include a tour of a thematic exhibition and a hands-on arts workshop. In-school residency programs are also available.
- Cooper Hewitt Design Cooper Hewitt offers two free design programs for K-12 students.
- Democracy Now! Give students an opportunity to visit a news studio control room to view a live taping of Democracy Now!, followed by a discussion about independent news and investigative journalism. Trips are free.
- Drawing Center This SoHo center offers two free programs for K-12 students, comprised of on-site and in-school activities. The experience includes a guided tour and hands-on projects.
- El Museo del Barrio El Museo del Barrio offers guided tours of the museum as well as walking tours of the surrounding neighborhood, both of which allow students to participate in sketching, movement and writing activities.
- Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration On ranger-led programs, students in grades 3-12 can play the role of newly arrived immigrants. Self-guided activities for grades 2-12 are also available.
- Empire State Building The Empire State Building offers lesson plans connecting to social studies, science and technology, history and geography, as well as a virtual tour.
- Governors Island Teaching Garden In April through October, students will rotate through hands-on stations that typically include a farm tour, planting or farm work activity, cooking or harvesting and tasting activity, and possible fourth mini-lesson.
- Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum The Intrepid offers social, studies, history and science programs for students in pre-K through 12th grade.
- Merchant's House Museum The landmark Merchant's House, preserved intact, offers an authentic glimpse into life in the mid-19th century. Students explore four floors of period rooms.
- Metropolitan Museum of Art Guided tours and self-guided group admission are available. Guided tour topics include exploring art across cultures, stories and legends, faces and masks and art explorations of particular locations and time periods. Read about a 5th-grade class trip to the Met »
- Metropolitan Opera Access Opera engages students with the unforgettable experience of watching a performance live on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera House and provides teachers with resources for drawing connections across literature, social studies, foreign language, and the arts
- Morgan Library and Museum Explore curriculum in the sciences and humanities through direct observation of primary sources, such as Mesopotamian seals and tablets, medieval and Renaissance manuscripts, rare printed books, master drawings and period architecture. Read a New York Teacher article about a 5th-grade class trip to the Morgan »
- Morris-Jumel Mansion Tour "Manhattan's oldest house" and learn about the Revolutionary War, life in the 18th and 19th centuries, slavery, archaeology and more.
- Museum of Jewish Heritage: A Living Memorial to the Holocaust The Museum of Jewish Heritage is New York’s home for Holocaust education. Tours focus on various topics including issues of cultural identity and heritage, the Jewish immigrant experience, Israel and more.
- National Archives The National Archives offers free trips that explore rich primary sources.
- National Jazz Museum Educational tours and in-gallery workshops at this museum in Harlem allow participants to engage deeply with jazz history and discover timeless lessons of creativity, vision and collaboration.
- National Museum of Mathematics Experience the joys, wonders, and beauty of math at the National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath), the only museum dedicated to math in North America. At MoMath, teachers and students from pre-K through high school and beyond are able to explore more than 30 memorable, interactive exhibits designed to make math accessible and fun. Classes are also able to participate in MoMath’s many activities and workshops that bring math to life in exciting and innovative ways. Read a New York Teacher article about a class trip to the Museum of Math »
- New York City Center for Aerospace and Applied Mathematics The New York City Center for Aerospace and Applied Mathematics increases students’ interest and excitement about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) through space and aviation science. Through hands-on activities that simulate real world experiences, students in grades K–12 apply math and science concepts learned in the classroom while working together to solve authentic problems.
- New York City Fire Museum The museum, in conjunction with the New York City Fire Department, operates a world-class fire safety education program designed to teach participants how to prevent fires within the home and how to protect themselves and escape should a fire occur. The program consists of two components— classroom training and a simulated fire event in a mock home environment.
- New-York Historical Society Bring your students on a trip to the oldest museum in New York! Whether they are visiting a special exhibition or our beautifully redesigned permanent collection galleries, students will be actively engaged with the stuff of history — the artifacts, works of art, and documents that provide a window onto our collective past.
- New York Improv Theatre Interactive shows and workshops entertain audiences with creative comedy arts.
- Paley Center for Media Using programs from the collection of television and radio recordings as a means of illustration and investigation, Paley Center educators lead sessions on a wide range of subjects such as advertising, the documentary form, and the civil rights movement. Inquiry-based classes seek to build analytical thinking, viewing, and listening skills and attempt to provide insight into the roles television and radio play in our culture.
- Rubin Museum of Art Explore Himalayan Asia here in New York! Guided tours at the Rubin help K–12 students develop visual literacy and critical-thinking skills through engaging, inquiry-based discussions. Read a New York Teacher article about a 1st-grade trip to the Rubin »
- South Street Seaport Museum South Street Seaport Museum tells the story of how New York’s great natural harbor gave rise to the metropolis we know today. Dockside programs combine indoor and outdoor hands-on activities to show how the science of the harbor affects how we live today.
- Tenement Museum Through interactive tours of the tenement building and Lower East Side neighborhood, students investigate universal themes of cultural identity, discrimination, and human rights.
- Whitney Museum of American Art In free guided visits, students will learn to think critically, look closely and consider how art can be a voice for expressing different ideas.
- Alley Pond Environmental Center Alley Pond's class workshops are available on a variety of topics, from invertebrate animals to ecosystems to seasonal species to ecology.
- Bayside Historical Society At its historic "Castle" building at Fort Totten, Bayside History Society offers a variety of hands-on programs for students in grades K through 12 that teach what life was like in Queens more than a century ago.
- King Manor Museum Programs focus on life and work at King Manor in Jamaica, Queens, in the 19th century and the history of the King family in early America and the anti-slavery movement.
- Louis Armstrong House Museum The Louis Armstrong House Museum sustains and promotes the cultural, historical, and humanitarian legacy of Louis Armstrong by preserving and interpreting Armstrong’s house and grounds and collecting and sharing archival materials that document Armstrong’s life and legacy. Read a New York Teacher article about a middle school class trip to the Louis Armstrong House »
- Materials for the Arts The Education Center at Materials for the Arts in Long Island City, Queens, offers programming focused on creative reuse: making art with readily available materials and the ever-changing MFTA warehouse inventory. The Center hosts field trips programs for students and P-Credit courses for teachers in two classroom studios, organizes exhibitions of artwork at MFTA Gallery, and sends teaching artists into schools to share reuse techniques.
- Museum of the Moving Image Exhibition tours, film and television screenings, and hands-on workshops help you teach the core curriculum with the support of a dynamic and interactive environment.
- New York Hall of Science The Hall of Science offers school workshops and programs for all ages, as well as an on-the-go option. Students can learn about design, ecosystems, STEM and more. Read about a 3rd-grade class trip to the Hall of Science »
- Queens County Farm Museum This 47-acre farm, the oldest continuously farmed site in New York State, includes historic farm buildings, a greenhouse complex, livestock, farm vehicles and implements, planting fields, an orchard and herb garden. Read a New York Teacher article about a kindergarten field trip to the farm »
- Queens Historical Society The Queens Historical Society offers walking tours of historic sites in Flushing, archaeology workshops, workshops about the Underground Railroad and more.
- Queens Museum The Queens Museum provides pre-K–12 students with fun learning experiences that integrate in-depth observation and interpretation of art and historical exhibits, and hands-on art-making activities.
- Queens Public Library Visit one of their 63 community libraries for student library cards, summer meals, activities for all ages, clubs for teens, as well as books, magazines, ebooks and other media in many languages and formats -- all for free.
- Queens Zoo The Queens Zoo offers guided tours on themes including adaptations, habitats and diets, birds, mammals and domestic animals. Classes and self-guided tours are also available.
- Vander Ende Onderdonk House At the oldest Dutch Colonial stone house in New York City, students can tour the house and grounds, see a slide presentation on early New York history and participate in a colonial craft activity.
- Voelker Orth Museum The Voelker Orth Museum occupies an 1890s immigrant family's house in Flushing, Queens and offers a variety of history, science and art programs. Read a New York Teacher article about a 1st-grade class trip to the Voelker Orth Museum »
- Historic Richmond Town Using history and culture as a foundation, the museum explores the roles and lives of men, women, and children throughout the centuries. School tours and workshops are available.
- Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanic Garden Snug Harbor on Staten Island offers four 90-minute outdoor tour varieties: New York Chinese Scholar’s Garden, Wetlands, Snug Harbor Pastoral Grounds and Gardens, and Snug Harbor Heritage Farm. Each tour may be paired with a class; topics include Chinese calligraphy, wetlands, the water cycle and more.
- Staten Island Children's Museum Guided by a museum educator, students will learn through hands-on experience.
- Staten Island Museum School and educator programs use the Staten Island Museum’s collection and exhibitions to create a forum for ideas, debate, and exchange. Programs at the Museum and in the classroom offer students and teachers an interdisciplinary and hands-on learning experience.
- Staten Island Zoo The Staten Island Zoo offers animal presentations with topics including animals and folklore, ecosystems, rainforest, safaris and more. Traveling zoo programs are also available.
6 Coolest High School Senior Trip Ideas: NYC
New York City is arguably the most exciting city in the world, and when planning a high school senior trip to New York , it can be easy to get lost with the countless attractions and places to do and see. It would take months if not years to truly experience New York at its fullest, but with only a few days, you want to make sure every minute counts.
Here are the 6 coolest ideas and places to visit for any high school senior class trip to New York City:
- The Statue of Liberty
- Central Park
- Little Italy
- Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Times Square
- Six Flags Great Adventure
Read below as we dive into each place, explaining exactly what makes these locations awesome choices for a high school senior trip!
1) The Statue of Liberty
One of the best parts about visiting Liberty Island and Ellis Island is that it gives you a chance to take your seniors out on a ferry, which might be a first for many of them. While you can take your seniors to both islands on your own, there are plenty of guided tours available that run daily.
And if you’re really trying to get your money’s worth, this area is actually one of six stops on the official New York City Pass, which includes the 9/11 Memorial building. This symbol of freedom, hope, and new beginnings is a must-see, and for high school seniors, the trip to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island is one they’ll never forget.
- Visitors were once permitted to climb up to the torch, until the Black Tom incident in 1916, when the Black Tom island was blasted by 2 million tons of TNT and similar explosives
- The “spikes” on top of the statue’s crown are actually supposed to represent a halo
- The statue was originally the color of a penny, and turned greenish-blue after its first 20 years
2) Central Park
With ball fields, skating rinks, meadows, hills, playgrounds, and awesome attractions like the Central Park Zoo, Belvedere Castle, and Strawberry Fields, you can spend an entire week roaming the destination and not see the same thing twice.
Be sure to begin your trip by picking up a free offer map from the visitor center. It’s then up to you and your class to decide if you want to explore it on your own with a walking route, or join up with one of the many daily tours.
So what can you do specifically? If you are looking for more than just a nice walk through nature in the middle of one of the busiest cities in the world, the area offers a ton of activities to do and places to explore, such as:
- Central Park Zoo: Over 100 animal species from various ecosystems and habitats call the Central Park Zoo home. From penguins to monkeys, polar bears to red pandas the Delacorte Clock to the 4D Theater, you will have an awesome time at this zoo.
- Conservatory Garden: With thousands upon thousands of shrubs and trees, the Conservatory Garden is the true “formal garden”, with a calmer and more peaceful atmosphere than the rest of the area. This six-acre space is a frequent venue for weddings and other formal events, with sections divided for English, Italian, and French style gardens.
- Loeb Boathouse: With the lake comes its own boathouse, where you can have a nice meal or drink at the restaurant by the water’s edge, or even rent your own boat and take a tour on the lake itself.
- It used to be a place of rocks, swamps, and terrible soil. About half a million cubic feet of soil was imported from the closest place they could find great soil – New Jersey
- Due to budget cuts, the Park has had a few decades where mismanagement and bureaucratic issues contributed to the location almost falling into chaos, in the 30s and the 70s. Thankfully, fundraising bodies kept it alive through tough times
- It was once home to thousands of sheep in the large Sheep Meadow area, from the 1860s until just after the Great Depression
3) Little Italy
New York Italians played a huge part in shaping New York as we know it today, and there is nothing more Italian American than Little Italy. The neighborhood got its name due to the many Sicilian and Neapolitan immigrants that moved into the area in the 1880s. That Italian influence has lived on, morphing into a uniquely Italian New York experience that you can’t see, feel, or taste anywhere else.
So what is there to see and do in Little Italy? While Little Italy has recently shrunk because of the expansion of Chinatown, there is still plenty of Italian American authenticity to be seen and tasted down these streets to make all tourists on trips more than content. Some popular places include:
- Di Palo’s: Di Palo’s is a grocery store that many consider the heart of Italian New York living. Just stepping in and taking a whiff of the air in the store is enough to breathe in an entire culture, with prosciutto bread, hand pulled mozzarella, and many other staple ingredients that make this place one of the few grocery stores that regularly has a line outside the door.
- Grotta Azzurra: If you only have time for one restaurant for the “true Italian American experience”, then you’ve got to check out Grotta Azzurra. With a bustling atmosphere with bright lights and loud guests, this restaurant is a memorial, perfectly capturing the family-friendly attitude while serving up rustic and classic dishes that you won’t forget.
- Italian American Museum: If you are looking for more than just food, the Italian American Museum is a must-see, with a photo gallery of the history and life of Little Italy. Unfortunately, the venue is currently under renovation and won’t be open until Spring 2021.
- Rossi E and Company: Italian gifts, souvenirs, and novelties. For tourists looking to take home a piece of Little Italy with them, Rossi E and Company offers much better souvenirs than a perfect breadstick from your favorite Italian restaurant.
- Little Italy’s Lombardi’s Pizza is known as the first official US pizzeria, first opening its doors back in 1905
- That spaghetti and meatballs dish you love so much? That was actually an invention of Little Italy’s southern Italian population!
- The Italian American Museum is home to the famous Matteo family puppet shows, which entertained residents and visitors of New York from the 1920s to the 1950s
4) Metropolitan Museum of Art
What’s great about the Met is that it has something for every senior in your class – no matter what part of history interests them the most, the Met has something to show. There is no other place on earth where you can experience tours on Egyptian tombs, Renaissance paintings, and Japanese samurai armor in a single day.
With thousands of pieces to see, it can be easy to get lost and miss the most popular attractions. Here are three rooms you need to explore during any Met trips. But with so many things to see, we advise you take several trips if you have the time:
- Asian Art Collection: The Asian Art Collection takes up several mezzanine galleries, and for good reason. Displaying Asian art over various centuries and cultures, your senior students can see depictions of Asian life, culture, and religion (particularly Buddha) over huge spans of recorded human history. One stand-out piece is the “Water Stone” fountain by Isamu Noguchi.
- The Temple of Dendur: Step into the only complete Egyptian Temple you can find in the Western Hemisphere at the Temple of Dendur. Originally built over 2000 years ago in ancient Egypt, the temple was disassembled after it was flooded, and given to the United States as a gift of recognition for their assistance.
- The Greek and Roman Sculpture Court: As a hallmark of Western civilization, no senior student will ever find themselves bored surrounded by Greek and Roman sculptures and statues. This two-story hall is filled with objects from the ancient Greek and Roman empires, with statues, fountains, and an Etruscan chariot.
- One of the many historical artifacts in the Met is the oldest surviving piano in the world. This piano made by Bartolomeo Cristofori – the original Italian inventor of the piano – was built in 1720
- Do your senior students love fashion? The Met is home to perhaps the biggest fashion-history collection in the world, with over 33,000 historical and cultural pieces of clothing and accessories from all over the world
- The NYC Met is one of the most popular museums in the world, with recent reports revealing over 7 million people taking trips to visit annually
5) Times Square
Aside from the glitz and glamour of Broadway, shopping, and awesome billboards, there are tons of attractions and things a group of eager students can see and do in what is known as the “crossroads of the world”.
Enjoy food from all over the world from one of the many NYC food trucks and food stands around the area; sit in on a taping of a popular talk show; listen to the gospel choir at the Times Square Church; interact with the many costumed cartoon characters like Elmo; check out the midnight moment, or the greatest digital art exhibition in the world from 11:57 to midnight every night.
Need more ideas on what to do? Check out the official NYC Information Center for Times Square here .
- Times Square was originally known as Longacre Square, but was renamed to Times Square when The New York Times moved its main offices to the area in 1904
- There is a law that states that every building around Times Square must have a certain minimum display lighting at all times, to maintain the flashy and glitzy look
- The biggest crowd Times Square has ever seen was two million people, when people gathered in the square to celebrate the end of World War II on August 14, 1945
6) Six Flags Great Adventure
Located just between NYC and Philadelphia, Six Flags Great Adventure has 13 rollercoasters and 2 water rides, and operates for most of the year, between March and January.
- The NYC destination first opened in 1974, and was bought by Six Flags in 1977
- There are eleven themed areas in the park, including Fantasy Forest, the Golden Kingdom, Boardwalk, and more
- Six Flags Great Adventure & Safari is the second in size only to Disney’s Animal Kingdom, taking up over 475 acres
Plan Your High School Senior Trip with Junior Tours
Thinking of planning a high school senior class trip or tour to NYC (or anywhere else), and feeling a little lost? Junior Tours is here to help! We’ve been assisting schools, teachers, and classes for decades, taking care of all the essentials to create the perfect school tours and trips.
Whether you are heading to New York, Washington D.C., Canada, or even abroad, we can help you from top to bottom, managing everything from your accommodations to your transportation and even layout every step of your itinerary. We’ll help you plan trips to historic and cultural hearts of the city, from the 9/11 Memorial building to Broadway and everything in between.
Contact us at Junior Tours today , and let us help you create a trip and tour your senior class will never forget!
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New York City Class Trip
New York City reigns supreme as a top destination for class trips and performance groups. There’s so much to see and do, it’s hard to squeeze it all in. Here are just a few highlights…
Rockefeller Center is great for student groups. It’s a one stop shop for the best of NYC. The observation deck at Top of the Rock is usually less crowded than the Empire State Building and offers a stunning, unobstructed view of the city. The NBC Studios tour is popular with students and tons of fun. If traveling during the winter months, a stop at the ice rink is a must. If traveling during the holidays, the Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center is a spectacular must-see!
One World Observatory
One World Observatory at the Westfield World Trade Center is another favorite stop. SkyPod elevators climb 102 stories in 42 seconds for a view like none other!
Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum
The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum offers a rare opportunity for the youth of today to interact with the heroes of the past. Precious few years remain that will allow younger generations to spend time face to face with those who served on ships like the Intrepid. Capture these teachable moments before they slip away.
Lower East Side Tenement Museum and Ellis Island
The Lower East Side Tenement Museum is a landmark building that tells the story of immigrants to New York City between the 19 th and 21 st centuries through the personal experiences of those who lived here. Couple this experience with a trip to Ellis Island to help students understand the role of immigration in our nation’s evolving identity.
Staten Island Ferry
If you want a great harbor view (and photo op!) of the Statue of Liberty , take your students on the Staten Island Ferry . Leaving approximately every 20 minutes from Battery Park, the free ferry takes you right past the Statue.
Dough and DeKalb Market
NYC has some“sweet” spots. A favorite is “Dough,” located in Brooklyn and the Flatiron District . Dough is known for its legendary and mouthwatering doughnuts. DeKalb Market in Brooklyn is also a great option for all kinds of local flavor – students can taste a little bit of everything!
Manhattan Concert Productions
Your ensemble can perform on stage in famous venues with exceptional guest faculty when you collaborate with Manhattan Concert Productions . They offer experiences you won’t find anywhere else, including the following: Symphonic Series New York City Jazz Festival Masterwork Series These are just a few of the performance possibilities offered through Manhattan Concert Productions, whose goal is to help your group shine brightly in a professional and supportive setting.
The Town Hall has a 1500 seat theatre and hosts thousands of students each year. It’s designated a National Historic Landmark because of the important role it played during the women’s suffrage movement – a unique way to combine history and performance in a place where there’s “not a bad seat in the house.”
Broadway Classroom and Disney Theatrical Workshop
If your goal is to make your students more comfortable and confident on stage, you may want to consider a workshop experience like Broadway Classroom or Disney Theatrical Workshop. Broadway Classroom is a series of workshops designed to engage students in the disciplines of theatre. Popular workshops include Broadway basics, music, choreography and staging, the business of a Broadway career, professional Q & As and an anti-bullying themed class. Workshops are typically 90 minutes and are held in the Broadway rehearsal studios. If your group wants to dig a little deeper into the art of the theatre, try a Disney Theatrical Workshop . Running at an itinerary-friendly 90 minutes, these workshops are led by expert Disney Teaching Artists and allow the group to explore the mechanics of a performance – from on stage to behind the scenes.
Our itineraries are just a starting point for your adventure. We work directly with you to create a student trip that’s perfect for your group. If you want a unique performance or learning experience, we make it happen. Do you need to change days or add an attraction?
- Arrive in New York City and meet your “full-scope” tour director
- Rockefeller Plaza
- Radio City Music Hall Tour
- Top of the Rock or the Empire State Building
- Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
- Chinatown and Little Italy
- 9/11 Memorial
- Times Square
- Broadway show
- American Museum of Natural History
- New York TV & Movie Sites
- Guided Manhattan Tour
- Guided Midtown Tour
- Depart for home
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New York City Class Trip
Bring your class to Manhattan, the heartbeat and most bustling of New York City’s five boroughs.
In between the jungle of some of the world’s most iconic skyscrapers – 274 of them to be exact – students will explore a melting pot like no other.
Home to the World Trade Center, United Nations and the majestic Statue of Liberty, the “Big Apple” is a pivotal intersection of world trade, commerce, and culture.
From Broadway to Fifth Avenue and back down to Wall Street, ClassTrip’s experienced tour guides stand at the ready to prepare for your students a local perspective of what makes New York City an international destination unsurpassed by any other.
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This itinerary is customizable
Today we arrive in the Big Apple and meet our ClassTrip.com Tour Director who will remain with us throughout the duration of our trip. We visit Rockefeller Center, a Great Depression era creation which in large part makes mid-town Manhattan what it is today. Rockefeller Center is a unique synthesis of urban planning, architecture, landscaping and sculpture commissioned by the Rockefeller family and including Radio City Music Hall and the famous skyscraper at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. While here we enjoy a backstage tour of Radio City Music Hall, a storied entertainment venue known as the “Showplace of the Nation” which is the headquarters for the Rockettes. We head to Fifth Avenue, where there is an opportunity to explore the street’s world-renowned shopping. We visit St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue. This neo-gothic cathedral was built in the mid to late 19 th century and is one of the most well-known symbols of American Catholicism. We enjoy dinner together in New York City and visit the Empire State Building Observatory, from which we see the city from one of its highest viewing points.
After breakfast we visit the National September 11 Memorial and Museum which is located at the World Trade Center. The Memorial and Museum commemorate and seek to educate the public regarding the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. After lunch we take a subway ride to Central Park, one of New York City’s most famous landmarks and the most-filmed location in the world. In the afternoon we experience the American Museum of Natural History on the Upper West Side, the mission of which is to “To discover, interpret, and disseminate—through scientific research and education—knowledge about human cultures, the natural world, and the universe.” We have dinner together and spend the night in New York City.
This morning we depart on a cruise from Battery Park which will take us to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. Ellis Island served as an immigrant inspection station from 1892 to 1924 and today is the site of the National Museum of Immigration. European immigrants would have seen the Statue of Liberty as they made their entrance to the United States. Upon our return to Battery Park we take the subway to Times Square, where we have time to explore independently. Times Square is known as “the Crossroads of the World” and is the home of the Broadway Theater District. This evening we depart New York City and begin our journey home.
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13 Best NYC Field Trips To Try Today
New York City is arguably the most famous city in the entire U.S., maybe even the world.
And so you can be sure it is a place that students of any age will be excited to visit. And the city that never sleeps will be sure to keep you entertained.
From historic sights, educational institutions, and plenty of attractions, it’s sure to be both fun and informative too, making it the perfect destination for your next field trip.
But what will you do while you’re there?
There is no end to what you can choose to do in New York City, and in fact, whittling all the plentiful options down to just 13 has been quite the task.
But below you’ll find what I believe to be the best places to visit in New York City during a field trip. So, let’s get right to it.
1. Hop-On Hop-Off Big Bus New York Tour
This bus tour around the infamous city is the perfect option for school trips.
There are so many architectural and cultural attractions to see while in the city, and this tour offers a convenient way to get from place to place.
This way you should be able to pack more into your day as you don’t have to walk long distances while trying to keep 30+ students together.
And while on the bus the tour guide will inform you of all the rich history and stories behind each and every attraction, and you’ll almost definitely learn some new and interesting facts along the way.
2. American Museum Of Natural History
When it comes to museums, they don’t get much better than this one. This attraction is so enthralling and entertaining that your students won’t even realize that it’s educational – but it is.
This museum is extremely popular as a field trip destination, so much so that it’s unlikely that you’ll ever visit when there isn’t at least one school prowling its halls.
And it’s not hard to see why, with interactive learning opportunities, unique exhibits, and over 34 million objects to observe, it is sure to pique the interest of all that attend.
3. Statue Of Liberty & Ellis Island Museum
The Statue of Liberty is an iconic landmark that everyone should have the opportunity to visit at least once in their lifetime.
And this popular attraction is a great field trip option for students of all ages.
Lady Liberty holds such an important place in both American culture and history, and so there is plenty of educational content that can go beyond the entertainment value of getting some pictures with the Lady herself.
Then there is the Ellis Island Immigration Museum which can unlock bountiful knowledge about the history of immigration.
And considering that admission to both the statue and the Island is completely free, there’s really no excuse not to. It’ll only cost you your ferry tickets.
4. 9/11 Memorial And Museum
I’ll preface this field trip suggestion by saying that it definitely won’t be suitable for all age groups.
This poignant, thought-provoking and incredibly crucial museum can be very upsetting and triggering for all students but especially younger ones.
I would receive this trip for those aged middle grade and above.
9/11 was arguably one of the biggest tragedies that America has ever seen.
Throughout your time in the museum, you will learn more about the events and how they impacted the lives of those involved.
Many artifacts from the ruins are available as well as artwork, and much more.
It is important to ensure that the utmost respect is shown while visiting the museum.
5. Children’s Museum Of Manhattan
For those with younger students, there isn’t a better destination than the Children’s Museum Of Manhattan.
At the museum, you’ll get a 90-minute guided tour suitable for students in grades K-8 where you are shown around a thematic exhibition and an interactive art workshop.
This interactive fun-based learning experience is so great for young minds as they can really get involved hands-on and enjoy their time while they learn subconsciously.
6. The Empire State Building
Let’s face it, what is a trip to NYC without visiting the Empire State Building?
It would be criminal not to.
And the world’s most famous building has a lot more to offer than just a great view from the top, though it’s worth going for that alone, there is also plenty to learn about in this educational center.
In fact, the site has actually begun a partnership with Bank Street College of Education so that it can provide free course materials and educational content for those looking to learn more about the building.
7. Intrepid Sea, Air, And Space Museum
This amazing museum is appropriate for students of any age, and any of the adults attending too.
The exhibits and collections here are really quite impressive and so you can be sure there won’t be a bored student in sight.
There’s even a 4D simulator where you can watch an 8-minute film using state-of-the-art computer graphics and never-seen-before historical footage.
You’ll fully immerse into the story, learn a lot, and have a great time too. You must be 40” or taller to ride.
3D films, audio tours, guided tours, and much more are also available so that you can get the most out of your visit and learn something new.
8. 826 NYC Storytelling And Bookmaking
This interactive writing experience is sure to get the creative juices flowing in all students.
Here classmates will be encouraged in creative expression, will learn about the elements of storytelling, and will also strengthen their writing skills – all while having a great time.
And the best part is that the field trip can be suited to the age group of the students.
For example, elementary students will collaborate on illustrated books, whereas middle schoolers have a choose-your-adventure book that includes multiple endings to the story, and high schoolers will learn the art of memoir writing.
9. Bronx Zoo
What child doesn’t love a trip to the zoo?
Visit the Bronx Zoo and you’ll be sure to have smiling faces all around. And there are several different field trip programs available that cater to a range of different age groups.
They even do guided tours and scavenger hunts. There is plenty to see and do here at this zoo with lots of opportunities to educate the students on the diverse wildlife.
10. Democracy Now!
Democracy Now! Is a national news program that runs daily, and students are welcomed into the studio to watch the broadcast.
While there, students will learn more about independent journalism, current events, media literacy, and much more.
Because this is a little more advanced, it won’t be suitable for younger students but for middle grade and above it offers a unique educational experience and opportunity.
11. The Drawing Center
This is a great field trip that encourages participation and creativity as well as education. The students will take part in a two-part workshop.
The first will involve taking a closer look at some of the artwork in the gallery.
The second will give students an opportunity to create their own piece of artwork based on the previously observed pieces in the gallery.
This hands-on experience is both fun and educational, appropriate for all age ranges, and allows students to express themselves.
What more could you ask for from a field trip?
12. Building 92: Brooklyn Navy Yard Center
For students between grades 2-5, Building 92 Brooklyn Navy Yard Center is the perfect destination.
The Ingenious Inventions field trip is informative, interactive, fun, and educational – everything you could want and more.
Not only will your youngsters learn all about the history of innovation, they will also have to put their scientific and mathematical knowledge to the test as they focus on applications of the real world.
13. The Hudson River Museum
When it comes to astronomy lessons, you won’t find better ones than at The Hudson River Museum. The workshop is so impressive that even the adults will get a kick out of this visit.
The live planetarium show is a real wonder to behold where you are able to see the sky as it looks right now.
Throughout the show, students will learn about planets, constellations, and other impressive facts about the night sky.
Then once that’s finished, the hands-on workshop is a great way to explore even more about the planets.
Children will be encouraged to make observations, record data, and find clues in hidden boxes.
And there you have it, my top 13 places to visit for field trips. The important thing about ensuring a great field trip is that it is equally as interesting and exciting as it is educational.
That way, you can keep the interest of the students and ensure a great experience all around.
Any of the field trips mentioned in this article today are exactly that. There’s definitely something to be learned but there’s also so much fun to be had.
So, what are you waiting for? Plan your next field trip today!
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New York City Classic Class Trip Itinerary
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New York City, New York Classic Class Trip
There is so much to do in the “big apple” it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the endless options, especially if you are unfamiliar with the area. we have a classic itinerary that provides a solid foundation for your students’ very first visit to nyc.
Sample Itinerary: 3 Days/2 Nights
Choose from the optional attractions below OR customize to your preferred attractions, meals and more!
Departure (Motorcoach, Flight, Ferry, Train Transportation)
Optional Add On Boxed Lunch
Visit Rockefeller Center
Backstage Radio City Music Hall Tour
Exploration of Fifth Avenue
Group Sit Down Dinner
Hotel Accommodations (2 Nights)
Overnight Security Provided (2 Nights)
National September 11 Memorial & Museum
American Natural History Museum
Group Sit Down Dinner
Empire State Building Observatory
Statue Cruises- Battery Park, Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
Times Square Exploration
Boxed Sandwich Lunch
Optional Group Sit-Down Dinner
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- RECREATION Find field trip ideas for adventure parks, ropes courses, ziplines, boat excursions, amusement parks, waterparks, kayaking, rafting, tubing, laser tag paintball, roller skating rinks, ice-skating rinks, mini-golf attractions, indoor amusement & recreation centers, and outdoor amusement & recreation centers.
Overnight field trips include trips to NYC, trips to Boston, trips to Philadelphia, trips to Washington, DC, trips to Chicago, trips to Atlanta, trips to Austin, and other historic cities throughout the US. Retreats are available for environmental education, team building, and recreation. We created field trip lesson plans to help teachers, scout leaders, camp counselors, and homeschool parents provide an enriching experience for their groups. We know funds for class trips are limited, so we’ve included grants for field trips that cover admission, transportation, and more. It’s important that students and youth explore new environments, learn about other cultures, and develop an understanding of inclusivity as part of the educational process. People learn in different ways—through hearing, seeing, touching, talking, or doing. Class trips can provide a multi-dimensional learning experience. FieldTripDirectory.com can help you find the right trip for your group. A world of experiences is just a click away at FieldTripDirectory.com.
Class trip company: unlocking educational adventures.
Embark on an educational adventure like never before with Peak Group Travel, your trusted class trip company . We recognize the immense value of class trips as a way for students to explore the world, gain new perspectives, and create lasting memories. Our mission is to craft memorable and enriching class trips that inspire, educate, and foster lifelong connections among students. Step outside the classroom and into a world of exploration with a class trip designed to ignite curiosity and spark a passion for learning.
Class Trip Destinations: A World of Possibilities
From the bustling streets of New York City to the vibrant landscapes of Los Angeles, we have spent years organizing class trips to diverse destinations across the country. Our extensive network of partners in accommodations, landmarks, and experienced tour guides ensures that your class trip is nothing short of extraordinary. Contact us today to take the first step toward creating the ultimate class trip.
Class Trip Packages: Two Birds With One Stone
At Peak Group Travel, we believe in making the most of your class trip by crafting itineraries that blend education and enjoyment seamlessly. Before finalizing any plans, we collaborate with you to understand your goals and preferences, ensuring that the trip aligns with your objectives and caters to the needs of your students. Whether you seek a day of historical site visits or a fun-filled afternoon of activities, our expertise lies in providing a holistic experience that strikes the perfect balance between education and recreation. Let us assist you in creating a memorable class trip that your students will cherish and eagerly anticipate for years to come.
Class Trip Planner: Experience the Extraordinary
As educators, you aim to provide your students with the best educational experiences possible. Field trips offer a fantastic opportunity to build a sense of community and reinforce classroom lessons, but planning engaging trips can be a challenging task. That’s where we come in! Our team is dedicated to helping you create an amazing itinerary for your class trip, focusing on four essential variables:
Class Trip Ideas: Location
The choice of location plays a pivotal role in shaping the overall class trip experience. Whether you opt for a bustling city with guided tours of art museums, science centers, and historic sites or prefer a more serene, rural setting with opportunities for nature exploration and outdoor activities, we offer a range of popular destinations. From Washington D.C. to New York City, Los Angeles to Baltimore, we cater to diverse preferences. Once you’ve selected your destination, we handle all logistics and planning, delivering a flawless class trip experience.
Class Trip Ideas for Small Groups: Participation
Recognizing that every class has its unique personality and interests, we take a personalized approach to trip planning. Our itineraries are tailored to the specific needs and preferences of your students, ensuring engagement and enrichment. Whether your group consists of young academics, promising athletes, or any other dynamic, we design experiences that will leave a lasting impact. From leisurely strolls through historic sites to overnight trips and performance tours, we cater to all groups, ensuring an unforgettable class trip experience.
Class Trip Budget: Purpose
We believe that the purpose of a school trip extends beyond a single, enlightening moment. Instead, we focus on creating a series of stimulating experiences that impact students in various ways. By understanding your goals, we design an itinerary that aligns with your objectives, whether it’s fostering community, reinforcing classroom lessons, or simply offering a fun and relaxing escape. With our expertise and resources, we ensure that your class trip serves its purpose effectively, creating meaningful and memorable moments.
Class Trip Logistics: Seamless Experience
Our commitment to your class trip experience goes beyond mere guidance. We work collaboratively to craft the perfect field trip, handling every detail from start to finish. We understand that every aspect matters, and we spare no effort to ensure that your class trip is seamless and meets your vision. Whether planning a day trip or an extended adventure, we manage all logistics, guaranteeing a stress-free and memorable experience for both you and your students.
Class Trip Safety: Prioritizing Well-Being
Safety is paramount in class trip planning. We take comprehensive steps to ensure the safety and well-being of your students throughout the journey. Our experienced team is equipped to handle any situation, and we have a network of resources in place to address unforeseen challenges. Your students’ security is our top priority.
Class Trip Planning Guide: Your Roadmap to Success
Planning a class trip can be complex, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Our class trip planning guide serves as your comprehensive roadmap, offering step-by-step guidance, practical tips, and valuable insights to make your trip a resounding success. Whether you’re an experienced educator or a novice in the world of class trips, this guide is your trusted companion.
In conclusion, Peak Group Travel is committed to creating exceptional class trip experiences that blend education, enrichment, and enjoyment. We invite educators and students alike to embark on a journey of exploration, discovery, and lifelong learning. Contact us today to start planning a class trip that will inspire and educate, leaving a lasting impression on your students’ academic journey.
The location of your field trip plays a crucial role in shaping the overall experience. Whether you choose a bustling city or a more remote location, we have a variety of popular destinations to choose from. A city trip might include guided tours of art museums, science centers, and historic sites, while a trip to a more rural location could include opportunities for nature exploration and outdoor activities. Some of our most popular destinations include Washington D.C., New York City, Los Angeles, and Baltimore. Once you’ve chosen your desired location, we’ll handle all of the logistics and planning to make the trip a success. Trust us to deliver the perfect field trip experience on a silver platter.
At Peak, we understand that every class is unique and has its own personality and preferences. That’s why we take a personalized approach to trip planning, tailoring our itineraries to the specific needs and interests of your students. Whether you’re looking to engage young academics or promising athletes, we promise to create experiences that will only enrich their lives. We see your students as our clients and go above and beyond to design an itinerary that we know they will love. From long walks through historic sites to overnight trips and performance tours, we have something for every group. Trust us to create the perfect field trip experience for your class.
We believe that the purpose of a school trip extends far beyond a single, defining moment of enlightenment. Instead, we focus on creating a series of individual but equally stimulating moments that will impact your students in a variety of ways. When planning your trip, we take the time to understand your goals and design an itinerary that meets those objectives. Whether you want to foster a sense of community, reinforce classroom lessons, or simply provide an opportunity for students to have fun and relax, we have the expertise and resources to make it happen. Let us help you create a meaningful and memorable field trip experience for your students.
SEAMLESS TRIP EXPERIENCE
We’re more than just trip masters who simply tell you where to go and how to get there. Instead, we work alongside you to build the perfect field trip experience from start to finish. We understand that every detail matters, and we do everything in our power to ensure that every aspect of your school class trip is seamless and exactly as you envision it. Whether you’re planning a day trip or an extended excursion, we’ll handle all of the logistics and planning to make the trip a success. Trust us to create a memorable and stress-free experience for you and your students.
” Just a note to thank you for everything you did for the Wilson Band Trip. Being a chaperone was never such a Breeze. Everything was so well arranged and ran so smoothly. You were great! Thank you for making our trip so memorable. “
Jane Schmoyer, Parent
- Education Programs
- Resources for Educators
- Educator Funding
- Science & Research
We welcome educators to use these field trips to expose students to New York City’s environment. Be sure to check out Resources for Educators for lesson plan and activity ideas. For more information, contact [email protected] .
Dynamic H20 Exhibit at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan
The Dynamic H20 exhibit in the Sussman Environmental Center at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan features hands-on interactives and cool, colorful graphics. It dives into the City’s water supply system, which delivers about 1 billion gallons of water each day to more than 9 million New Yorkers.
The exhibit features a 16-foot interactive water table that enables children to investigate the path of New York City’s water as they play and explore. Additional features include an interactive building designed to help children understand how gravity and pumps are essential in providing water to houses and skyscrapers across the city. Magnetic tubes that can carry water allow visitors to create the aqueducts and tunnels that transport water from watersheds to New York City and understand the roles that people play to help design and construct systems that deliver a plentiful supply of clean water. Children are challenged to piece together enough pipes to span the “100 miles” from the Catskills to the city. Other special features are outdoor laboratories where children can enjoy inquiry-based exploration, assuming the roles of some of the people involved in maintaining New York City’s water resources, including marine biologists, ecologists and other scientists. A wide range of educator-led workshops will take place throughout the exhibit’s run. Participation is free with admission.
For more information, visit the Children’s Museum of Manhattan .
Connected Worlds Exhibition at the New York Hall of Science
Connected Worlds, a groundbreaking exhibition at the New York Hall of Science, immerses visitors in a fantastical universe where they can affect the health of six distinct biomes. All of the biomes share a common resource: water, which flows across the interactive floor from a waterfall, the exhibition’s centerpiece.
Through gestures and manipulation of physical objects, visitors guide water among the worlds, cultivate them and explore how the complex system underlying Connected Worlds works. As visitors interact with plants and creatures, they discover the interconnectedness of the different environments and experience how individual and collective actions can have widespread impact.
The experience affords the opportunity for teachers to help their students understand how systems thinking relates to understanding sustainability and make analogies to better grasp how the complexity of our own world functions.
For more information, visit the Connected Worlds at the New York Hall of Science .
The Relief Map of the New York City Water Supply System at the Queens Museum
The 540 square-foot model represents the living, working landscape of the watersheds that supply New York with one billion gallons of drinking water each day.
For more information, visit The Queens Museum .
Time & the Valleys Museum
The Time & the Valleys Museum is home to the history of the Rondout and Neversink Watersheds and the geographical area encompassing the Tri-Valley Central School District.
For more information, visit the Time & the Valleys Museum .
New York City Graduation Trips
New York City Manhattan skyline panorama at night over Hudson River with reflections viewed from New Jersey
So you've put in the man-hours, long nights, and hard work and the time is finally here, you're graduating! As a big congratulations, Adventure Student Travel would like to help you celebrate the trip of a lifetime to The City That Never Sleeps, The Big Apple, New York City! With so much to see and do in this city, let us guide you through the most popular destinations, hottest landmarks, and most informative yet fun city attractions. We'll show you the best spots and coolest New York highlights, all at a very affordable and easy to manage a budget that we will guide you through step by step!
Enjoy an exhilarating ride aboard a jet-powered Beast boat as you zoom past our Lady Liberty or relax with a quiet lunch cruise through New York's iconic skyline. Pay your respects at the 9/11 Memorial or take a somber tour of Ellis Island before you head over to the ever-popular Rockefeller Center to catch the most incredible 360 views from the Top of the Rock, New York's most famous landmark. After all the sightseeing you can handle grab some lunch in this foodie's paradise and head over to the 843-acre Central Park to fit in with the locals in this veritable oasis in the midst of this sprawling urban jungle. Dazzling billboards, bright neon lights, and the sights and sounds of Broadway await you during the evening, and tons of show-stopping storefronts will take you away to a retail paradise during the afternoon.
There's still Time Square, Chinatown, and Soho to explore more historic, cultural, and still very unique and fun traveling experiences, so prepare for one busy and very fun trip! New York City is bursting with iconic experiences, and we're happy to help you get to all of those which you desire! What are you waiting for, our trips fill up fast so book today by calling (877) 397-5700 toll-free ! We have a skilled team of experienced travelers and travel agents standing by ready to help you make your graduation trip a dream come true!
Are you looking for an affordable, customized group trip?
1-Day NYC Memories
2-Day NYC Grad
2-Day New York Literary Trek
3-Day American Dream Getaway
3 Day New York City Fashion Tour
3 Day New York City Financial Tour
3 Day NYC Grad
3-Day Perfect Taste of NYC
5-Day New York Broadway Tour
NYC High School Fashion Tour
5-Day Washington DC & NYC Tour
- 9/11 Memorial Museum
- American Dream Mall
- American Museum of Natural History
- Barney’s NY
- Bike Rent NYC
- Blue Heron Park & Nature Center
- Broadway Play
- Brooklyn Bridge
- Brooklyn Flea Market
- Bryant Park
- Carnegie Hall Tours
- Central Park
- Central Park Sightseeing
- Central Park Zoo
- Chelsea Market
- Chinatown, NYC
- Comedy Cellar
- Coney Island
- Edgar Allan Poe Cottage
- El Museo del Barrio
- Ellis Island
- Empire State Building
- Food on Foot Tours
- Garment District
- Gateway National Recreation Area
- Great Kills Park
- Historic Richmond Town
- Hornblower Cruises
- Hudson Yards New York
- Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum
- Jewish Museum
- LEGOLAND New York
- Liberty Science Center
- Madame Tussauds NYC
- Madison Square Garden
- Manhattan by Sail
- Midtown Manhattan Tour
- Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament
- Museum of the City of New York
- Museum of the Moving Image
- New York Aquarium
- New York Botanical Garden
- New York City Ballet
- New York City Colleges Tour
- New York Hall of Science
- New York Mets
- New York Public Library
- New York Yankees
- Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park
- On Location Tours NY
- Prospect Park Zoo
- Radio City Music Hall
- Ripley’s Believe It or Not!
- Rockaway Beach
- Rockefeller Center Tours
- Staten Island Zoo
- Statue of Liberty
- Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt Design Museum
- Times Square
- The BEAST Speedboat Ride
- The Goethe Institute
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Top of the Rock
- Tour the United Nations
- Turnstile Tours
- Ultimate Fashion Experience
- Unlimited Biking NYC
- VR World NYC
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The best trips from NYC with kids for home day adventures
For a hassle-free family getaway? Take one of these day trips from NYC with the kids.
You can keep the kids endlessly entertained, filling weekends and after-school hours with all the amazing things to do with kids in NYC . When they’re off school, however, that’s a great time to think about a day trip from NYC for some home day adventures. While there are plenty of options for weekend getaways to family resorts and other nearby attractions, a day trip means lots of fun without making reservations or packing a bag. These day trips for kids include epic options like sailing, hiking, biking and even foraging in the woods. Head to a museum, water park, amusement park or beach, all within a couple hours of the city, and you’re sure to have a blast on your next home day adventure.
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Day trips from NYC to take with kids
1. Riverhead, NY
Travel time: 2 hours from NYC
This Suffolk County town boasts more than just the sprawling Tanger Outlet. It's home to the Long Island Aquarium ( longislandaquarium.com ), which houses penguins, otters, octopus and one of the largest all-living, closed-system coral reef displays. Children will love getting their hands wet in the touch tank and taking a look at the sharks (those who are brave enough can even cage dive with them)! Refuel at Turkuaz Grill ( turkuazgrillriverhead.com ), a spot full of homey vibes, delicious Mediterranean fare and outdoor picnic tables. If the kids are itching to get into the water, Splish Splash Water Park satisfies that craving with 96 acres of water rides, pools and tube slides ( splishsplash.com ) .
2. Cape May, NJ
Travel time: 2.5 hours from NYC
This beachy destination, located on the southern tip of New Jersey, is full of great spots for families and curious kids. In addition to strolling along its white sand beaches, families can explore the remains of the U.S.S. Atlantus or venture out into the waters on a tour with Cape May Whale Watch and Research Center ( capemaywhalewatch.com ). Head to the Cape May Count Park & Zoo, ( cmczoo.com ) an admission-free park complete with trolley trains, a carousel, a rock climbing wall and the Tree to Tree Adventure Park. If you’re in town on a day with clear skies, pack a picnic lunch and climb the 199 steps to get to the top of the Cape May Lighthouse ( lighthousefriends.com ).
3. Bucks County, PA
Whether your kids prefer indoor fun, outdoor adventures or close encounters with their favorite TV characters, this spot has it all. As the home of Sesame Place ( sesameplace.com ), children will love meeting Elmo, Big Bird and the rest of the furry gang while experiencing thrilling rides tailored just for them. The Bucks County Children’s Museum ( buckskids.org ) offers interactive educational exhibits where kids can dig for buried treasure, build their own race car and learn how to operate the Delaware Canal system . Little ones can take a ride on the hand-carved wooden figures on the restored 1922 Grand Carousel at Giggleberry Fair before enjoying arcade games in the Game Room or strolling through the shops at 18th-century Peddler’s Village ( peddlersvillage.com ) . When hunger strikes, choose from the variety of dining options Peddler’s Village offers.
4. Jersey City, NJ
Travel time: 40 mins from NYC
Moms and dads can keep the schlepping to a minimum by hopping across the Hudson for a hassle-free day with their little ones. Jersey City boasts some amazing family-friendly entertainment that can be tackled while keeping the Manhattan skyline within view. Hours of awe-worthy entertainment await at the Liberty Science Center ( lsc.org ) where curious kids will have a blast making their way through the various exhibitions.
5. Norwalk, CT
Travel time: 1.5 hours from NYC
Make your first stop in Norwalk the interactive Stepping Stones Museum for Children ( steppingstonesmuseum.org ) for kids 10 and under. The Energy Lab is one of the venue's must-see science-themed offerings. Next, be sure to hit up the impressive Maritime Aquarium ( maritimeaquarium.org ) where kids learn about marine animals that live in the Long Island Sound, meet several varieties of real, live dragons and even touch the tops of jiggly jellyfish. Afterward, choose from a varied selection of its epic IMAX films to enjoy.
6. Wildwood, NJ
This Jersey Shore town is more family-friendly than MTV cameras led us to believe. Stay at El Coronado Resort ( elcoronado.com ) and enjoy poolside barbecues, movies and live entertainment. Morey's Piers ( moreyspiers.com ) offers two parks for one price: Raging Waters and the Ocean Oasis Waterpark and Beach Club, a 10-minute walk or five-minute tram ride away. Those who want to remain on dry land can hit up carnival rides and other attractions at three amusement piers though combo tickets are available if your little ones can't decide. Grab a bite at Crab & Seafood Shack ( crabandseafoodshack.com ) before finishing up the day.
7. New Windsor, NY
Travel time: 1 hour 45 minutes from NYC
Families looking for a cultural getaway are free to traverse 500 grassy acres of large-scale sculptures at Storm King Arts Center, a modern art mecca located in the foothills of the Hudson Valley ( stormkingartcenter.org ). For lunch, stop by the The Storm King Café, which uses locally grown ingredients in its salads, soups and sandwiches.
8. The Hamptons, NY
The South Fork Natural History Museum and Nature Center ( sofo.org ) immerses kids in each exhibit by engaging all five senses. Kids smell foxes, touch marine animals and look through telescopes as they explore. The nature trail behind the museum connects to the nine-mile Long Pond Greenbelt—little ones will have a ball crunching fall leaves. The quaint Sip 'n Soda ( sipnsoda.com ) has typical diner fare, but their famous ice cream sodas are a must. Sugar Daddy’s Toy Store has a huge selection of Rainbow Looms, Disney Infinity characters and a life-size illuminated Iron Man that makes for fun photos.
9. Lehigh Valley, PA
If the family can’t choose between thrilling amusement rides and swimming pools on a hot summer day, then an itinerary centered on Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom ( dorneypark.com ) will satisfy all. The older set will enjoy the twisting, turning dry and wet roller coasters while little ones enjoy Peanuts-themed rides.
10. Greenport, NY
A picturesque former whaling village, Greenport boasts a walkable downtown of shops, galleries and restaurants featuring local seafood. At Preston's Dock, sign up for a cruise aboard the Glory ( greenportlaunch.com ), a 30-foot solar-powered sailing vessel. Just 15 minutes away, kids can swim at Orient Beach State Park, which has a restored lighthouse at its tip, while keeping an eye out for wildlife like great blue herons and osprey. Back in Greenport, chow down at Claudio's ( claudios.com ), a favorite since 1870. Dine on the catch of the day while kids sample fish filet sandwiches.
11. Poconos, PA
No matter the season, the Poconos have something to offer—lakeside activities, skiing, great food, comfy accommodations and more. Plus, the adventurous will love the indoor waterparks and theme parks. Fortunately, each of the destinations we've rounded up aren't terribly far from NYC, so you won't have to stress about lengthy trips.
12. West Point, NY
Travel time: 1.5 hours from NYC
Our nation’s history and Gothic architecture await at the prestigious United States Military Academy (all visitors over 16 must present ID). Begin at the Visitors Center ( usma.edu ) where you can buy tickets for the one-hour bus tour (no self-guided tours are permitted; check westpointtours.com for schedule). The first stop is the massive granite Cadet Chapel, home of the world’s largest pipe organ as well as astounding stained glass windows. Trophy Point is another highlight, with its breathtaking vista overlooking the Hudson River. Post-tour, peruse the gift shop, which has an ample selection of kiddie-sized Army gear, from hooded sweatshirts to plush mascots and make a stop at the free West Point Museum, where weapons aficionados of all ages will gawk at the collection of swords, rifles and tanks from every time period. After leaving the grounds, head to the Ice Cream Shoppe in Highland Falls for cones or milkshakes.
13. Six Flags in Jackson, NJ
Check out amazing activities from A–Z at Six Flags Great Adventure! You can zip down a log flume, brave a swinging pirate ship, brave a 15-story ferris wheel and even fly like Superman (not for the faint of heart). Plus, with the Safari Experience you can see 1,200 animals all from the comfort of your car. ( sixflags.com/greatadventure ).
14. Boundless Adventures
- Theme parks
Travel time: 1 hour from NYC
Boundless Adventures is an enormous aerial adventure park on a forested part of the campus of Purchase College in Westchester: There are nine courses with more than 90 bridges, 17 zip lines and a diverse terrain that will dazzle you with its natural beauty. New to aerial adventure parks? No problem. Boundless Adventures has four difficulty levels, which means every participant will be matched with the right course - plan on spending around four hours climbing, zipping and cruising through the trees!
15. Governors Island
- Things to do
OK, so this is technically still in NYC, but a visit Governors Island makes for a spectacular day out. Located in the heart of New York Harbor, one of our go-to family attractions offers scenic views, a country environment and a plethora of outdoor activities for kids and adults (like one of the coolest kids' playgrounds NYC —with mighty impressive slides).
16. The Land of Make Believe & Pirate's Cove in Hope, NJ
Land of Make Believe & Pirate’s Cove amusement park is just a short drive from NYC, making it a perfect pick for warm-weather weekends—the younger set will find plenty to do, including jumpy frog rides, a swaying tugboat ride, a splash park area with a fort and a 1000-gallon dump bucket, a lazy river ride with single or double tubes, a shallow wave pool with a pirate ship that has slides and spray showers, and some sumer fun water slides…just to name a few! ( lomb.com ).
17. Hiking trails
Just because you live in the Big Apple doesn't mean you can't spend time in the great outdoors. There are amazing family-friendly hikes close to NYC—in fact, the Bronx River Greenway and Inwood Hill Park are right in the middle of the city! So: Check the weather, pack a picnic and make plans to visit mother nature with the fam. These hiking trails are great for children of all ages, from toddlers out for a stroll to bigger kids looking to go for a scramble. After all, it's up to you to make this summer great.
18. Strawberry picking
Nothing says summertime like a bowl of freshly-picked fruit. When the warm weather hits, grab the whole family and enjoy the best strawberry picking in New York. These extra-sweet destinations will certainly inspire delicious seasonal baking that the whole clan will love—plus time outdoors certainly beats a trip to the grocery store. These spots will leave you hungry for more, so don’t venture out on a full stomach!
19. Cherry picking
There's a lot to love about summer vacation—the gorgeous weather, the carefree feeling and of course, the tasty treats that come with the season. Take a trip to your local farm or orchard for the best cherry picking NY has to offer. Not only will you come home equipped with delicious fruits (and plenty of supplies if you decide to bake) but you'll also have a great day outdoors with loved ones. This summertime adventure are as irresistible as the sweet treats themselves.
20. Blueberry picking
While it's practically impossible to resist a sweet summer strawberry, let's not let the popular fruit hog all of the attention: Blueberry picking in New York—and the surrounding area—is equally as delightful, and if you're craving homemade sweets, stop by your local farm for a bushel of berries. July and August are the perfect time to head into the fields to gather some fresh produce.
21. Peach picking
What's sweeter than peach picking near NYC? Well, blueberry and strawberry picking are equally as delightful during the summer. If you have a hankering for fresh produce and want to spend some time outdoors with the kiddos, check out the local farms in your area for PYO hours. Not only will you head home with a bushel of fruit, but the adventure makes for a great day trip.
22. Sunflower picking
If you've exhausted all of the PYO fruit options, turn your attention toward beautiful blooms! We've rounded up great locales in New York (and beyond) for sunflower picking that deserve your attention. For those in search of a summer day trip away from the city, there are plenty of outdoor activities that await at these local venues in the North Fork of Long Island, the Hudson Valley and so on. (Think petting zoos, freshly-squeezed lemonade and farm tours.) Plus, you'll get to head home with a bouquet that's sure to make your digs feel like summer.
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10 Underrated Things To Do In New York City For The Holidays (Besides Seeing The Rockefeller Center Tree)
Posted: November 6, 2023 | Last updated: November 6, 2023
- Escape the tourist crowds and experience the magic of the holidays in NYC through lesser-known activities like ice skating in Washington Square Park and exploring the festive winter village in Bryant Park.
- Indulge in a German Christmas extravaganza at Rolf's Restaurant, where you can enjoy traditional dishes in a whimsical atmosphere filled with twinkling lights and holiday decorations.
- Immerse yourself in the holiday spirit by catching the iconic Nutcracker ballet performed by world-class dancers at the Lincoln Center, or by visiting Dyker Heights in Brooklyn to witness the dazzling Christmas light displays.
New York City sparkles even brighter during the festive holiday season, with twinkling lights, festive music, and holiday crowds filling the streets. There are iconic attractions like the famous and giant Rockefeller Center Christmas tree , which gets lit up for the holidays, and gazing at the elaborately decorated department store windows along Fifth Avenue. But beyond the famous sites in NYC at Christmas, there are so many underrated and lesser-known holiday activities for visitors to enjoy in the city.
New York has something for everyone wanting to experience the magic of the holidays. By venturing to some of the city's hidden gems and seasonal attractions, travelers can soak up that warm holiday feeling while avoiding huge crowds. Whether it's seeing The Nutcracker performed by world-class dancers, wandering through an interactive holiday pop-up exhibit, or simply strolling through a park adorned with twinkling lights, there are tons of lesser-known things to do in New York City for Christmas.
For travelers looking to escape the tourist crowds and see the concrete jungle's lesser-visited gems, here are some of the most underrated things to do in NYC at Christmas and throughout the holiday.
Related: 14 Most Beautiful Destinations To Celebrate Christmas On The East Coast In The USA
Soak Up The Christmas Sights In Washington Square Park: Washington Square's Festive Hub
Washington square park comes alive with lights, ice skating, carolers, and festive cheer during the holidays..
While many people visit Washington Square Park for its alluring history , it is a great place for travelers to experience some festive cheer away from the crowds. The iconic arch and central fountain remain lit up at night, creating a romantic atmosphere.
Visitors can go ice skating on the seasonal rink for $15-$20 , browse the local vendors selling gifts and snacks, or enjoy free holiday performances. Carolers, jazz bands, and dance troupes often stop by to entertain travelers. The annual tree lighting ceremony also takes place in early December, with the park's towering 50-foot tree sparkling with over 5,000 lights.
- Address: 5 Avenue, New York, NY 10003
- Cost: Free general admission
- Hours: Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week
- Things to Do: Ice skating, browsing vendor stalls, enjoying free entertainment and performances
- Top Attractions: Holiday tree lighting, central fountain, Washington Square Arch
Celebrate Christmas German-Style At Rolf's Restaurant: Experience A German Christmas Extravaganza
Rolf's restaurant fully embraces christmas with three floors of lights, ornaments, and german holiday dishes..
For a kitschy German dining experience, Rolf's Restaurant serves up traditional dishes like schnitzel and spaetzle across three floors decorated top-to-bottom in twinkling lights and Christmas ornaments. Visitors can sit inside quirky dining rooms packed with humorous decorations as festive German music plays. Rolf's really leans into the holiday aesthetic, with Santa and reindeer figures galore.
Visitors can warm up with hot alcoholic drinks like mulled wine or hot toddies as they soak in the über-festive surroundings. It's perfect for getting visitors into the holiday mood, so it is no surprise it ranks among the top NYC restaurants with enough Christmas decor to make Santa jealous .
- Address: 281 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10010
- Cost: Entrees $30-60
- Hours: Open daily, 12 pm–10 pm
Catch The Nutcracker Live At The Lincoln Center Performed By New York City Ballet
See the iconic nutcracker ballet performed by world-class dancers at lincoln center..
Looking for underrated Christmas events in NYC? Nearly every December, the New York City Ballet performs its iconic production of The Nutcracker at the Lincoln Center . Visitors can see the Tchaikovsky ballet brought to life onstage with elaborate sets and costumes.
Watching this Christmas classic performed by world-class dancers is an ethereal experience. The choreography and music whisk travelers away to a magical world. Outside of the famous Radio City Christmas Spectacular , this is one of the best holiday performing arts events in New York City.
- Address: Lincoln Center, New York, NY 10023
- Tickets: $50-$250
- Hours: Performance times vary, typically 2 hours with intermission
Related: Three Days In NYC: The Perfect Winter Itinerary
Explore Bryant Park And Go Ice Skating At This Winter Wonderland Village
Bryant park becomes a festive winter village with an ice rink, gift shops, and entertainment..
One of the Christmas destinations in New York City worth the hype , Bryant Park transforms into a charming alpine village right in the middle of Manhattan during the winter. Travelers can lace up their skates and glide around the seasonal ice rink or wander around the wooden gift shops and food kiosks of the Bank of America Winter Village.
On select days, visitors can enjoy free ice skating lessons. There are also fun free events like jazz performances, jugglers, magicians, and Christmas movie screenings. For smaller crowds, it's best to go during off-peak times as Bryant Park tends to get crowded.
- Address: 41 W 40th St, New York, NY 10018
- Cost: Free admission, skating $18-$55
- Hours: Shops open daily until 10 pm, Skating open 8 am-10 pm
- Things to Do: Ice skating, shopping, eating, enjoying free entertainment
- Top Attractions: Winter ice rink, gift shops, food kiosks
Experience The Dazzling Brooklyn Light Show At Dyker Heights
The dyker heights neighborhood glows with elaborate christmas light displays and life-size decor..
In the residential Brooklyn neighborhood of Dyker Heights, locals decorate their houses in over-the-top Christmas light displays each year. Voyaging around the brightly lit streets almost feels like walking through a theme park. Visitors can ooh and ahh over life-size Santas, gigantic snow globes, massive reindeer, and twinkling candy canes.
Neighbors even synchronize some light shows to music. Dyker Heights offers a truly one-of-a-kind holiday spectacle without the tourist crowds. Travelers can either wander around on foot or pay for a trolley tour. Going on a weekday around 7 pm is best.
- Address: Around 11th-13th Aves from 83rd-86th Sts, Brooklyn, NY 11228
- Cost: Free to view by walking, trolley tours $60
- Hours: Best seen evenings 5-9 pm
- Things to Do: Walking or driving past elaborate light displays
- Top Attractions: Life-size Christmas decorations, music-synched light shows
Capture Unforgettable Empire Views At Igloos 230 Fifth
Sip seasonal cocktails in a private heated igloo overlooking the dazzling empire state building..
For amazing NYC views at Christmas alongside holiday cocktails, the igloos at 230 Fifth are a fun experience. The rooftop bar sets up private, transparent, heated igloos that seat around eight people. Visitors can slide into warm, cushy chairs as Christmas music plays overhead.
Servers take drink orders while visitors gaze out at stunning views of the historic Empire State Building lit up red and green for the holidays. It's a lively scene as groups mingle between igloos with cups of hot cider or mulled wine to ward off the cold. The igloos get booked up early, so reservations are a must.
- Address: 230 5th Ave, New York, NY 10001
- Cost: Igloo reservations $50-100
- Hours: Daily 4 pm-12 am, reservations for 1.5 hours slots
Related: The Empire State Building: Why Its Story Will Make You Want To Take The Tour
See The Holiday Train Show At The New York Botanical Garden
The ny botanical garden displays model trains amidst 140 tiny nyc landmark replicas..
At the beloved New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx, a dazzling miniature train set gets built annually for the holidays. It features model trains zipping around nearly a quarter mile of intricate, recreated NYC landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, and Rockefeller Center - all made from natural materials like bark, leaves, and acorns.
As visitors walk around this magical world, the model trains chug along past 140 replicas of NYC buildings. Seeing famous city sites like Yankee Stadium rendered in miniature is amazing. And with the gardens dazzlingly decorated for the holidays, this display is a must-see.
- Address: 2900 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY 10458
- Cost: General admission $23 adults
- Hours: 10 am-6 pm daily , until 8 pm on select evenings
Witness The Holiday Lightscape At The Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Walk a path illuminated by artful light installations and color-lit trees at night..
From November to January, travelers can experience Lightscape at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden . After dark, the gardens transform into a twinkling holiday wonderland. Visitors follow a winding 1.5-mile path illuminated by color-changing light installations, with moments like walking through a tunnel of glowing orbs or underneath suspended burning bushes.
The massive tree canopies overhead are lit in hues of pink, orange, and purple, with the buildings of Brooklyn in the distance. Drinks and snacks are available for purchase, but tickets must be reserved online in advance.
- Address: 990 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11225
- Cost: Timed tickets $18
- Hours: 4:30 pm-9 pm daily mid-November to early January
Astra Lumina: Take An Enchanted Night Walk At Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Flushing meadows becomes an enchanted forest with colorful light sculptures and effects..
Flushing Meadows Corona Park becomes home to an immersive nighttime walking experience during the winter called Astra Lumina. Travelers follow a 1.5-mile path, entering different realms surrounded by colorful lights and sounds. In one area, hanging jellyfish-like sculptures light up and change colors to music. In another, travelers walk alongside giant lit-up deer statues as squirrel sculptures play overhead.
Other spaces feature enormous flowers and mushrooms to walk under and traffic signal trees. At the end, a field of lights synchronizes a grand finale. It's a magical experience akin to walking through a fantasy world.
- Address: Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens, NY
- Cost: Tickets $32 adults
- Hours: Timed entries 5 pm-10 pm
Related: Where It's Holiday Everyday: 10 U.S. Places Named After Christmas
Enjoy Opulent Hotel Holiday Themes At Lotte New York Palace
See elaborately themed holiday suites at lotte palace with characters like the grinch..
One of the best NYC hotels for Christmas , Lotte New York Palace recreates various winter wonderlands and Christmas stories across multiple floors. Each elaborately decorated suite transports visitors, from strolling through a decorative replica of the North Pole to eating treats inside a life-size gingerbread house.
Costumed characters like the Grinch, Ralphie, and Buddy the Elf also greet travelers for photo ops. The detail put into each room's theme is impressive. Those wanting to dive into Christmas worlds will love exploring Lotte Palace's holiday spectacle.
- Address: 455 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10022
- Cost: General admission approx. $61
- Hours: Varied times on select dates in December
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Where Women Learn to Hunt, Fish and Field-Dress a Deer, Among Women
At the Becoming an Outdoors Woman workshop, no one feels uncomfortable discussing the ick factor of live fishing bait.
By Amanda Becker
With some tweaks, the colorful minnow and feathered lures would make pretty cute earrings, I thought, or great Christmas tree ornaments .
Spread across a table, the lures were bright and arresting — and would be to crappies, muskies and smallmouth bass as well, as a half-dozen other female students and I learned from the biologist teaching our Advanced Fishing class. She said that many fish species see other spoon-shaped lures, called spinners, as a “shiny, fun thing that’s going to get my attention and I can’t resist it.”
A classmate exclaimed, “Spinners are my favorite!”
Advanced Fishing was my final class in the Becoming an Outdoors Woman program, a two-and-a-half-day workshop offered to women to promote interest and ease in the great outdoors. In this workshop, hosted by the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources and held in Davis, a town partly surrounded by the Monongahela National Forest , I learned not only how to lure a fish, prepare wild game, back a boat trailer down a ramp and shoot a handgun, but also the ins and outs of stream ecology.
While I love the great outdoors, I am not a hunter, an ecologist or an advanced angler — in fact, I had only fished in fresh water twice before the program. Once in 2014, for rainbow trout in Sun Valley, Idaho, and before that, on June 10, 1987, with my grandfather at East Fork Lake in Batavia Township, Ohio. I caught a bluegill that I brought home in a bucket. I remember these details because they are preserved in a letter 7-year-old me wrote my grandfather that we found tacked to the inside of his closet door after his death. (This testament to my first fish and my grandfather is now framed on my living room wall.)
Some 36 years later, after spending my adulthood in the country’s largest cities, I have surprised those who know me, and to some extent myself, by deciding to build what will be my first house on a five-acre parcel in West Virginia’s Allegheny Mountains. Exploring my new backyard by getting to know its people and attractions — and favorite pastimes — was my next step.
Becoming an Outdoors Woman, or BOW, workshops have been around since 1991, and West Virginia hosted its first one in 1997 . Conceived during a conference in 1990 at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point on “ Breaking Down Barriers to Participation of Women in Angling and Hunting ,” they aim to close the gender gap by offering women a chance to learn outdoors activities from and alongside other women. Peggy Farrell, currently the director of the international BOW program and coordinator of workshops held in Wisconsin, said that one of the standout takeaways was that women wanted to learn how to fish and hunt; they just wanted to do it on their terms.
“If you’re going to take women out to the trap range to shoot clay pigeons, it’s not about who shoots the most, or prizes for the number of clay pigeons or anything; it’s about creating a noncompetitive environment,” Ms. Farrell said.
BOW workshops are currently offered in 35 states and six Canadian provinces, Ms. Farrell said. Most are run by state departments of natural resources or fish and wildlife, and are designed to cover their own costs via registration fees, which range from $150 to $500, depending on the location and caliber of accommodations. To use BOW’s branding, workshops must follow a two-and-a-half-day format with programming split into roughly equal thirds among fishing, hunting and other outdoor activities such as climbing and using a compass. I will admit feeling a twinge of relief when I didn’t get it into the popular You Got a Deer? class on field-dressing the carcass — the process of removing its internal organs. There were also sessions on birding, fly fishing, bow fishing, making jam and nature crafts, along with an overnight backpacking trip.
Ashley Anderson, a park activities coordinator at the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, planned the fall BOW workshop in Canaan Valley for 75 or so women, some who came from New Jersey, Missouri and elsewhere. As Ms. Anderson tells it, when she joined the department in 2019, shortly after her college graduation, she discovered some old paperwork related to past BOW workshops. She “begged” her higher-ups to take the program back from the state parks system, where it had fallen dormant. About a year ago it became a part of her portfolio.
“I love to fly fish, white-water raft, go backpacking — there’s not one thing I don’t like in the outdoors. So I thought: This is for me. I’m passionate about this. I want women to get out here, feel comfortable and do something they might be scared to do on their own,” Ms. Anderson said.
A woman in my trailer-backing class said she was there to learn from other women because when her husband tried to teach her, they ended up bickering. As I drove back from stream ecology class to our home base at the Canaan Valley Resort and Conference Center , my passenger and I sang to Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car” and agreed that it just isn’t the same when a man sings it. When I fired my first-ever handgun, a Glock 17, my bullet grazed the bull’s-eye, and a soft-spoken early-childhood educator from Maryland murmured, “It’s so empowering, right?”
It changes things to join other women to learn outdoor skills that are traditionally associated with men. My archery instructor — one of just three women who are natural resources officers in West Virginia — told our class that workshop weekends away were a welcome respite from mothering her young child. When we fired an AR-15, the conversation soberly and immediately turned to how it is a weapon often used in mass shootings. No one felt uncomfortable discussing the ick factor of using live fishing bait. An outdoors enthusiast from Kentucky told me at lunch how she uses a yoga strap to supplement her upper-body strength when she field-dresses a deer, and how to strategize about using the bathroom when you can’t leave a hunting blind.
Angela Jeppesen, 54, told me that she only felt comfortable taking the class on field-dressing because it was taught by a woman. “I’ve got a husband; I can have my husband go out there and explain things to me, but the thing about it is, you’ve leveled the playing field now here,” said Ms. Jeppesen, a Morgantown, W.Va., project manager for a home health care provider.
Back in my Advanced Fishing class, my chosen lure (a small gray and black minnow with a red underbelly) was beautiful, but it failed to do its job when we went out to the Blackwater River that day. I did not catch any trout. The river was swollen and choppy from recent rain and maybe the fish couldn’t see my lure through the murky water. I nevertheless enjoyed standing on the riverbank, casting and reeling as I sipped my latte. Even with no catch to show off, I sent some photos to my family text chain. My sister-in-law responded that my 3-year-old niece wants me to take her fishing.
Follow New York Times Travel on Instagram and sign up for our weekly Travel Dispatch newsletter to get expert tips on traveling smarter and inspiration for your next vacation. Dreaming up a future getaway or just armchair traveling? Check out our 52 Places to Go in 2023 .
Open Up Your World
Considering a trip, or just some armchair traveling here are some ideas..
52 Places: Why do we travel? For food, culture, adventure, natural beauty? Our 2023 list has all those elements, and more .
Spain : Does a culture-centric family trip have to be boring for the kids ?
Barbados : Venture beyond the resorts to find rum shops, farmers’ markets and surf breaks.
Malaysia : Be dazzled on the island of Penang by winding alleys, pastel-painted storefronts and aromatic food.
India: A writer is guided by the age-old epic story of “Rajula Malushahi,” which led him to a series of unexpected places .
Serbia: Belgrade is quietly developing into one of the best bar destinations in Europe .
Kenya: Fifty years after her own first safari, a grandmother takes her adult granddaughter on a wildlife adventure .