Student Class Trips to New York City: Coming soon to a BROADWAY Theatre near you!

New York City Student Trips

The summer is winding down which means many Broadway houses will lower their curtains and dim their lights to make room for a whole new season of shows. Recently, we have seen several shows such as How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying, Godspell, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Priscilla Queen of the Dessert end their successful runs on Broadway. And, in the next few weeks such student favorites as Anything Goes, The Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess, Memphis, Ghost, and Sister Act come to a close. Even the Off-Broadway scene has seen the closing of Million Dollar Quartet, Rent, and Traces, most which will be seen around the world on tour. Not to worry, though, as the year ahead looks to be even brighter for student classes traveling to New York City. There are many great shows either in the works, or making the jump from the West End to entertain groups from around the world.

Several shows will be opening in the fall, somewhat ahead of the typical schedule, to fill many of the vacant theatres on Broadway. Recently, the hit cheerleading movie turned musical Bring It On: The Musical opened at the St. James Theatre. With direction and choreography by Tony Award winner Andy Blakenbuehler and music and lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, from In the Heights, this show has already played to sold out audiences across the country and is anticipated to extend its run on Broadway, as well. Still coming in the fall will be some great new shows including Chaplin, a musical based on the life of legendary actor and comedian Charlie Chaplin, Scandalous: the Life and Trials of Aimee Semple McPherson, starring Carolee Carmello and written by Kathie Lee Gifford, and Rebecca, the musical based on the classic Daphne du Maurier novel.

There are also a few great revivals heading back to the great white way this fall that will definitely be worth seeing. Annie, starring newcomers Lilla Crawford and Sunny as her lovable sidekick Sandy, will be opening in the heart of Times Square at the Palace Theatre. The Mystery of Edwin Drood, with an all-star cast including Broadway legend Chita Rivera, is the unfinished murder mystery by Charles Dickens where the audience chooses the murderer. This will mark the shows first return since winning Best Musical, Best Book and Best Score back in 1986. A classic fairy tale rumored to be coming to Broadway this spring is Cinderella, starring Laura Osnes as the lead and Santino Fontana as her prince. And, don’t count out the classic musical Into the Woods, currently playing at the Delacorte Theater as part of The Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park programming. This revival stars Tony Award winner Donna Murphy as the witch and Academy Award Nominee Amy Adams as the Baker’s wife. Though no official word has been given, many shows have gotten their start as part of this programming before moving to Broadway. So, one can only hope that this “Once upon a Time” will happen once again in a Broadway Theatre near you.

This spring we will see the arrival of the highly anticipated Matilda based on the children’s book by Roald Dahl. This London musical has already won seven Olivier Awards, which are the British equivalent of a Tony Award. This show is ideal for student groups and is likely to inspire a new generation of theatre fans. Other shows will include Motown, the new musical based on the life of music producer and hit-maker Berry Gordy, and Kinky Boots, based on the 2005 British film with the same name, with a score by Cyndi Lauper, book by Tony winner Harvey Fierstein and direction and choreography by Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell. Another show that is in the production is The Nutty Professor, starring Michael Andrew and Marc Jacoby and directed by the one and only Jerry Lewis. Following the unexpected passing of Whitney Houston the producers of the new musical version of The Bodyguard, starring Tony Award winner Heather Headley, put this show on a fast track and hope to open in London for a short run before heading to Broadway next year. There are sure to be more shows announced in the coming months, which promises to make this season very exciting.

Of course, many great student shows are still playing Broadway including this year’s Tony Award winner for Best New Musical, Once, Tony Award winner for Best Choreography, Newsies, and everyone’s favorite superhero in Spiderman: Turn off the Dark. Disney’s The Lion King and Mary Poppins are practically perfect in every way for student class groups and offer some amazing workshop opportunities for those that wish to enhance their theatre experience. And, Wicked, The Phantom of the Opera, Jersey Boys, Mamma Mia, and Chicago are among the longest running shows on Broadway and are perfect for any first time theatre goers.

Kaleidoscope Adventures loves New York City, and we are sure that your student groups will, too! We are excited to work with all types of student groups to customize a trip that is perfect for you. The opportunities in New York City are incredible and a visit to this destination is sure to create memories that will last a lifetime. Let Kaleidoscope Adventures start planning your student class travel to New York City today!

Student Group Travel TAMPA in a DAY

Class Trips to Tampa

A short distance from Central Florida you will find a city on the Bay that is perfect for student groups of all ages. There is so much to do in Tampa that it is hard to fit it all in. Recently, I decided to take a day trip to Tampa to share this great destination and a few of my favorite attractions with my family. There are beautiful beaches, water and plenty of sunshine, however we decided to enjoy the metropolitan area of Tampa.

It is great to begin your day at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo to get an early start and to beat the heat. The Lowry Park Zoo has been named the #1 Zoo in the U.S. by Parents Magazine for many reasons. There are Cheetahs, and Tigers, and Bears (Oh My), but they also have some more unusual animals like the Clouded Leopard, Bornean Orangutan, and Koala. Besides their amazing collection of rare and exotic animals, this zoo has so much more. There are rides, such as the Gator Falls Flume Ride, Jungle Carousel, and the Tasmanian Tiger Family Coaster, in addition to their very popular Safari Ride which offers the best view of the animals around Safari Africa. For an additional charge, you can also ride a Camel, Gypsy Vanner Horse, or even a Llama. The Florida Boardwalk & Wildlife Center offers guests a chance to see many of the species that can be found right in our backyard, but are usually hard to spot. My favorite experience has to be letting a Giraffe eat ride out of my hand. On certain days you can even touch and feed the White Rhino. What an amazing experience!

After lunch we made a short trip to Channelside Drive to visit the Florida Aquarium. We started our visit with a Wild Dolphin Cruise on a 72-foot catamaran, the Florida Aquarium’s Bay Spirit II. With a 95% chance of spotting a dolphin we were ready for an adventure. The cruises are 90 minutes long and provide a great tour of Tampa Bay and the history of the area. And, the Wild Dolphin Cruise is narrated by an educator from the Florida Aquarium who is able to answer questions about the area and the dolphins. Tampa Bay is home to more than 500 bottlenose dolphins and is one of the best places in Florida to view endangered manatees and numerous species of birds, many of which are threatened or endangered.

After our cruise we were ready to continue our adventure inside the aquarium. Though it is extremely large, the Florida Aquarium has a well-designed flow, which allows everyone the opportunity to enjoy the exhibits in an orderly, yet leisurely pace. Your adventure begins on the second floor and takes you through the Mangrove Forests of the Wetlands before heading out to the bays and beaches of Florida’s coastal areas. The Coral Reefs offer some of the most spectacular panoramic views of fish, sharks and other creatures swimming through the Gallery. I can stare at this exhibit for hours. The aquarium offers a couple of hands on experiences with the No Bone Zone and the Stingray Touch Tank which are popular with kids of all ages. The aquarium also offers a behind the scenes tour for an additional cost which allows guests the opportunity to visit areas that are off limits and experience feeding time for some hungry residents. This is a great way to spend the day.

We ended our day trip to Tampa with a visit to Splitsville Luxury Lanes & Dinner Lounge. The atmosphere is fun and the food is great. Their approach combines bowling with billiards, dining, music, and nightlife. This place is clean and the service is exceptional. We would highly recommend Splitsville to a student group for lunch or dinner.

There is a lot more in Tampa that we did not visit on this trip, including Busch Gardens, Adventure Island, MOSI (Museum of Science & Industry), or, my personal favorite, a Tampa Bay Rays Baseball Game, but we will have to save those for our next visit. Our friends in Tampa know just how to welcome our student groups and have designed educational experiences to meet any school requirements, while maintaining an element of fun in all that they do. We would love to book your next student group on a trip to Tampa. Contact Kaleidoscope Adventures today to start planning your next student trip.

Student Group Travel: WILD FLORIDA is a Hidden Gem

Student Travel to Orlando

When was the last time you saw an alligator in its natural habitat? Though the area has been around forever, WILD FLORIDA is the newest attraction in Central Florida and certainly the best way to get an authentic taste of what Florida has to offer. When you visit the Orlando area with your student group you will most often fill an itinerary with visits to the theme parks, dinner shows, water parks, putt-putt courses, go karts, and more. Just minutes away from the excitement, and not too far off the Florida Turnpike, is this 4,200 acre untouched nature preserve. WILD FLORIDA has so much to offer and is a true Florida experience which should definitely be included in your next student trip. Student travel to Orlando has just gotten better with our discovery of this hidden gem.

Class trips floridaUpon arrival at WILD FLORIDA you will be greeted by Kramer, the Umbrella Cockatoo, who has a lot to say and loves attention. Your guide will escort you out to one of their beautiful airboats via their brand new 500 foot dock and prepare you for your tour of Cypress Lake, where you will have the opportunity to see Florida wildlife at its finest. There are an estimated 1,100 alligators of all shapes and sizes that can be found throughout the lake. There are also several native species of birds including Bald Eagles, American Coot, Great Blue Heron, Great White Egret, Limpkin, Moorhen, Osprey, Sandhill Crane, and, oftentimes, Wild Turkey. There are several other birds that make their way through the area as they migrate south for the winter. If you have never experienced an airboat ride, you will be amazed as you sail smoothly across the lake, sitting high over the water, with an amazing view of your natural surroundings. Your experience promises to be different every time as the season, temperature, time of day and many other factors will determine exactly what you will see.

group trips orlandoWhen you return to the dock, you will have the chance to actually meet one of the inhabitants up close. Each airboat ride includes a hands-on live alligator demonstration, where you will even have the opportunity to take a photo, if you so choose. After your airboat ride you have a couple of options. You can stop for a quick bite at Pete & Peg’s Silver Platter Bar-B-Q, where they offer some of the finest Bar-B-Q you have ever tasted, or a sampling of Gator Tail, Frog Legs, or Sweet Potato Fries. Or, you can head into WILD FLORIDA’s very own Wildlife Park, one of the offerings that make this Florida gem so unique. When you enter the area you will pass by an aviary filled with exotic birds. You will see hoof stock such as Asian Water Buffalo, Emu, Zebra, White Tail Deer, Pygmy Goats, and Ankole-Watusi Cattle with horns that can reach up to 8 feet. There is a Gator Platform where you can see some of the largest alligators found in the state of Florida, as well as feed them. Soon you will also find a petting farm and a nature trail that will add to the entertainment value of this incredible attraction.

Class trips orlandoIt may be challenging to convince a group of students to take time out of their day from the Orlando theme parks, but it will be well worth their time to give WILD FLORIDA a try. This is more than just an airboat ride…it’s a Florida experience. Contact any member of the Kaleidoscope Adventure team for more information about this great new attraction. We would be thrilled to add WILD FLORIDA to your next student trip to Orlando.