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Why Are Scrunchies Back In A Big Way?

If you spend any time around teens or tweens, you may have picked up on a new trend. If you’re a child of the late 80s or early 90s, the trend may seem familiar. Little bits of elastic wrapped in colorful fabric are used in hair or found on wrists. They are stacked, wrapped or coiled. Ringing a bell? That’s right, the Scrunchie is on the scene!  The question is, why are Scrunchies back in a big way?

What’s a Scrunchie?

A Scrunchie is a fabric-covered, elastic hair tie. It was invented in 1967 but not widely used until it was patented in 1987. It was sold as a “Scunci” but evolved into the “Scrunchie” since the fabric can be “scrunched up.” They were much gentler on hair than elastic bands. You could also wear more than one on your wrist as stylish accessories. These were sometimes called bunch bangles. Any way you wore them, they accessorized those flowy, shoulder-padded outfits perfectly!

When were Scrunchies popular?

Scrunchies were wildly popular in the late 1980s and early 90s. Girls everywhere wore ponytails high and wrapped in rainbow colored Scrunchies. Icons like Madonna made the velvet version a hit and TV shows like Full House put teen star power behind the trend. Grandmas everywhere were busy stitching up knock offs to sell at craft shows or gift to granddaughters.

Why are Scrunchies popular now?

The Scrunchie revival is in full swing for several reasons. First, those of us (ahem) who wore these stretchy gems as teens are feeling nostalgic. After being uncool for so long, we’re happy to see them resurrected by our children and made cool again. The 20-year rule is in effect; what was old is new again!

Second, celebrities and social media fashionistas are championing the stretchy, style-saving wonders. VIPs like Bella Hadid and Jennifer Lopez are sporting Scrunchies in high hair. Of course, let’s not forget that we are layering them on wrists as well. They’re a bright addition to an outfit and won’t cut off your circulation!
Finally, if you claim status as a “VSCO” girl (which is a blog for a different day), a Scrunchie is as essential to your status as a shell necklace!

Do Scrunchies on the wrist mean anything?

Scrunchies on the wrist are not just cute accessories – and they’re not just for girls! Guys will wear Scrunchies on their wrists as an indicator that they are in a relationship with someone. His significant other gifts him with the hair tie as a visible symbol of the relationship.

If you spend time with students, chances are you’ve seen the return of the Scrunchie. It may be made with new fabric or may have taken on new meaning, but it’s out there. Boys and girls are decking themselves in trendy, multi-colored bits of stretchy fun. In the halls or in the malls, Scrunchies are back in a big way! I guess it’s only a matter of time before my beloved banana clip makes a comeback- right? This child of the 80s will be ready and waiting!

What Are the New Rules for Driver Hours?

Not so long ago, my husband traveled with students. Many, MANY days started at 3:00 a.m., or worse, were already well underway at that ungodly hour. I spent countless late nights and early mornings worrying about leaping deer, drunks on the road or exhausted motorcoach drivers. He is no longer keeping such crazy hours and I’m happy to report that the drivers aren’t either. There are new rules for driver hours. If you travel with students, you’ll want to be up to speed.

What is an Electronic Logging Device (ELD)?

In the old days, drivers could fudge their driving times. Not saying they did, just that they could. Traffic delays pop up, tour leaders get antsy about staying on schedule or unexpected stops throw trips off track. When hours were logged on paper, it’s conceivable that they could be misrepresented. This practice meant tired drivers might be behind the wheel longer than they should be.  Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) changed this potentially dangerous practice. ELDs require drivers to log hours electronically, eliminating the stress of placating tour leaders.

An “equalizer” in the industry

Pete Pantuso, President of the American Bus Association (ABA), called ELDs an “equalizer” in the industry. In a recent article that appeared in ABA’s publication Destinations, he referenced ELDs. “Companies who may have operated under the radar and tried to push driving hour limits now must follow the same legal requirements for drivers’ hours or quickly be identified through electronic logs and reports, all of which will easily be accessible to enforcement officials,” said Pantuso.

Which vehicles are affected by the new rules?

ELDs are required for all commercial motor vehicles weighing 10,001 pounds or more or are used to transport 9 or more people (including driver) for compensation. They are also required on vehicles designed to transport 16 or more people (including driver) not for compensation.

How long can a driver be on-duty?

The question of how long a driver can be on duty has been settled. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) set regulations allowing drivers to drive up to 10 hours and be on-duty up to 15 hours in a 24-hour period. On-duty time includes the 10 hours driving and a half hour of maintenance prior to and at the end of the day. It also includes responsibilities related to the group. Ten hours driving is the MAXIMUM a driver can drive after 8 consecutive hours off-duty. Drivers can only drive 60 hours in 7 days or 70 hours in 8 days.

How do these changes affect your trip?

Let’s translate these regulations into real hours. Your group has traveled 7 hours to its destination. You arrive at 11:00 p.m. The driver parks, unloads the bus and goes off-duty at 11:30 p.m. He or she will not be back on-duty again until 7:30 a.m.  Bus loading can then begin at 8:00 a.m. It’s important to be mindful of these changes as you plan the itinerary so the day goes smoothly.

Why are the changes necessary?

These updates are the direct result of a need to improve motorcoach travel safety. They help eliminate the temptation to keep driving beyond safe boundaries and cut down on drowsy driving. While it may mean rethinking the itinerary a bit, these new rules for driver hours are designed to keep passengers and drivers safe.  We’ll all sleep a little better knowing drivers are rested and alert when those deer start jumping!

Resolve to Travel More with Family

New Year’s Eve is upon us (hard to believe, right?!) As I reflect on our family’s 2019, I find it’s not the “stuff” that makes it into our highlight reel, but rather the experiences we’ve had. A cross-country trip with our teen and tween, a jaunt down south for a family wedding, a weekender with grandparents to the eastern seaboard. We managed a few precious days in Costa Rica and a father/son bonding experience in Chicago. These are the moments we remember- not a trip to the mall (although my daughter may disagree). As 2020 approaches, my New Year’s Resolution is clear. I plan to resolve to travel more with family!

A Time to Unwind

Families live crazy, chaotic and busy lives. We are constantly running from one activity to the next, squeezing in homework, work, meals and whatever else comes down the pike. It’s frantic, fun and sometimes stressful. Family travel is a chance to leave that pressure behind and RELAX. If you can’t remember what that word means, scroll through your most recent vacation photos for a visual reminder.

A Time to Disconnect and Re-Connect

Family travel is also an opportunity to re-connect with those people living in your house who sometimes remain unseen for days, otherwise known as your kids! So many things vie for our children’s attention- school, friends, sports, band, cheer, and the ever-intrusive technology. Do you long for the days when you could have a conversation with your child? Do you pine for something other than a text that it’s time for a pick-up? Taking a few days to disconnect from devices and re-connect as a family is priceless!

Holiday Card Fodder

Taking time to travel as a family means making memories to last a lifetime. Traveling with extended family like grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins lends a special significance to the experience. Go somewhere exotic and soak up a different culture or lifestyle. Take a day trip and spend quality time learning about regional differences or similarities. It really doesn’t matter where you go, as long as you go together. Imagine how interesting next year’s holiday card will be when you share your family’s adventures!

Yes, spending more family time exploring this wide, wonderful world is my new year’s resolution. On behalf of the Kaleidoscope Adventures family, we wish you a Happy 2020 and many magical journeys with your loved ones!

There’s No Place Like NYC for the Holidays

Sleigh rides, snow and New York City! It’s never too early to start planning your holiday travel. New York City tops the list of fabulous holiday destinations for groups- particularly students. The Big Apple is always humming with activity, but has a singular energy fueled by anticipation as the holidays approach. The weather is crisp, the people move briskly and the stage is set for wonder. There’s really no place like NYC for the holidays!

Holiday Windows

One of the best holiday traditions in New York City is also FREE! The holiday windows at retailers throughout the city never disappoint with their creativity and style. They beckon shoppers to explore wares within the stores using artistic and often mind-boggling displays. Most windows are usually revealed right around Thanksgiving and typically remain on display through the new year. A truly dedicated window shopper may want to consider a holiday windows walking tour.

Ice Skating at Rockefeller Center

Break out the disinfectant and strap on those rental skates for another time-honored tradition- ice skating at Rockefeller Center. Situated in the heart of Midtown, the Rink at Rockefeller Center opens in October and remains open through the spring. General admission skating is first come, first-served, and everyone in your party must wait in line together. Admission ranges from $25-$32, depending on the time of year. There are opportunities to reserve ice time, but it can get pricey.

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is lit some time in November and remains a shining beacon through January 17, 2020. Take in this glorious evergreen while gliding gracefully on the ice- or clinging to the rail as the case may be!

Top of the Rock

Head off the ice and up to the Top of the Rock for spectacular, sweeping views of midtown Manhattan and Central Park. Everyone will love the birds eye view of the city as it sparkles and shines- there’s really nothing quite like it!


Once you’ve experienced the city from above, bring it down to street level and jump on THE RIDE. THE RIDE has a holiday edition of its unique, 75-minute production, allowing you to stay toasty warm on the specially designed motor coach as you are escorted through 4.2 miles of dazzling sights and sounds. The seasons of Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanza are celebrated in brilliant style with seasonal music, specially choreographed performance events, additional cast members and much more!

Christmas Spectacular

Kick off the holidays with style (that’s right, I went there!) with the iconic Radio City Rockettes’ Christmas Spectacular. This show runs from November 8, 2019 through January 5, 2020, embodies the holiday spirit and is an experience like no other. The Rockettes performs extraordinary moves in gorgeous costumes, amid breathtaking backdrops and inspiring music.

If you are traveling with students, check out the Radio City Stage Door Tour for an insider’s look at Radio City Music Hall. It’s a guided tour through hallowed halls, where secrets of the stage are revealed and you can even meet a Rockette®!

While the calendar may soon say 2020, the spirit is singing that there’s still time to enjoy this festive season. Gather your group for a merry little visit to the Big Apple – there really is no place like NYC for the holidays!

Meet Darcy Williams from ‘After Sectionals’

Midwest Clinic

In just a few short days, band, orchestra and music leaders from around the globe will converge in Chicago for the 73rd annual Midwest Clinic. It’s the biggest music education conference in the world. There’s so much to see and do! Four hundred plus vendors, clinicians from around the world and instruction that is both practical and motivational are the hallmarks of this dynamic event. If you plan to attend, you’ll need a game plan to see it all. As a highlight on your must-do list, be sure to stop at the Kaleidoscope Adventures booth.  When you do, you’ll meet Darcy Williams from ‘After Sectionals’!

‘After Sectionals’ Podcast

Most band directors are familiar with the voice behind the wildly popular podcast. Darcy is recognized as a no-nonsense director and dispenser of valuable advice. She shares the microphone with two colleagues, Jenna Yee and Alex Ortega. Each brings a unique perspective to the band experience. Together, they share their adventures, lessons learned and common-sense guidance with band directors everywhere. First year directors and seasoned veterans alike have found ‘After Sectionals’ to be a great resource for instruction.

Helpful Resources

Podcast topics dive deep into the world of classroom management, motivation and even “staph” development (very clever!). They discuss the nuts and bolts of contest ratings, the value of mentors, managing expectations and successfully navigating a home-work balance. Midwest Clinic is your chance to get up close and personal with these band gurus and ask the burning questions for your program.

Darcy Williams isn’t new to Midwest Clinic. Her band performed brilliantly at the conference in December of 2015.   She, along with Jenna and Alex, also conducted the well attended “Teaching Rhythm Logically” clinic in 2016. She adds positive energy and expertise to an already amazing show.

Exclusive Partner with Kaleidoscope Adventures

This year, ‘After Sectionals’ has become an exclusive partner with Kaleidoscope Adventures. As a leader in the performance travel industry, KA shares a passion for music and excellence in education. Its reputation for outstanding performance travel is second to none. Collaborating with the team at ‘After Sectionals’ can only enhance the good work each is doing on behalf of music programs everywhere!

Live! From Midwest!

As part of this exciting collaboration, ‘After Sectionals’ will be podcasting from the Kaleidoscope Adventures booth at Midwest Clinic. It’s a great opportunity to meet Darcy Williams and the KA team, ask questions, and plan your next performance trip. These are the experts who know the ins and outs of performing and performance travel. Parades, festivals, amusement parks, competitions and more, they’ll help you “fine tune” the perfect experience for your group.

As you plan your path through the myriad of booths, clinics, workshops and performances, be sure to stop at the KA booth to meet Darcy Williams from ‘After Sectionals.’ It promises to be a unique highlight for both conference participants and hosts alike. During an event brimming with amazing opportunities for music directors and teachers, be sure to check this one off your list!

How To Get REAL ID Ready

Congress passed the REAL ID Act in 2005. We’ve had 14 years to prepare, yet most of us probably haven’t. Heck, most of us probably don’t even know what REAL ID is! The time for playing ostrich, however, is over. As of October 1, 2020, EVERY air traveler 18 years or older MUST have a REAL ID compliant driver’s license, state-issued enhanced driver’s license or another acceptable form of ID to fly within the United States. For all the procrastinators out there, it’s time to get REAL ID ready!

What is REAL ID?

REAL ID is the federal act requiring minimum security standards for state-issued identifications (like driver’s licenses). It prohibits federal agencies from accepting ID that doesn’t meet these standards for official purposes. Purposes include boarding federally regulated aircraft, accessing federal facilities like military bases or federal courthouses or entering nuclear power plants. REAL ID is intended to be a consistent safety measure for our national security.

How can I tell if I have a REAL ID?

According to the Department of Homeland Security, all REAL ID compliant cards will have one of the following marks on the top of the card
Examples of REAL ID markings
If you’re ID doesn’t have one of these marks, it’s not a REAL ID!

Is a REAL ID the same as a passport?

REAL ID and passports are NOT the same. If you are traveling internationally, including Canada, Mexico or cruise travel, you still must have a passport. If you are traveling domestically, a REAL ID or a passport is acceptable.

Does my student group need REAL ID to travel?

Students under the age of 18 do not need identification to fly in the U.S. when traveling with a companion. Students 18 and older will need a REAL ID or other form of acceptable identification.

Is my state issuing REAL ID?

As of September 5, 2019, all 50 states and territories are on track to issue REAL ID compliant licenses and IDs by October 1, 2020.

How do I get a REAL ID?

Each state may require slightly different documents at its driver’s licensing centers so check the website before going in person. Minimum requirements are full legal name, date of birth, social security number, 2 proofs of address and lawful status.

How much does a REAL ID cost?

Fees for a REAL ID vary by state. For example, in Pennsylvania, the cost is $30 plus the cost of a license renewal. In Virginia, a REAL ID is $10 plus the renewal. Check with your state’s driver’s licensing center for rates prior to applying.

What if I don’t get a REAL ID by October 1, 2020?

If you don’t have a REAL ID or other acceptable form of ID by October 1, 2020, you will NOT be allowed beyond the TSA security checkpoint. The TSA WILL accept U.S. passport, U.S. military ID, enhanced drivers’ licenses from MI, MN, NY, VT and WA, and DHS trusted travel cards such as Global Entry, NEXUS, SENTRI and FAST.

Yes, 14 years have passed in the blink of an eye (ahem) and it’s time to get REAL ID ready. If you have travel plans that include a domestic flight after September 30, 2020, check this one off your list today!

Holiday Travel Tips to Make the Journey Easier

Long lines, airport delays, roadways crowded with impatient drivers … tis the season for holiday travel! We’re all anxious to get home for the holidays (or maybe someplace more exotic!) so we can re-connect, relax and rejuvenate. However, sometimes the stress of traveling makes us question if it’s all worthwhile. It is! Below are some holiday travel tips to make the journey easier.

Be Flexible

If you’re traveling around Christmas or New Year’s, check the dates on which they fall. Try to avoid the days that will make for an extended break without missing work. Everyone wants to take a long holiday, so it’s going to be busy at the airport. If you can be flexible in your travel days, you’ll have better luck maintaining your sanity.

Don’t Delay

Try for the earliest flight of the day. Lines are shorter and flights tend to be on time at the beginning of the day. If delays pop up, you have a better chance of getting on a different flight later in the day.

There’s An App For That

There are tons of apps designed to make your life simpler while traveling. SeatGuru will help you find the perfect airline seat. Skyscanner will help you find the cheapest dates to fly and alert you when prices change. If you’re driving, GasBuddy will help you find the cheapest gas on your route. There are so many great options to ease the stress of travel right on your phone.

Pack Lightly

Don’t be a Del Griffith and drag a trunk on your trip. Whether traveling by plane, train or automobile, pack lightly. Avoid checking bags if you can (eliminating the risk of a lost bag) or pack a carry-on with essentials like medication, change of clothes and important documents.

If traveling with children, pack a bag with hand-held games, small toys, snacks and books. This busy bag may be the difference between angelic behavior and a Frosty-sized meltdown!

Ship the Gifts

Here’s one of my holiday travel tips: ship the gifts! They take up lots of space, can be easily broken or the gift wrap ends up in shreds. If you are traveling by air, items can shift during flight or may be subject to search at security. It’s easier to send them on ahead if you can. If you buy online, many retailers ship for free during the holidays. Better yet, buy gift cards and eliminate the hassle!

Remember the Chargers

Let’s face it. None of us can go 10 minutes without a device, let alone an entire trip. Avoid the inevitable withdrawal by packing all charging devices in a one spot. If you want to be fancy, buy a little leather or fabric pouch ($10-$15ish on Amazon!). If you want an easy hack, use binder clips or an old glasses case to keep cords organized. Even an old makeup organizer that folds up will do the trick.

Breathe S-L-O-W-L-Y

No matter how well you prepare for your holiday travel, you’ll probably have a few glitches along the way. The kids will throw tantrums, other drivers will irritate you, long lines and loud crowds will try your patience. Take a deep breath, invest in some good ear plugs, and try to enjoy the ride. The destination is always worth it!

5 Great Reasons to Give Kids the Gift of Travel

It starts in October. The stress begins to build as I think about what to get my kids (16 and 13) for Christmas. AirPods? There’s $200 I’ll never see again. They’ll be lost before the new year. Gift cards? They seem a bit impersonal. I suppose there’s always the standard socks and underwear… Oh, how I long for the days of American Girl dolls and Legos! As I ponder this dilemma, a red and green light bulb goes off in my head. I know what I can do! Each has the opportunity to go on a school trip this year. Wouldn’t it be great to give the gift of travel?  An amazing experience rather than a “thing?”

Encouraging kids to travel is a wonderful way to help them stretch beyond their comfort zones and explore the world. Allowing them to travel through school gives them a chance spread their wings outside the eyes of parents. It’s also a great lesson in independence and responsibility! Here are 5 great reasons to give kids the gift of travel.

Real Life Learning

We send our kids to school to prepare them for real life. Allowing them to learn beyond the walls of a classroom is as “real life” as it gets! Time outside of school pushes them to adapt to new situations and fosters a willingness to learn. It makes education hands-on and not just something to be found in a book. Connecting the curriculum to reality is what educators strive for. Travel accomplishes that goal and many more.

Academic Benefits

Kids who travel have are more willing to learn, participate in class discussions and get better test scores. A recent study by the Student Youth Travel Association studied the impact of travel on nearly 1.2 million students. Among many other positives, it found that travel improves the classroom experience. This landmark study found student travel to be “significantly more effective than computer-based learning and classroom instruction alone.” This holiday gift will have a lasting impact!

Confidence and Self-Esteem

Do you remember the feeling you had when you first got your license? That small taste of independence? It was a life-changing, confidence building moment to know that you were in control. Today’s non-driving, Uber generation aside, travel does the same thing for teens’ confidence and self-esteem. It promotes self-expression and an outgoing disposition. It also encourages cooperation and collaboration among peers. Our children will rise to the challenges we set – if we allow them to try! Our job as parents is to teach kids how to be in the world, not fear it. THAT’S a gift!

Cultural Awareness and Social Responsibility

In a world consumed by technology, it’s nice to look up once in a while and see what’s happening around you. Travel teaches students that the world is bigger than what they know. It introduces them to people and places that are different, yet sometimes very much the same. When forming opinions about others and the world around you, it’s important to do so with first-hand knowledge. Kids who travel have a strong sense of their place in the world, are more tolerant and respectful of others, are more collaborative and adapt more readily to new situations. Seems like a great takeaway from the holidays, right?!?

It’s Fun!

Kids have so much on their plates today. Practices, competitions, school, clubs, jobs and on and on. Wouldn’t it be nice to have some fun? Going on the class trip (or any trip) is a great time with friends and a great memory to keep. I think we would all appreciate a little joy in the endless to-do list of life!

Travel is the perfect present. You don’t have to wrap it, it has amazing benefits, and you can’t lose or break it. When you’re thinking about this holiday season, consider these 5 great reasons to give kids the gift of travel.  It’s an investment that shapes lives!

6 Surprising Facts and Fiction about the Pilgrims

Ah…. Thanksgiving.  If I close my eyes, I can still smell the globs of paste we used to make Pilgrim hats in elementary school.  My mom always had a turkey in the oven by 5:00 am and the house smelled heavenly when we rolled out of bed to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  The Thanksgiving of my childhood is filled with memories of a lazy day, stuffing and football.  Just like the pilgrims of old, right? Surprisingly, the Pilgrims may not have lounged around in pasted paper hats watching football as much as we think.  In fact, many of the things we learned about the Pilgrims may not be entirely true!  Let’s explore some surprising facts and fiction about the Pilgrims!

Religious freedom in… Holland?

Pilgrims were Calvinist Protestants seeking religious freedom from the King of England. We all learned this lesson early in our school years. What you may not realize is that when it was denied, they moved to Holland first, where they worshipped as they wished for ten years. They didn’t like the Dutch way of life, however, and wanted to start over in a place where tolerance could be practiced. They didn’t want to convert the Native people or other settlers but simply wanted to live peacefully.  In 1620, they returned to England and began planning for their voyage to the New World.

Pilgrims didn’t drink alcohol!

While sailing 66 days across the Atlantic on the Mayflower, Pilgrims had a limited diet. They ate dried meat and fish, grains and flour, dried fruit, cheese and hard biscuits. Makes sense. They also avoided drinking water because it was unsafe. You may be surprised to learn that they drank beer instead (even the kids!). Once they arrived in the new land, they drank fermented apple juice similar to today’s hard apple cider.

First stop – Plymouth Rock

Not quite! The Mayflower first landed at the tip of Cape Cod in what is now Provincetown, Massachusetts. They tried to sail to the mouth of the Hudson River, where they hoped the land would be fertile enough to farm. However, they ran into bad weather and got stuck. They planned to try again but the beer supply was running low (really!). They crossed the Cape Cod Bay instead and landed at Plymouth Rock on December 11, 1620.

Pilgrims named Plymouth after Plymouth, England

I really thought this was a bonafide fact. Wrong! Plymouth was named long before the Pilgrims ever made it their new home. A group of explorers in the region called it Plymouth (or Plimoth, to be completely accurate) years earlier. It’s just a quirky coincidence that the Pilgrim Fathers left Plymouth, England and landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

New to this new world

Nope- not all of them!  One of the Mayflower’s passengers had actually been to America before the voyage. Stephen Hopkins was one of the signers of the Mayflower Compact. He was a tanner, merchant and assistant to the governor through 1636. He was also a former resident of Jamestown. Hopkins was shipwrecked in Bermuda in 1609 and made his way to Jamestown in 1610. He returned to England in 1614 and his story inspired William Shakespeare to write The Tempest.  Hopkins must have had a taste for adventure because he again set sail with the Pilgrims on September 6, 1620.

The first Thanksgiving was a shared feast of turkey and pumpkin pie!

The Pilgrims struggled to survive in their first year. Of the 102 passengers, only 51 survived. They buried the dead in unmarked graves so the Native Wampanoag wouldn’t realize how many were lost. The Wampanoag then taught the survivors how to get the land ready for planting. In the fall of 1621, they shared a feast of venison, seafood, ground nuts, squashes, beans, popped corn and berries to celebrate the harvest. It wasn’t quite the turkey and stuffing we think of today. The entire meal was prepared by a handful of women who were probably up much earlier than 5 a.m.!

If you’re like me, these surprising facts and fiction about the Pilgrims may shake the foundations of your youth. Or you may just find them really cool! This coming year marks the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ arrival in America. There will be lots of amazing events to commemorate this pivotal moment in our shared history. If you want your student group to take part in the celebrations, contact Kaleidoscope Adventures. They’ll help you set the record straight without paste and paper hats!

Be One of the First to Take Your Student Group to Hudson Yards

Just when you thought New York City couldn’t get any more awesome, Hudson Yards debuts. Backed by some serious star power and VIPs, Hudson Yards opened to the public on March 15, 2019. As the largest private development in the nation’s history, it’s an epic addition to the New York City landscape. Be one of the first to take your student group to Hudson Yards.

What is Hudson Yards?

Hudson Yards is a sprawling, gleaming 26+ acre complex on the West Side of Midtown Manhattan. It’s a neighborhood comprised of restaurants, shops, office space, residences, gardens and green space, attractions and the world’s first Equinox Hotel®.

How Do We Get There?

Hudson Yards is located between 10th and 12th Avenues from West 30th to West 34th Streets. Student groups can take the No. 7 Subway (which runs from Times Square and beyond) right to the new station, just steps from the east lobby across Hudson Park. The M34-SBS, M12 and M11 bus lines stop near the building as well. Groups may also take the Midtown Ferry which stops at the West 39th Street and West Side Highway terminal.

What Can We Do There?

Hudson Yards is home to some distinctly unique attractions, including the “Vessel.” The Vessel is a temporary name for the centerpiece of the complex and unlike anything ever built before. Students will love climbing 2,500 steps and 80 landings nearly one vertical mile above the Public Square and Gardens on a spiral staircase for different heights, angles and viewpoints of the city.

Snark Park is on the second floor of the Shops at Hudson Yards and is part of a “Floor of Discovery.” It is a constantly changing, interactive space seeking to recreate the familiar in new and creative ways. Art, retail and sweet treats come together in a themed, park-like destination. Right now, it is a hot spot in NYC for Instagram-able selfies (nirvana for student groups!)

Talk about a cool park – the Public Square and Gardens is built over railyards and cooled by jet engines! It’s built to be sustainable and used for year-round enjoyment. It’s an elevated paradise of flora and fauna and a marvel of engineering.

As if these attractions aren’t enough, there are lots of dining and shopping options perfect for students.

The Shed

The Shed is THE place to be for artists. It’s a movable venue that can adapt to host many different disciplines and audience sizes. It has a 500-seat theater, two floors of column-free galleries and a hall for large-scale performances. It also has an event and rehearsal space on the top floor known as Tisch Skylights.


While the writer of this piece quivers, students will quest to visit the Edge, the highest outdoor deck (1,100 feet!) in the western hemisphere when it opens in 2020. A glass floor juts out 65 feet from the building at 30 Hudson Yards for the most breathtaking, panoramic views of the Manhattan skyline.

Be among the first to take your student group to Hudson Yards. It’s a shining new jewel in a city filled with treasures. As you plan your NYC travel, Kaleidoscope Adventures is ready to help. Trust the KA team of experts at 407-345-4899 for travel beyond expectations!