Kaleidoscope is a full-service student tour operator providing student and group travel, school and class trips throughout the world for over 20 years!

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Take Center Stage in New York City

There’s nothing like the experience of live theatre. Iconic or cutting-edge shows, thrilling performances and crowds pulsing with energy draw us in like nothing else. It’s a magnificent experience, especially when the theatre is in the heart of New York City! Student and performance groups often include a Broadway show on their itineraries. Imagine if they also included an opportunity to shine on a New York City stage! Spotlight your students in these unique performance venues – and make them the stars of the show!

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

Bands and orchestras participate in a private clinic with a guest faculty member and receive feedback from an acclaimed panel of nationally recognized experts. The residency culminates in a daytime concert at Carnegie Hall.

New York City Jazz Festival

Hosted at New York City’s acclaimed Symphony Space, the New York City Jazz Festival gives instrumental and vocal jazz ensembles the opportunity to perform as part of a ticketed daytime concert while receiving recorded comments from an outstanding panel of nationally-recognized jazz experts. Additionally, each ensemble will receive a private clinic with one of the panel members.

Broadway Series

Imagine a classic Broadway production with a star-studded cast, professional orchestra and… your students!  The Broadway Series debuted in 2013 with a sold-out concert performance of Ragtime and continues its successful run in 2019 with The Scarlet Pimpernel.  It’s an incredible opportunity to take the stage at Lincoln Center with the very best in the industry!

Take It Outside

If you’re working on a limited budget, consider an outdoor performance in the city. If your group is 20 or more, you can apply for a special permit from the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation to perform in one of the city’s public parks. The application fee is only $25 but takes 21-30 days to process. Imagine wowing the crowds in Central Park or Battery Park – talk about making the world your stage!

 

 

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

Millions of viewers tune in each year to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Wouldn’t it be awesome if they were watching your band marching down 34th Street? This national Turkey Day tradition is a phenomenal way to showcase your hardworking students in an exciting and energetic venue that’s broadcast across the United States. After all, everyone loves a parade!

Town Hall

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.

Kaleidoscope Adventures: Educating Students Through Travel

The expert team at Kaleidoscope Adventures will work with you to find just the right experience for your group to take center stage in New York City. Count on your trusted partners to flawlessly handle and execute the details of your performance trip and make it one your students will never forget!

400th Anniversary of the Mayflower’s Arrival in Plymouth

The word “Thanksgiving” conjures up warm childhood memories of paper hand turkeys, feathered headbands, nifty Pilgrim songs, turkey and stuffing. All in all, an accurate representation of our forefathers’ first Thanksgiving, right? Hmmmm…. four hundred years of history tells us that perhaps this isn’t precisely true.

If you want to help set the record straight, plan a student trip to Plymouth, Massachusetts in 2020 for the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s arrival in Plymouth Harbor. This internationally anticipated event will highlight the story of the Wampanoag and English people and their cultural contributions to America.

Plimoth Plantation

Plimoth Plantation, an interactive 17th century experience centered on the Wampanoag people and the English settlers of Plymouth Colony, will be at the heart of the celebrations. Plimoth Plantation has been committed to sharing a realistic perspective of life in the 1600s since 1947. Visiting student groups will interact with history in a uniquely engaging setting while exploring the daily challenges and triumphs of both the settlers and Native People.

As part of the commemorations, Plimoth’s full-scale reproduction of the Mayflower (the Mayflower II) will be renovated and stand ready to share the experience of traveling across the Atlantic with 102 passengers for 66 days. Students may be shocked that it isn’t quite as luxurious as the cruise ships of modern times!

Pilgrim Hall Museum

Pilgrim Hall Museum will be part of the 400th festivities as well.  Founded in 1824, it is the oldest continuously operating museum in the country.  Pilgrim Hall Museum will exhibit People & Icons of Early Plymouth February through December of 2020.  In addition, a large-scale embroidered tapestry telling the story of Plymouth will be on display.  It promises to be a distinctive tribute to the Wampanoag and English people of 1620.

400th Events in Plymouth

The town of Plymouth will host a series of signature events throughout the year, beginning with an opening ceremony April 24, 2020 at Plymouth’s Memorial Hall. This historic occasion will set the stage for the 400th as guest speakers, performers, international dignitaries and heads of state come together to honor the past and look to the future. Other events slated for 2020-2021 include:

• Official Maritime Salute to the 400th (June 27-28)
• Wampanoag Ancestors Walk (August 15)
• Official State House Salute to the 400th (September 14)
• Embarkation Festival (September 19-20)
• Indigenous History Conference and Pow Wow (October 30 – November 1)

Illuminate Thanksgiving November 20-25, 2020

Thanksgiving Week of 2020 in Plymouth promises to be monumental. Designed with young people in mind, the week’s events are designed to spotlight America’s rich heritage and encourage gratitude and giving in all communities. Activities include:

• America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Concerts (November 20)
• America’s Hometown Thanksgiving Parade (November 21)
• Illuminate Thanksgiving Festival: “One Small Candle” Ceremony (November 22)
• Thanksgiving Festival Events (November 23-24)

Each of these magnificent gatherings leads up to the Illuminate Thanksgiving Main Event on November 25, 2020. Illuminate Thanksgiving is inspired by Governor William Bradford’s quote, “…as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light kindled hath shone unto many…”

Kaleidoscope Adventures: Educating Students Through Travel

The Plymouth 400th anniversary celebration is LITERALLY a once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunity for students. The expert staff at Kaleidoscope Adventures will help you stake your claim as part of the festivities. Customize a trip to Plymouth or an itinerary around a total New England experience. Either way, it’s a moment in history not to be missed. Call 407-345-4899 to plan your travel beyond expectations!

Great Travel Apps for Student Groups

We live in a world dominated by apps and easy access. We use apps to find our way around, order food, shop, entertain ourselves, organize schedules, etc. They make our lives easier and so much more convenient. Travel is no exception. There are lots of great travel apps for student groups that can help make planning and executing your student trip simple and fun! Here are a few great options…

Remind

Remind lets you communicate faster with real time messaging for the group. You can schedule reminders or provide updates to the itinerary as needed.

Groupme

Groupme is an app that works on every device and functions like a private chat room for your group. It’s free group messaging for quick updates and alerts – perfect for traveling student groups.

Cluster

Cluster is a simple, user-friendly app that can create group text threads with photos, videos or all-important messages. Members are by invitation only, keeping your communication private.

 

Group Travel Videos™

Group Travel Videos™ is one of our favorite student travel resources. They have an app that allows you to upload and share photos while you travel! These photos will be used to create a masterpiece of memories as a hard copy digital video AND a streaming digital version that can be stored on whatever media you choose. You can even provide your own performance music or live video clips to be added at no charge!

Group Travel Videos™ has also added a geo-mapping and messaging feature to their app as well. It allows the teacher to view where the class is while on tour and can message a single traveler or the entire group. It’s really an outstanding communication tool for the travelers and a huge reassurance for nervous parents.

Traveling with students is a lot easier if you make the most of the helpful resources and tools available. These are just a few great options that can save you time, energy and (possibly) your sanity!

Ready to Wing It? Deciding if Air Travel is Right for Your Group

As the wife of a former student tour operator, I spent many restless nights worrying. Baseball groups heading to spring training in South Carolina or bands making the long drive to Orlando were often the culprits. While it was cost effective, motor coach travel wasnt always the most convenient option for groups traveling long distances. Fortunately, we found The Air Travel Group and a much simpler way of getting from here to there!

Drama / Theater Trips by Kaleidoscope Adventures

The Air Travel Group books airfare for groups of 10 or more traveling together (think bands, student groups, mission trips, family reunion groups, etc.). They provide custom travel solutions for organizations looking to coordinate flights. The Air Travel Group will get your group a free quote and help with the overwhelming task of booking. Best of all, their top account status means access to private fares and better contract terms for your group.
If you havent considered group air travel before, The Air Travel Group offers some outstanding benefits:

Flexible contract terms
Delayed ticketing
Deposit to hold space
Free name changes
Free add/drop

They truly make booking airfare hassle-free and provide tons of support both pre-departure and during travel when those pesky delays or cancellations pop up.

When planning group travel, air transportation is often not considered because its perceived as cumbersome, expensive and fraught with opportunities to make mistakes. The Air Travel Group virtually eliminates these stressors in a click! The service is completely free and worth checking out. Based on destination, size of group and cost, you may find you prefer to wing it!

What ELSE Can You Do with Your Group In Orlando?

One of our favorite family vacations was a spur of the moment trip to Orlando. We packed our bags, found a cheap flight and headed south for some fun in the sun. You probably assume our visit included a castle or a mouse. Not this time! While we love the magic or adventure of the theme parks, this trip was all about the extraordinary, out-of-the-ordinary attractions. What else can you do with your group in Orlando? Read on to find out!

WonderWorks

WonderWorks is an experience (or experiment!) in fun like no other. As soon as the building is visible, its clear that things are not as they seem! The upside-down faade is explained to guests as a once top-secret laboratory located in the Bermuda Triangle in which an experiment gone wrong landed it in its current destination- upended!

Inside, the atmosphere at WonderWorks is charged with fun, excitement and more than 100 interactive displays and exhibits. Science is at the heart of the experience, and all the activities are geared for maximum play. Lie on a bed of nails, conquer the indoor ropes course, or move at the speed of light. Challenge your mind, body and imagination in the Wonder Zones or dazzle your senses with the mystery of magic. Take in a 4D-XD movie or light it up in a black-lit laser tag arena. Theres so much to do in this world of edu-tainment!

Ripleys

Ripleys Believe It or Not is an astonishing collection originating from the private coffers of Robert Ripley (1890-1949). Ripley spent 35 years traveling to 201 countries seeking the odd, the unusual, and the unexplained. These unique acquisitions are the foundation of the Ripleys attractions.

Ripleys features every macabre or ridiculous item conceivable, as well as many that you wont be able to wrap your brain around! Displays are a careful conglomerate of the strange, the shocking, and the beautiful- you may find a shrunken head, a micro-miniature sculpture or a 22-foot tall car parts robot. Students will love the interactive nature of the displays and the unexpected surprises around every corner. Its so much fun to wander through the space and imagine what Robert Ripley must have been thinking when he encountered some of these treasures! He once noted I have traveled in 201 countries and the strangest thing I saw was man. I think thats a sentiment to which most of us can relate!

Fun Spot

Ready to ride without the crazy lines? Fun Spot offers thrills and excitement right in the heart of International Drive. Featuring Floridas tallest wooden coaster, Fun Spot also boasts the worlds tallest Skycoaster, patented-designed, multi-level go-kart tracks, incredible attractions and a midway packed with the classic games everyone loves. It truly is a great spot for family-friendly fun!

Holy Land Experience

The Holy Land Experience brings 2000 years of history to Orlando in this spectacular, interactive Bible encounter. Authentic sights, sounds and tastes of ancient Jerusalem greet you as you pass through the gates of the walled city. Its a deeply moving, historically significant and undeniably inspirational living Biblical museum. Faith based groups, homeschool families and others will want to add the Holy Land Experience to the must do list of Orlando attractions.

Wild Florida

When the group is ready for adventure, Wild Florida is up for the challenge! Tucked away in the headwaters of the Florida Everglades and just a short drive from Orlando, Wild Florida is a hidden gem. U.S. Coast Guard certified airboats skim the waters for an up-close view of alligators, wild hogs, turkey and more. The Gator and Wildlife Park has more than 200 hundred exotic animals on display as well as interactive programs – perfect for students!

Orlando is an outstanding group destination with a surprising number of noteworthy attractions. Our impromptu family trip proved that its possible to skip the better-known parks and still have an amazing time (and probably for a lot less money)!

A Handy Guide to Use When Packing for A Student Trip

In a world in which glamping is an accepted form of outdoor recreation, its no surprise that we tend to over pack. We want to be sure we have all the necessary creature comforts in the event of an apocalypse. However, when packing for a student trip, we need to be a bit more discerning. Chances are good that space is limited so we need to make the most of what we bring. Below is a handy guide to use when packing for a student trip

EVERY TRAVELER SHOULD PACK

Enough clothes for each day of the trip (including undies and an extra pair of socks!)
Gloves, hat, scarf (depending on weather)
Swimsuit / flip flops
Sunscreen / sunglasses / baseball cap or visor
Insect repellent (preferably wipes)
Layers (hoodies in case it gets cold, joggers, etc.)
School shirt or trip shirt to identify as part of the group
Nightwear that is appropriate for room sharing
Appropriate and comfortable shoes for walking
Closed-toe shoes for traveling
Toiletries including travel soap, shampoo (check with the group leader regarding hair dryers, curling irons, etc.)
Extra pair of lenses /glasses
Prescriptions in original packaging and a list of prescribed medications for the group leader (check with the group leader on specific protocol)
Phone / phone charger
Travel poncho
Limited cash / debit card (remember, most fees are included in the cost of the trip)

BUS TRAVELERS SHOULD ALSO PACK

A bag for the bus that includes anything you want to have handy but dont necessarily need once off the bus (change of clothes, snacks*, drink, headphones, make up, lip balm, sunscreen, hoodie). This bag typically stays on the motor coach while students jump off and on
A small backpack or cross body bag to keep with you while touring. Keep cash, phone, and other essentials in this one

AIR TRAVELERS SHOULD ALSO PACK

Photo ID / Passport (check with the group leader)
Snacks* for the plane
Dramamine (again, check with the group leader)
Backpack with a change of clothes in the event a bag is lost
Carry-on liquids, aerosols, creams and gels using the 3-1-1 rule (3.4 oz bottle or less; 1quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger)
Unlocked luggage for easier TSA accessibility
Bags that are discreetly labeled with identifying information

Remember, when packing for a student trip, excess is not an option. Keep it simple and smart and youll be prepared for a successful adventure!

*Check with your group leader regarding any specific food allergies

Don’t Forget to Include the Class Trip in Your Back-to-School Plans

In teacher speak, the 4th of July signals the end of summer. Any teacher will tell you that once the fireworks are over, the mind jumps back into planning and prep mode for the next school year. The short summer break has refreshed and energized, allowing for a new perspective and excitement toward the coming year. As you prepare for your return to the classroom with renewed enthusiasm, dont forget to include the class trip in your back-to-school plans.

Summer is the perfect time to think about your pending class trip because you have some time! Once the school year is underway, youre swamped with lesson plans, deadlines, activities and more. Those last sweet weeks of summer allow you to focus on the nuts and bolts of the trip. You can choose your destination thoughtfully and take time to research your attractions. Youll have a better chance of those attractions responding to your queries if they arent knee-deep in the student travel season. You can lay out the perfect itinerary, considering flow and timing, proximity of attractions to the hotel and each other, etc. You can search for great educational programs or performance workshops, depending on the needs of your group. You can decide what kind of transportation will work best and secure contracts and rates early. You can think about the best fundraiser for your group or research grant or scholarship opportunities for your students. Finally, you can plan a payment schedule that makes sense for everyone and not scramble at the last minute to pay those deposits.

Kaleidoscope Adventures: Educating Students Through Travel

If you need a helping hand getting started, give Kaleidoscope Adventures a call. As a leader in the student travel industry for more than 25 years and a former teacher at the helm, KA is equipped to handle your every need with ease. Trust the experts at Kaleidoscope Adventures to make your class trip one your students will remember for years to come! Contact KA at (800) 774-7337 or email info@kaleidoscopeadventures.com.

If you plan trips on your own, theres a great new resource available that takes you step-by-step through the process. Group Experience was designed with busy teachers in mind and takes the guess work out of putting together your class trip.

As much as we want summer to last into perpetuity, the 4th of July is a reality check. Its time to get back in the groove and start prepping for a fantastic year in the classroom and beyond!

Feed Those Hungry Student Travelers at Golden Corral

If you travel with students, you know the time and attention to detail required for a successful itinerary. Timing is critical in the well-oiled machine of student tours. There are places to be, deadlines to meet, schedules to keep and, oh yes- hungry kids to feed. In the grand travel scheme, hungry kids trump all else! There are few among us with the fortitude to deal with 60 hungry eighth graders, much less with a smile and pleasant disposition. Fortunately, Golden Corral scores the highest marks in satisfying those insatiable teen appetites AND keeping your group on schedule!

Americas #1 buffet and grill, Golden Corral has a legendary hot and cold buffet with an abundance of choices, guaranteed to satisfy the pickiest among us. Comforting, homemade favorites are available for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Fresh baked goods and scrumptious desserts round out the endless buffet. Yum!
The staff at Golden Corral is gracious and accommodating, always providing the highest quality guest service. They will treat your group with unrivaled care and attention. As you plan your busy day, staff will work closely with you to make sure you keep your schedule running smoothly.

Golden Corral is a leader in the group travel market, boasting memberships in the Student Youth Travel Association (SYTA), American Bus Association (ABA), National Transportation Association (NTA) and NAJ Group. The company will exceed your expectations of what is possible when dining with a group (even those hungry teens!). The best part is that all this deliciousness and fabulous service is provided at an exceptional price point.
When you plan your student group travel, remember to include Golden Corral as your dining partner. There are more than 450 conveniently located restaurants in 41 states nationwide ready to serve your group with efficiency, excellent food and unparalleled service. You (and your hungry travelers) will be glad you did!

WonderWorks Will Turn Your Group Plans Upside Down!

Planning a student trip. Planning a homeschool trip. Planning a scout trip. Planning a family or faith-based trip. If you can check any of these boxes, be sure to check this one:

? Include a visit to WonderWorks in your plans!


WonderWorks is an experience (or experiment!) in fun like no other. As soon as the building is visible, its clear that things are not as they seem! The upside-down faade is explained to guests as a once top-secret laboratory located in the Bermuda Triangle in which an experiment gone wrong landed it in its current destination- upended!

Inside, the atmosphere at WonderWorks is charged with fun, excitement and more than 100 interactive displays and exhibits at your disposal. Science is at the heart of the experience, and all the activities are geared for maximum play. Lie on a bed of nails, conquer the indoor ropes course, or move at the speed of light. Challenge your mind, body and imagination in the Wonder Zones or dazzle your senses with the mystery of magic. Take in a 4D-XD (or 6D in Myrtle Beach!) movie or light it up in a black-lit laser tag arena. Theres so much to do in this world of edu-tainment!

WonderWorks loves groups of 15+ and promises an incredibly wacky adventure for all! WonderWorks has locations in six great group destinations. Each is uniquely engaging and offers guests a completely unexpected and upside-down approach to fun. When planning your group travel, be sure to check this one off your to-do list!

 

Believe It or Not – Ripleys Attractions Are Everywhere

Believe it or not (see what I did there?!) Ripleys attractions are everywhere. More than 100+ locations worldwide means that odds are good youll find a Ripleys to meet the needs of your student group trip.

Ripleys Believe It or Not Attractions are an astonishing collection originating from the private coffers of Robert Ripley (1890-1949). Ripley spent 35 years traveling to 201 countries seeking the odd, the unusual, and the unexplained. Hmmm sounds like he could have just planned a trip with middle school students! These unique acquisitions are the foundation of the Ripleys attractions Odditoriums, Aquariums, Mirror Mazes, WaxWorks, 4D Moving Theaters and many more.

Locations can be found in most U.S. student travel destinations and feature every macabre or ridiculous item conceivable, as well as many that you wont be able to wrap your brain around! Each Ripleys Odditorium is housed in an unusual structure and typically includes between 400 700 exhibits. Displays are a careful conglomerate of the strange, the shocking, and the beautiful- you may find a shrunken head, a micro-miniature sculpture or a 22-foot tall car parts robot. Students will love the interactive nature of the displays and the unexpected surprises around every corner. Its so much fun to wander through the space and imagine what Robert Ripley must have been thinking when he encountered some of these treasures! He once noted I have traveled in 201 countries and the strangest thing I saw was man. I think thats a sentiment to which most of us can relate!

Ripleys Aquariums offer students an opportunity to come face to face with fascinating underwater life. Found in the Smoky Mountains, Myrtle Beach and Toronto, Canada, these state-of-the-art facilities allow visitors to glide on moving platforms into an aquatic world filled with captivating fish and other sea creatures. Each aquarium location is distinct and will keep your student group enthralled.

Ripleys attractions are everywhere and can be a cornerstone of your student group trip. Even the most jaded middle school students will find something to peak their interests- and we all know thats a rare and surprising find in itself!

Kaleidoscope Adventures, a leader in student travel, is ready to help plan your student group trip. More than 25 years of experience and a former teacher at the helm means KA is equipped to handle your every need with ease. Trust the experts at Kaleidoscope Adventures to make your class trip one your students will remember for years to come! Contact KA at (800) 774-7337 or email info@kaleidoscopeadventures.com.