Value Packed Student Tour
With an emphasis on keeping costs low but value high, this itinerary provides more than two full days’ worth of fun and knowledge to student tour groups. From hands-on history and military appreciation to science and service-learning opportunities, Prince William, VA provides a wealth of opportunities for entertainment and education for less than you would expect. Many of the programs and offerings can be customized to meet a specific request your group may have so dive into our value packed itinerary to begin your adventure!
Start your tour at the National Museum of the Marine Corps. Uncover the history of the Corps, test your skills as a Marine, and get insight into the lives of those who fight for our freedom. During your visit, see the incredible Gene Hackman-narrated film “We, The Marines” to get an unparalleled view into the experiences of Marines from boot camp through modern warfare training. Also included in your visit is a hands-on activity centered around the STEAM skills modern-day Marines need to keep our country safe. Students may engineer a boat, parachute, or other tools to keep a Marine mission ready. During your visit, use your lunch voucher to enjoy a meal in Devil Dog Diner, the on-site cafeteria-style eatery which honors Marine mess operations.
Next, pay your respects at Quantico National Cemetery with a private flag placing experience at the graves of veterans whose remains were previously forgotten. Hosted by the Missing in America Project, their mission is to find, identify and provide full military burial for these now remembered heroes. This all-volunteer organization will impart the true value of sacrifice and leadership upon your students.
End your afternoon at Rippon Lodge, Prince William County’s oldest known home known for growing tobacco, wheat and other commodities. Built in 1740’s and the oldest known home in Prince William County, the property overlooks the Potomac River and is close to the former bustling port town of Dumfries. The owners used their proximity to the waterways to export their goods to England. Included in your tour is a 19th century musket firing demonstration.
Get excited for dinner tonight at Fuddruckers. Known for their hand-crafted hamburgers with a seemingly endless supply of “choose your own” toppings, you can create a one-of-a-kind dinner that is sure to please any picky eater. With chicken, vegetarian, and other food sensitivity options, everyone can enjoy a meal without feeling a pinch in their pockets.
Before calling it a night, your group will want to experience an awe-inspiring laser light show at the Irene V. Hylton Planetarium. From star gazing and solar system education to physics and astronomy, these “edu-tainment” shows will wow your group like a shooting star.
Begin your day with a hands-on history program at your hotel. This portable educational experience covers the fundamental things needed to function as a 19th century soldier. The historian will guide the students through a lesson in history to set the stage for the rest of today’s tour.
Continue your morning with a civics lesson in an actual government building where local leaders make decisions impacting the community they serve. Students will be given scenarios to think through, discuss, and act on to learn about the result of their choices. From the local town hall in Occoquan to the board chambers for the local county supervisors, your group will sit in the seats of local leaders and community members influencing daily lives as they learn.
The next stop on your journey is Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre to conduct a mock trial based on historically accurate information. Explore the 19th century jail and discover where the Prince William Cavalry was formed in 1860. The jailhouse here also has ties to the Underground Railroad and the fight for equality. Many runaway bondsmen and abolitionists were jailed here for expressing their opinions in public. Become drawn into the stories of those who were captured, such as William Hayden, who was held in the jail for over a year for being “too light” before escaping.
Head over to Manassas Mall for lunch at their large food court. With nationally recognized brands and local options to choose from, everyone will be able to find something tasty to eat. If you have some extra time, browse the over 80 stores to take something home with you to remember your tour.
Next, visit Manassas National Battlefield and soak up all the history it has to offer. It is the site of the Civil War’s first major clash. The field overlooks Bull Run. There is a 45-minute film which covers the First and Second Battles of Manassas. You can then make your way to the Museum where artifacts and exhibits about the First Battle of Manassas are displayed.
Continue your tour at Ben Lomond Historic Site, a field hospital used during both major battles at Manassas National Battlefield. From the smell that may have lingered in the home to the sounds of soldiers crying out for help, this immersive museum can practically put you in the shoes of an injured soldier or the family who lives there throughout the ordeal. To make history even more enjoyable, your students will sit by the campfire, roasting marshmallows and making s’mores, while the site staff tell stories of the importance of this historical site.
Dinner and fun happen tonight at Uptown Alley, an upscale bowling alley. With 24 bowling lanes, a full arcade, and two-story laser tag maze, the fun stops only when you want it to. The on-site Red Embers Grill will give your group a from-scratch meal to enjoy before or after your games. You could even have a dance or karaoke party in their massive Arena area, with built-in stage.
Begin your day with a hands-on history program at your hotel. This portable educational experience covers archaeology and how it has impacted the interpretation of history in our region. Using actual artifacts and archaeological reports/surveys, students will be introduced to the concepts of stratigraphy, excavation, reconstruction, and preservation. They will even perform their own excavation…on a cookie!
End your tour with science in the park! Head out onto the Neabsco Creek boardwalk for a hands-on learning experience with nature. Geared towards elementary school students, this tour will educate your students on the importance of conservation, how pollution impacts the ecosystem, and the role erosion plays on the landscape. For middle and high school groups, you can participate in a service-learning opportunity in one of the dozens of public parks in Prince William County. Leave your mark on a space for future visitors to enjoy!
Go to www.visitpwc.com/groups/itineraries/ for additional itinerary ideas, such as:
- An Art-Fully Crafted Tour – an art tour of Prince William and Loudoun, VA
- Full STEAM Ahead Student Tour – an educational tour chalk full of science, technology, engineering, art, and math experiences for student groups
- History Meets Mystery – boat rides, horses, history, and an array of food experiences in Prince William and Loudoun, VA
Need more inspiration? Check out additional student group tour inclusion ideas:
- Backstage tour of Jiffy Lube Live – get the VIP treatment and go backstage at the largest outdoor amphitheater in the D.C. metro region. See the green room, walk out on stage, and learn what it takes to host a live concert for 25,000 people!
- Private venues for student dinner dances – a private venue may be a welcome and safe change of pace for your next student dinner dance. Hosting a dinner party away from your hotel keeps students from sneaking away and sets the tone for a special evening of food and fun!
- 5 budget friendly restaurants for student groups - Prince William, VA provides more value than you realize, including our group friendly dining options. Every dollar counts!
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