By Angie Roberts Harris
The Homeschool Memphis week will be held this coming fall on November 14-20, 2016 as part of the Homeschool Odyssey Series presented by Group Travel Odyssey. The four-day event which celebrates history, culture, and music, includes some of the most interesting and educational venues in Memphis, Tennessee.
Participate in hands-on activities, be led on a guided tour of the exhibits, or meet some of the irresistible baby animals at the Memphis Zoo. Visit baby ‘Raven’, a Francois langur monkey who is named after the French Consul in China or baby ‘Rowan’, a Sumatran Orangutan. Other cute babies include two fishing cat kittens, a trio of African penguins, a slender loris, and a tamandua. Actually meeting and observing these rare species is a bonding and educational experience that books or traditional classrooms cannot offer.
Graceland, home of Elvis Presley, is a 1970s colonial, revival-style mansion sitting on fourteen beautiful acres. Enjoy touring the Racquetball Building with a display of famous jumpsuits and posthumous awards, the Trophy Building boasting gold and platinum records, and the Jungle Room, reminiscent of Hawaiian movie days and complete with 1970s green shag carpeting. The final stop is the Meditation Garden where Elvis and members of his family are laid to rest. Graceland is a captivating and educational glimpse into the life of the King of Rock n’ Roll.
National Civil Rights Museum
The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was murdered on the balcony of the Lorraine Hotel in 1968. Today, the hotel is the home of the National Civil Rights Museum. Step aboard a vintage bus and experience the altercation between a transit system worker and Rosa Parks which led to the famous Bus Boycott in Montgomery, Alabama or crouch into the hull of a slave ship and imagine the hardships endured as part of the slave trade in the 1700s.
Stax Museum of American Soul Music
Stax Records was a world renowned recording studio acclaimed for American soul music. The studio was built by Jim Stewart and Estelle Axton, hence the name ‘Stax’. Visitors are encouraged to “shake what your mama gave you” on the ‘Express Yourself’ dance floor, saunter through the control room with period recording equipment, and check out Studio A with its legendary slanted floor. An early 1900’s Mississippi Delta Church has also been reassembled inside the museum, creating another opportunity to stand inside history. The hall of records contains all the albums and singles released by Stax from 1957–1975, lining the walls from floor-to-ceiling.
Pink Palace Museum
Spend an entire day exploring all the features of the Pink Palace Museum! Discover Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Secret Ocean or Journey to Space in the 3D Giant Theatre and make sure to save enough time for the awesome Planetarium. Steve Pike, director of museums for the Pink Palace Family of Museums, agrees, “The full-dome theater shows are spectacular, and they are only part of the story. Our new digital capacity makes the planetarium interactive. We can take you to the farthest corners of the known universe and anywhere else in it in the blink of an eye.”
The ‘Incredible Pizza Night’ is another fun and delicious highlight of this great trip! Included in the Join the Odyssey package is the all you can eat food and pizza buffet. In addition to eating your fill, play the evening away with a $20.00 game card which can be used for games, laser tag, bumper boats, go carts, mini bowling, and Tiny Town.
All of these fantastic and educational venues are included in the ‘Choose Your Odyssey’ base adventure package for $89.00 per person. You can also ‘Join the Odyssey’ for $193.00 per person which includes all of the above plus extra venue locations, ice breakers, leadership time and educational sessions. These events create wonderful support for the extended homeschool community.
There are nine community lodging partners offering extensive discounts. For information and rates, click the accommodations tab on the Group Travel Odyssey page. Select the lodging that best fits the needs of your family.
The Homeschool Odyssey Series is a wonderful opportunity to choose your own adventures, experience an educational vacation, and cultivate friendships with other homeschooling students, parents, and teachers.
“A well rounded education happens intentionally.”
Angie Harris, www.GoingOutTheDoor.com