Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Educational Vacations

As excited as I am about the new fall class schedules, I must admit I'm not quite ready for summer to be over. Before I pack away my flip-flops, I'm pondering a last-minute vacation (with, of course, an educational component).

In the mood to get away from it all? Here are a few offbeat options:

Not your typical booze cruise: Semester at Sea, which offers an alternative to traditional study abroad programs for college students, also has adult enrichment programs. It's a cruise and a class in one! Upcoming voyages explore the Panama Canal and the Amazon.

Why drool over the baked goods in the Zingerman's catalog when you can enroll in the legendary deli's Bake-Cation program? Four full days of fantasy baking camp will set you back $1,000, but there are dozens of one-shot classes in the $100-$200 range. Now you just have to drive to Ann Arbor.

The Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ontario, runs through October. In addition to seeing a dozen plays (including five Shakespeare plays), you can listen to lectures, tour the costume warehouses, engage in literary discussions and enjoy a charmingly revitalized Canada town. Yes, it's a whole other country, but it's 10 hours away by car, which is closer than Florida. Go just once, and you'll never miss a season again.

Want to really get away from it all? St. Meinrad, a monastery in southern Indiana, offers both guided and individual spiritual retreats for just $60 a day (including room and board). Hey, soul-searching is educational, too. As an alternative, check out the retreats at the Monastery of Christ in the Desert (New Mexico), where your spiritual retreat goes hardcore with silence and manual labor.

Now, what I'd really like to see is a sleepaway summer camp for grown-ups that features a variety of educational programming. Anybody have any suggestions?

1 comment:

jj said...

http://www.ghostranch.org/catalog/
You may find some of the course offerings at Ghost Ranch of interest, a stone's throw from Christ in the Desert Monastery. GR has also a facility in Santa Fe.