New York & Washington DC History School Trips & Tours - Political History & Civil Rights

Travel to the East Coast of America and explore the origins of the Civil Rights movement and learn more about American political history.

Washington DC is the location of many excellent museums and sites to give your pupils an insight into how the country has evolved. During a history school trip to New York, take the opportunity to tour the areas where key events of the time occurred and experience living history by meeting with a veteran of the movement and listening to their account. This exclusive opportunity will create memories for your group that will last forever.

Sample itinerary

Our sample itinerary provides you with an idea of the visits you can cover during your trip. We can tailor-make an itinerary to support your specific learning outcomes.

Morning Afternoon Evening
1 Daytime flight. Met on arrival by a local Agent Representative for an escorted transfer to accommodation Empire State Building. Overnight in New York
2 Guided walking tour of Midtown Manhattan Harlem Civil Rights Tour. Meet a veteran of the Civil Rights Movement Free time in Times Square & Fifth Avenue. Overnight in New York
3 Guided walking tour of Lower Manhattan Free time at The National Sept 11 Memorial & St Paul's Church Overnight in New York
4 Transfer by coach to Washington DC. En route guided visit to Gettysburg National Military Park Overnight in Washington DC
5 Guided walking tour - Government Buildings Holocaust Museum Overnight in Washington DC
6 Guided walking tour - Historical Sites & Memorials Transfer to airport for overnight return flight to Ireland. Visit Potomac Mills shopping mall en route to airport.
7 Arrive in Ireland
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Morning Daytime flight. Met on arrival by a local Agent Representative for an escorted transfer to accommodation
Afternoon Empire State Building. Overnight in New York
Evening
Morning Guided walking tour of Midtown Manhattan
Afternoon Harlem Civil Rights Tour. Meet a veteran of the Civil Rights Movement
Evening Free time in Times Square & Fifth Avenue. Overnight in New York
Morning Guided walking tour of Lower Manhattan
Afternoon Free time at The National Sept 11 Memorial & St Paul's Church
Evening Overnight in New York
Morning Transfer by coach to Washington DC. En route guided visit to Gettysburg National Military Park
Afternoon Overnight in Washington DC
Evening
Morning Guided walking tour - Government Buildings
Afternoon Holocaust Museum
Evening Overnight in Washington DC
Morning Guided walking tour - Historical Sites & Memorials
Afternoon Transfer to airport for overnight return flight to Ireland. Visit Potomac Mills shopping mall en route to airport.
Evening
Morning Arrive in Ireland
Afternoon
Evening

On-tour support includes...

Additional on-tour support available...

  • Pre-booked meals at great group prices
  • Services of a Local Guide

Accommodation

Popular options in New York & Washington


Top visits in New York

Empire State Building

Venture over a quarter of a mile skyward and observe as your group takes in the scale of the immense urban landscape which opens up before them. This is a great way for your students to gain artistic inspiration away from the hustle and bustle of the streets below. A particularly popular evening visit.

Harlem Civil Rights Walking Tour

Consisting of a multimedia bus/walking tour or a guided walking tour, this experience takes you to the heart of the Civil Rights Movement in Harlem and to the very sites where history happened. Includes the mosque of Malcolm X and the church of Wyatt Tee Walker (top aide to Martin Luther King).

Living History - Meet a Veteran of the Civil Rights Movement

Exclusive to NST

We have developed links with key figures within the Civil Rights Movement who would like to share their unique experiences with our groups. Spend an hour in the presence of men and women who worked and campaigned alongside Martin Luther King and gain an electrifying experience that few, whether students or teachers, will ever forget.

Walking Tour of Midtown Manhattan

Experienced in dealing with groups, our local guides will bring the history and culture of New York to life. Students will be amazed as they walk down world-famous streets such as Fifth Avenue, 42nd Street and Broadway and through Central Park and Times Square.

Walking Tour of Downtown Manhattan

Our expert guides can lead students through the neighbourhoods of Chinatown, Little Italy, SoHo and along Wall Street and Battery Park to give your group an insight into Manhattan life and the history of the city.

Radio City

The largest indoor theatre in the world, this prime spot in Midtown was turned into Radio City Music Hall during the years of the Depression. Radio City is now a leading hall for popular concerts, stage shows, special attractions and media events, including the Grammys, Tonys, and MTV Video Music Awards! More than 700 movies opened here, including the original King Kong.
Here, your group will learn about its history, listen to the ‘mighty Wurlitzer’ and enjoy ‘a masterpiece of American Modernist design’.

 

The Statue of Liberty Cruise & Ellis Island Immigration Museum

Alongside the ultimate landmark of New York and one of the most universal symbols of political freedom and democracy, the Ellis Island Museum is dedicated to the history of immigration and the important role this island claimed during the mass migration of humanity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

A 45-minute audio tour invites students to relive the immigrant experience as if they were the new arrivals and includes artifacts, photos, interactive displays and videos including the award winning ‘Island of Hope, Island of Tears’.

You will visit the island as part of a short boat cruise passing the Statue of Liberty, which was the first sight for the millions of immigrants.

United Nations Building Guided Tour

On this guided tour around the UN Building, your students will learn about the organisation, its structure and history. Your group will leave feeling enlightened about the broad range of fundamental issues dealt with here, from sustainable development, democracy and human rights, to governance, economic and social development, and more.

Lower East Side (Immigrant Neighborhood) Walking Tours - Outside the Home

See the Lower East Side through the eyes of the immigrants who have lived here for 150 years during this 90-minute tour.
Discover the towering Jarmulowsky Bank building, where immigrants deposited (and eventually lost) their life savings, the Daily Forward building, where socialists fought for worker rights, and PS 42, where generations of immigrants learned how to be 'American'.

 

Lower East Side (Immigrant Neighborhood) Walking Tours - Then & Now

For generations of immigrants, the Lower East Side wasn't just a place to find a cheap home. It was also where they learned how to start a business, build a congregation and educate their children. Discover the fascinating history of this neighbourhood during this two-hour tour and find out why it’s such an ever-changing mix of the old and the new.

Tenement Museum

Highlighting the experiences of poor 19th century and early 20th century immigrants from different cultures, the museum tells the stories of one tenement apartment that was home to nearly 7,000 working class immigrants.

Tours also available including Irish Outsiders, Meet the Residents, and Hard Times.

The Museum of Jewish Heritage

A Living Memorial to the Holocaust - honouring those who died by celebrating their lives - the museum’s core exhibition, personal objects, photographs, and original films illustrate the story of Jewish heritage in the 20th century.

9/11 Memorial Museum

Opened in 2014, the museum explores the implications of the events of 9/11, documenting the impact of those events and exploring 9/11’s continuing significance. It demonstrates the consequences of terrorism on individual lives and its impact on communities at local, national and international level. The museum is growing a permanent collection of artefacts, stories, photos, video and other materials.

9/11 Tribute Center

Self-guided visit to museum galleries - learn about the events of 9/11 through authentic personal experiences. Five immersive environments provide first person perspective through videos, artifacts, photos and personal stories. 9/11 memorial guided tours also available with this visit – guided by those who personally experienced the events.

 

'My September 11 Experience' at the 9/11 Tribute Center

Groups have a unique opportunity to meet someone personally involved in the tragic events of 9/11. Students will have a chance to ask them questions and hear their own account of the day and their views.

This 30-minute question and answer session follows a self-guided visit through exhibits, film, artefacts, and the voices of those who experienced the events firsthand with additional information about the affects of 9/11and the future plans for ground zero.

9/11 Memorial

The 9/11 memorial was dedicated on September 11, 2011 in a ceremony for victims’ families. The memorial honours the 2,983 who perished in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and February 26, 1993. The memorial allows visitors to come together again in the spirit of unity and courage that emerged in the wake of 9/11. The memorial consists of two pools set in the footprints of the Twin Towers, surrounded by a plaza of more than 400 trees. The names of the victims are inscribed in bronze around the pools.

9/11 Police Officers’ Personal Stories

Hear firsthand accounts from the heroes who came to help on that day, including police officers who volunteered to go into the burning towers, who pulled victims from the rubble, and who cared for the injured and dying – and who still live with the emotional scars. Officers who responded to the 9/11 scene will speak and answer your students’ questions.

One World Observatory

The 104 storey building stands on the World Trade Center site in Manhattan - giving amazing views of the city as well as interactive exhibitions on the building and the city. Groups will ascend to the 102nd observation floor in under 60 seconds in one of five sky pod elevators!


Top visits in Washington DC

Walking Tour - Political Sites

Half day tour with a local guide covering externally all the major government buildings:

  • Pennsylvania Avenue
  • The US Capitol (the Senate, House of Representatives, Supreme Court, Library of Congress)
  • The Mall
  • George Washington Monument

Walking Tour - Historical Sites

Half day tour with a local guide covering all the major historical sites and monuments:

  • Jefferson Memorial
  • FDR Memorial
  • Korean War Veterans Memorial
  • Arlington National Cemetery
  • Lincoln Memorial
  • Vietnam Memorial
  • WWII Memorial
  • The White House (exterior)

US Holocaust Memorial Museum

Explaining the story of the Holocaust in a uniquely and immensely thought provoking manner, students will never forget a visit to this museum.

Arlington National Cemetery

The history of this cemetery, the largest military graveyard in the world reflects the conflicts and struggles faced by the American people. Graves here include those from the Civil War, and both World Wars and the eternal flame burning by the grave of JFK.

National Museum of American History

Traces the country’s development in an entertaining and fairly lighthearted manner.

Lincoln Memorial Steps

Stand on the site of Martin Luther King’s famous ‘I Have a Dream’ speech during the defining moment of the Civil Rights Movement in America.

FDR Memorial

This park traces 12 years of the history of the US using a sequence of outdoor rooms; one for each of Roosevelt’s terms of office. Sculptures and murals depict scenes from the Depression enabling you to stand in the ‘Breadline’.

The Pentagon

The headquarters of the Department of Defense is one of the world’s largest office buildings. It is possible for groups to have a guided tour around the building which covers highlights of significant moments in history. Tours must be booked direct by the group via your local MP.

The National Archives

Displays the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence. Visits to the Public Vaults display original records and new interactive exhibits that allow you to touch and explore interesting documents. Key topics that can be studied here are Civil War, Civil Rights, Cold War, McCarthyism.

National Air & Space Museum

Discover the history of America’s aeronautical industry, from the Wright Brothers’ first flyer in 1903, to the Apollo 11 command module. An ideal visit to cover the Cold War and the Space Race.

Mount Vernon

An ideal visit en route to the airport, from the Mansion House to the Slave Quarters the plantation home of George Washington gives you the opportunity to see how the first President of the United States lived.

Smithsonian Institute

America’s national educational facility with 19 museums including:

  • National Museum of Natural History
  • National Portrait Gallery. 

The Smithsonian Institute museums are free.

 

Ford's Theatre

Enjoy a self-guided tour of the Ford’s Theatre Museum - explore Lincoln's presidency from his arrival in Washington to the very minute he arrived at Ford's Theatre on the fateful night of April 14, 1865. You will see rare artefacts related to the assassination.


Evening activites

  • Broadway show
  • Top of the Rock
  • Empire State Building

Study themes

  • The USA during the ‘Roaring Twenties
  • Race relations before WWII
  • Impact of WWII on the USA
  • The Civil Rights movement
  • The US conflict with Vietnam
  • The USA during the ‘Roaring Twenties
  • Impact of WWII on the USA
  • The Civil Rights movement
  • US conflict with Vietnam
  • The start of the Cold War
  • Superpower relations
  • Role of the USA in bringing about the end of the Cold War and opposition to the war

Transport

We offer flights from a variety of departure airports and we’ll work with you to plan your route at the best value possible.

Flight


Giving you full support throughout

Before your tour

  • Your own dedicated NST contact
  • Bespoke tour itineraries
  • Unrivalled local knowledge & expertise
  • Curriculum linked visit programmes
  • Great value for money - no hidden costs
  • Free group leader inspection visits
  • Risk assessment guidance
  • Safety assured, transport, accommodation and visits

Whilst you're away

  • Free educational resources
  • Group-friendly accommodation
  • Exceptional standards of coaching
  • On-tour support from our reps on the ground
  • Support & assistance from our specialists guides throughout your tour
  • 24/7 support just a call away
  • Extensive group travel insurance

On your return

  • Priority rebooking services
  • Rewarding your loyalty with our reward scheme
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