Maria Gorshin may have made a career jaunting through New York, Washington D.C., and Philadelphia, but her heart remains in Haddonfield.
That’s why, during a tough time for education, Gorshin — the brains and beating heart behind City Girl Tours — will commit a portion of her time in the latter half of October to give home-bound students a chance to take in the borough’s history firsthand.
Calling it Haddonfield Homeschool Tours, Gorshin wants to use this unique period in time to let local children power down from their days spent online and explore the rich textures available close by. The tours are available to both long-term homeschoolers and temporary stay-at-home students.
“There is so much history in South Jersey and so many great stories for our children to discover,” she noted. “Right now, while the world has slowed down a bit, is a unique opportunity for kids to discover all that’s amazing, surprising, fun and historic right where they live.”
For Gorshin, the newest endeavor is simply an extension of what she’d been up to in a variety of locations.
“I’ve been leading friends and house guests on adventures for years, beginning in Orlando, when we lived in Disney’s Town of Celebration,” she revealed. “With special access and local knowledge, it was fun to create special experiences for everyone who visited us while we lived there.”
Gorshin enlarged her expeditionary palette when her family relocated to the Northeast, first to discover the hidden wonders of America’s largest metropolitan area, New York, and then back in Haddonfield. Here, she fell in love with the stories, architecture and history of the whole area and how they’re linked in so many ways.
“Thoughtful tourism matters: It connects people to places in an engaging way; it supports local business; and, at the end of the day, you’re helping make the world a friendlier place,” she added.
The tours are scheduled to begin Oct. 14 and will run through Oct. 28. Each tour is expected to last at least 90 minutes, but Gorshin said there will be flexibility to reduce a tour to one hour if very young children are involved, or to stretch tours to as much as two hours long.
Each excursion will highlight a different aspect of town history: fossils, in the spirit of the iconic “Haddy”; discovering the borough’s sweet tooth; and, of course, a requisite Halloween-themed day out.
“Different themes will keep things tasty and fun,” Gorshin said. “For example, the chocolate theme will include a walk to a historic spot with a surprising link to chocolate. We’ll also go meet local makers to sample sweets while touching on language arts.
“The main ingredients to these events are exploration and fun, with a healthy side of learning. This town is an incredible classroom.”
For maximum safety due to COVID-19, each event will be limited to groups that already study together (families or home-school pods) and will be conducted with social distance outdoors, with everyone who participates required to wear face masks.
Cost for each tour is $80. Each tour group will be limited to 10 students, to ensure safety and affordability for all families.
To schedule a time slot for your group, or to find out more about tours beyond Haddonfield, contact Gorshin at: email@example.com.