Special Events

Courses & Events

Bird banding is the scientific practice used to monitor and study wild bird populations. Songbirds are captured in a mist net, aged, sexed and a small band is placed on the leg before its release. Join Janeen Walters, a federal and state licensed bird bander for over 25 years, as she provides a hands-on experience. We'll meet on Washburn University's environmental site outside of Topeka, first established by Karl Menninger in the early 1930's. A tour of Karl's home and science lab will also take place. While we enjoy a catered lunch, Tom Luellen provides a sneak peek into his Osher course, "Birds of a Feather: A History of American Birding." We'll be joined by special guest, Karl Menninger, grandson to Karl, who will provide family history and discuss his grandfather's long-time interest in nature and conservation. Join us for this unique experience.


Janeen Walters has been a federal and state licensed bird bander for over 25 years. She taught science to middle school students for 34 years until her retirement last year. There is plenty of work at Karlyle Woods to keep her busy! She is a zoo docent and a volunteer at Helping Hands Humane Society. Her hobbies include bird watching, nature studies, scuba diving, gardening, and reading. 


Friday, September 30


9:30 a.m. - Arrive at 3440 NW Button Road, Topeka


1:00 p.m. - Depart 


$45 fee includes demonstration, presentations, guided tours, and lunch. 


Refunds will be honored on or before September 15 minus a $15 administrative fee.



This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.

Dates have been changed to Thursday, December 15 & Friday, December 16. Fort Riley, established in 1853, is one of the Army's oldest posts. Our visit will consist of a guided tour of the U.S. Cavalry Museum, which chronicles the history of the horse-mounted branch of the service from 1775 to 1950; a guided tour of the newly renovated 1st Infantry Division Museum, the army's oldest and most storied Division; and a tour of the historic Custer House restored to its original 1870s look. We'll see St. Mary's Chapel, the historic Calvary Parade Field, and the gravesite of "Chief," the last cavalry horse of the army, and eat lunch on post.

We'll spend the night in Salina and enjoy dinner at Martinelli's Little Italy before departing for Lindsborg on Friday. We'll start the day with a Community Tour as our step-on-guide shares facts about Bethany College, the Old Mill and Swedish Heritage Museum, and the 1904 World's Fair Swedish Pavilion. Next, we'll be treated to a docent-guided tour at Birger Sandzen Memorial Art Gallery. Weather permitting, a traditional Swedish buffet will be served at Coronado Heights, the southern-most bluff in the Smoky Hills. We'll visit Small World Gallery, home of National Geographic Photographer, Jim Richardson. Then enjoy a guided tour of the Red Barn Studio of folk artist Lester Raymer. We'll end at 350 Degrees to learn more about Swedish holiday foods and purchase tasty treats for the trip home!

Thursday, December 15 and Friday, December 16

7:30 a.m. - Coach departs the Edwards Campus, 12600 Quivira Rd., Overland Park on Thursday and returns Friday by 7:45 p.m.

8:30 a.m. - Coach departs the Osher Institute, 1515 Saint Andrews Drive, Lawrence on Thursday and returns Friday by 6:45 p.m.

9:35 a.m. - Arrive Manhattan Junction (I-70 & KS-177) on Thursday and return Friday by 5:35 p.m.

$310 per person for single occupancy

$245 per person for double occupancy

 Fee includes coach transportation, lodging, museum and gallery fees, guided tours, presentations, one breakfast, two lunches, and one dinner.

 Refunds will be honored on or before October 20 minus an $80 administrative fee.

All participants must present a government issued ID.




December 15-16, 2022

This tour is sold out. Please see the new offering of this tour on December 2. This guided tour takes us by scores of Historic Sites with photo stops. You'll be treated to a first-person account by Octave Chanute, the civil engineer who designed and built the 1869 Hannibal Railroad Bridge. Learn about the man who mentored the Wright Brothers and has a town in Kansas named in his honor. Explore sites like the Santa Fe Trail Ruts, Satchel Paige's Grave, Case Overlook Park, the Missouri River Boardwalk, Lewis and Clark campsite, and others. Learn the stories behind KC's 8th Street cable car tunnel, Quantrill, Union Station Massacre, KC's first skyscraper, Thomas Swope and his murder, Nell Donnelly Reed's company and her kidnapping, the Battle of Westport, Political Boss Tom Pendergast, the NFL's longest game, and KC as the BBQ Capital of the World. We'll enjoy lunch at Minsky's pizza located in the historic downtown City Market.

Wednesday, November 16

8:00 a.m. - Coach departs the Osher Institute, 1515 Saint Andrews Drive, Lawrence and returns by 4 p.m.

9:00 a.m. - Coach arrives Edwards Campus, 12600 Quivira Rd., Overland Park and returns by 3 p.m.

$95 fee includes coach transportation, tour guide, and lunch. 

Refunds will be honored on or before November 1 minus a $20 administrative fee.




This course contains no sessions
Click here to be notified about the next scheduled program.

This guided tour takes us by scores of Historic Sites with photo stops. You'll be treated to a first-person account by Octave Chanute, the civil engineer who designed and built the 1869 Hannibal Railroad Bridge. Learn about the man who mentored the Wright Brothers and has a town in Kansas named in his honor. Explore sites like the Santa Fe Trail Ruts, Satchel Paige's Grave, Case Overlook Park, the Missouri River Boardwalk, Lewis and Clark campsite, and others. Learn the stories behind KC's 8th Street cable car tunnel, Quantrill, Union Station Massacre, KC's first skyscraper, Thomas Swope and his murder, Nell Donnelly Reed's company and her kidnapping, the Battle of Westport, Political Boss Tom Pendergast, the NFL's longest game, and KC as the BBQ Capital of the World. We'll enjoy lunch at Minsky's pizza located in the historic downtown City Market.

Friday, December 2

8:00 a.m. - Coach departs the Osher Institute, 1515 Saint Andrews Drive, Lawrence and returns by 4 p.m.

9:00 a.m. - Coach arrives Edwards Campus, 12600 Quivira Rd., Overland Park and returns by 3 p.m.

$95 fee includes coach transportation, tour guide, and lunch. 

Refunds will be honored on or before November 18 minus a $20 administrative fee.




Friday, December 2, 2022

We'll start the day in Lecompton with a reenactment of the 1850s Town Hall meeting while watching the "Bleeding Kansas" play, featuring unique characters who shaped Territorial Kansas. Next, we'll tour the 1882 Territorial Capital Museum, housed in Lane University, where President Eisenhower's parents were married. Lunch will be served at the 1884 Methodist Church (Windsor Hotel) home to the famous 1885 Chickering Grand Piano. We'll then enjoy a short walk past downtown shops to 1856 Constitution Hall, the National Historic Landmark and Kansas' oldest wood frame building. We'll end the day with a presentation by Historian T. Kevin Griffin (retired Major) and discuss the impact the Lecompton constitution, written in the most famous unknown room in America, had on Lincoln, Douglas and pre -Civil War USA.

Friday, October 21

9:15 a.m. Arrive at 640 E. Woodson Ave., Lecompton

2:00 p.m.  Depart

$50 fee includes "Bleeding Kansas" play, museum fees, guided tours, presentations, and lunch.  

Refunds will be honored on or before October 6 minus a $15 administrative fee.



Friday, October 21, 2022

Steeped in western influence and infused with warm Southern hospitality, Oklahoma City (OKC) is a growing cosmopolitan center with plenty to do! The history, cowboy culture, art, parks, high adventure, and unique districts make it a fantastic place to visit. On our way to OKC we'll stop by Guthrie, known for its large historic downtown district and enjoy a catered lunch at The Guthrie Depot in the old Santa Fe Depot, a former "Harvey House." We'll be treated to a presentation from the Guthrie tourism department before heading on to the Oklahoma City National Memorial, to see its recent $10 million renovation with state-of-the-art technology, hands-on exhibits, new artifacts, and detailed information on the investigation. We'll hear from a National Park Service Guide before our self-guided visit, followed by an exclusive First-Person Stories of Hope discussion where a survivor, family member or first responder will share their story with our group. After checking into the hotel, we'll take a playful boat ride and cruise along the Bricktown Canal with a tour guide providing historical insight. We'll enjoy dinner at Old Spaghetti Factory before returning to the hotel.

Friday, we begin the day with a guided tour at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Then we'll move on to the Oklahoma City Museum of Arts, which boasts one of the most comprehensive collections of Dale Chihuly glass in the world, including the 55-foot Eleanor Blake Kirkpatrick Memorial Tower in the atrium. We'll spend time in the galleries before enjoying tasty modern indigenous cuisine at Thirty-Nine Restaurant inside the First Americans Museum which just opened a year ago. Next, we'll be treated to a guided tour of the museum which showcases state-of-the-art exhibitions in First American history, culture, and art.

Thursday, October 6 and Friday, October 7

7:30 a.m. - Coach departs the Edwards Campus, 12600 Quivira Rd., Overland Park Thursday and returns Friday 8:45 p.m.

8:30 a.m. - Coach departs the Osher Institute, 1515 Saint Andrews Drive, Lawrence Thursday and returns Friday 7:45 p.m.

$440 per person for single occupancy

$370 per person for double occupancy

Fee includes coach transportation, lodging, museum and gallery fees, guided tours, presentations, one breakfast, two lunches, two dinners and snacks.

Refunds will be honored on or before September 21 minus an $80 administrative fee.



October 6-7, 2022
Join us as we explore the founding of Veterans Day and learn how it evolved from Armistice Day at the end of World War I on November 11, 1918. Colonel Bernie Kish, a veteran of the US Army for over 29 years, will share personal reflections of the many who gave their lives for our country. Kish will describe the role he played in terms of informing next of kin regarding the death of a loved one. Kish will also recount the death of his own personal family member during World War II, and three of his friends who perished in the Vietnam War. This fascinating lecture will be coupled with a discussion from a panel comprised of veterans who represent World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, and most recently, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.


Thursday, November 10


6:30-8 p.m.


Osher Institute

1515 St. Andrews Dr., Lawrence


$25 fee includes talk and reception.


Refunds will be honored on or before November 3 minus a $5 administrative fee.



Thursday, November 10, 2022, Osher Institute In-Person