Educational activities for young minds are abundant in Oregon. With a thriving arts scene, wildlife safaris and intellectually stimulating science centers, your child will learn and have the time of their life participating in one of the state’s many educational opportunities. Here are just 10 of the best places for kids to get inspired and expand their knowledge!
A Salem staple since 1989, The Gilbert House Children's Museum offers educational summer camps, homeschool hangouts, Monday fun days, crafts and classes, and special events such as magic shows. There's also a 20,000-square-foot Outdoor Discovery Area.
What child hasn't dreamed of seeing wild animals from Africa and other locations up close and first hand? You'll see cheetahs, lions, and other big cats here as well as zebras, giraffes, and hippos. It's not all about Africa, though—you'll also see wolves, elk, bison, and great brown grizzly bears.
Visiting the Sea Lion Caves north of Florence is an experience no child will ever forget. As the largest sea cave in the country, it is truly a stunning sight even without the hundreds of sea lions and other coastal wildlife you'll likely encounter.
Most kids are fascinated by the lives of pioneers, and the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center in Baker City provides interpretive trails, special events, living history exhibitions, films, musical performances all designed to bring the settlement of the West to life. Over 5,000 children visit here yearly, and or those who can't get enough, the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center offer a variety of online educational resources.
The Oregon Garden Natural Resource Education Program provides opportunities for K-12 students in Oregon to learn about the Pacific Northwest's iconic forests. The garden also sponsors the Junior Gardener's Club to give students hands-on gardening experience, and there's even a magical Children's Garden complete with a hobbit hole.
The Oregon Undersea Gardens provide a thrilling look at the mysterious world that exists underneath the waves. Frequent dive shows add an extra layer of excitement to the Undersea Gardens experience.
The ScienceWorks Museum in Ashland makes the wonderful world of science come alive. Committed to teaching the fundamental principles of science through interactive exhibits and programs, ScienceWorks was founded in the year 2002 as a response to a public education crisis concerning science.
The Bend Science Station provides Central Oregon K-12 students with laboratory-based programs designed to open little minds to the mysteries of science. Programs include homeschool and after-school programs for elementary and middle schoolers, science-based summer camps, and guided independent research programs.
Encourage creative expression by taking advantage of the many opportunities offered by the Oregon Children's Theatre in Portland. Classes range from short, fun acting classes to a year-long intensive playwriting class.
Friends of Tryon Creek in Portland offer an amazing abundance of nature-based learning experiences. Half and full day nature day camps during spring break and summer, Story and Stroll days on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, guided nature walks, and field trips are just a few of the enchantments children find here.