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Tuesday, July 24

With Love from.....Oregon


I’ve lived in Oregon my entire life, and I rather like it here. There are loads of places that make for excellent educational experiences for children. I’m here today to share a few of my favorites with you. 
  • OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry)              
    • This is one of our favorite places to go with our boys. While “museum” is technically the proper term for this place, it definitely doesn’t feel like a museum while you’re there. They have a few exhibits that are part of the permanent collection (a baby growing inside the mother, complete, weather station, and a retired US Submarine available for touring). They also have a rotating exhibit room, and this changes from time to time. The length of time depends on what the exhibit is. Finally, they have an IMAX cinema that’s always showing something awesome. Ticket prices: Adult: $14 Senior: $10.75 Youth: $9.75 Some exhibits require a higher price, so be prepared for that if you visit. 
  •   Portland Art Museum              
    • If you’re even remotely interested in fine art, this is the place for you. With a permanent collection that includes Monet, Picasso, and one of Rembrandt’s students, in addition to other American and Asian artists, it shouldn’t be missed. They also have a revolving display that changes from time to time, making repeat visits a must. Adult tickets are $19.99, which seems a little high until you take into account that all children 17 and under are free. 
  •   Oregon Zoo 
    •  I grew up going to the zoo all the time. My parents always had a membership, so we went several times a year. As an adult, I haven’t been as often as I did as a child, but it’s still a great place to make memories with your family. Ticket prices: Adult (12–64): $14.95 Senior/ military (65 and up): $12.95 Youth (3–11): $9.95 2 and under: Free 
  •   Wildlife Safari 
    • Emu at Wildlife Safari ~ Ladybug Daydreams
    • Heading south from Portland (almost all the way to the bottom of the state, actually), you’ll find Wildlife Safari. This is an absolutely amazing place to visit if you ever get the chance. It’s almost like a zoo, except you stay in your car and the animals roam free. Sometimes they come right up to your car, so it’s advised that you keep your windows up. We took our boys here a few years ago, and it was definitely an experience to remember. Adult (Age 13-59) | $19.95 Child (Age 3-12) | $13.95 Senior (60+) | $16.95 Under Age 2 | Free 
  •   Crater Lake 
    •  This is a place I haven’t ever visited, despite it being the most famous landmark in my state. In case you don’t know, it’s the deepest lake in the United States and the ninth deepest in the world. It’s known for having some of the clearest water in any lake, as well as having a tiny “island” in the center, which is really just the peak of the volcano regrowing (as I understand it). A single $10 fee will allow in one non-commercial vehicle with up to 15 passengers for up to 7 days. 
  •   Oregon Coast Aquarium 
    •  I’m including two aquariums on this list because they each have their own strengths. The Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, Oregon is the bigger of the two. It has loads of room for the animals, and loads of animals to look at. My kids’ favorite is the seahorses and jellyfish. While you’re in Newport, you can also go to Ripley’s, Believe it or Not and The Wax Works museum. Prices: Adults: $22.95 Seniors (65+): $19.95 Youth (13-17): $19.95 Child (3-12): $14.95 Under 2: Free 
  •   Seaside Aquarium 
    •  This aquarium, while considerably smaller than its Newport counterpart, is really hands-on. Upon entering, you have the opportunity to feed the seals. For a small fee (over and above the entrance fee), you can purchase fish bits to toss over the plexiglass partition and watch the seals jump and dive for them. Once you enter the main room, there are plenty of tanks to look at as well as a “petting tank” where children (and adults!) can feel the different creatures. While you’re in Seaside, make sure to also visit the arcade (complete with carnival rides) and the end of the Oregon Trail landmark. Prices: Adults: $8 Children (6-13): $4 Seniors (+64): $6.75 Family (up to six paid admission): $27 5 and Under: Free 
  •   Oregon Coast Lighthouses 
    •  The next item on my list is actually several places. The Oregon cost is known for its many lighthouses, and they’re all in different coastal towns. The lighthouses all have a placard with information about that particular lighthouse, and some of them even have museums and staff to help you learn even more. If you’re spending any significant amount of time on the Oregon coast, visiting some or all of these lighthouses is a must. 
  •   Multnomah Falls  
    • Multnomah Falls
    • This is one of our very favorite places to visit, especially in the summer months. Multnomah Falls is 611 feet tall, making it one of the tallest waterfalls in the area (maybe THE tallest, but I’m not entirely sure). There are trails going all the way up, and a bridge at about the one-third mark. This bridge gives climbers an easy spot to turn around if they don’t want to go all the way to the top. If you do make it to the very top, though, you’re in for a treat: there’s a swimming hole up there. 
  •   Willamette Heritage Center 
    •  Step back in time to the 1840s, when settlers were first coming to this area. Visit the two oldest wooden frame houses in the Pacific Northwest, the Jason Lee house and the Methodist Parsonage. Experience work and life in what was once a leading textile factory in Oregon. While you’re in Salem, make sure to go to the state capitol building, too. Prices: Adults: $8 Seniors: $7 Students (18+ with ID): $5 Youth (6-17): $4 Under 5: Free I hope you’ve enjoyed this tour of my home state! We have tons of educational (but fun!) things to do here. If you’re ever in the area, make sure to visit some of them. These places all have different operating hours, so make sure you plan your trip accordingly.


WENDY - Profile picWendy has been married to her best friend since 2001, and together they have 4 sons. This makes life fun but busy! She shares recipes, knitting and crochet endeavors, and homeschool curriculum reviews on her blog, Ladybug Daydreams.
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