Oregon Field Trips for Homeschoolers
As the ninth largest state in the U.S., there is no shortage of fun things to do in Oregon with your homeschoolers! Families looking for educational field trips in Oregon can take advantage of all the destinations available to explore and learn from. Whether your child is interested in Earth and space, learning about art and history, or curious about plants and animals, you are sure to find an Oregon field trip to satisfy their thirst for knowledge.
To start planning your fun field trips, use this printable map of Oregon. You’ll also find free Time4Learning lesson tie-ins that you can download at the end of this post to help supplement your homeschool field trips in Oregon. Please make sure to contact each site before you plan your visit, as COVID-19 may have impacted their hours of operations.
Home education is not the same in every state. Make sure you’re getting the information you need to start homeschooling in the Beaver State.
Homeschool Field Trips in Central Oregon
- Tumalo Falls, Bend – This impressive, 97-foot waterfall is part of the Deschutes National Forest and is a perfect destination for students learning about Earth’s features. Visitors can explore the day use area that offers picnic sites as well as numerous hiking and biking trails.
- Oregon Observatory, Sunriver – Learn about Earth and space science at this observatory that gives you access to over 10 telescopes to explore and learn about the stars, planets, galaxies and more. Visitors can take part in both day and night viewing, and also register for kids and family classes. The educational value of participating in the viewing is priceless and can help bring their learning to life.
- High Desert Museum, Bend – Opened in 1982, this 100,000-square foot museum aims to teach visitors about the high desert environment, the animals that call it home, and the area’s cultural heritage. Students can learn about both science and history by taking part in numerous events and activities as well as through engaging indoor and outdoor exhibits.
- Lava River Cave, Bend – Visitors can either explore this lava tube on their own or join a guided tour to learn about this cave that was formed 80,000 years ago by a volcanic eruption. At a length of 5,211 feet, this is the longest continuous lava tube in the state. Families can check out the visitor center for more about this cave’s history and geology.
- Painted Hills, Mitchell – Enhance your geography curriculum with this unusual display of natural beauty that is also one of the 7 wonders of Oregon. Numerous fossils can be found throughout this portion of the John Day Fossil Beds that get its name from the colorful layers of various soils and sedimentary rock.
- Metolius Balancing Rocks, Culver – Spice up your physics curriculum by visiting these huge boulders that sit precariously on narrow stone spires. Found in Cove Palisades State Park along the Metolius River, these rocks are what remains of volcanic activity from thousands of years ago. Families can get some exercise by hiking along the area and exploring the unique sculptures.
Homeschool Field Trips in Eastern Oregon
- Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, Baker City – Students can learn about the historic, 2,100-mile Oregon Trail at this center that features exhibits, presentations, special events, and living history demonstrations. A number of educational resources are available online and homeschoolers can also take part in family fun days throughout the year.
- Baker Heritage Museum, Baker City – Learn about the local history through exhibits, interpretive displays and artifacts that tell the story of this area. Visitors will learn about mining, ranching, agriculture, wildlife, and more. Photos and virtual exhibits are also available online.
- Pete French Round Barn State Heritage Site, near Burns – Named for the cattle rancher who owned and constructed the barn, this site was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. Visitors can explore the round barn that was built around the 1870s and 1880s as well as the nearby gift shop.
- Kam Wah Chung State Heritage Site, John Day – Once a Chinese medicine shop and general store, this museum was the home of two Chinese immigrants who came to be well known in the area for more than 50 years. Even though the building was abandoned for almost two decades, it was left intact and still houses thousands of artifacts. An interpretive center allows visitors to learn more through guided tours.
Field Trips in Mt. Hood & Columbia River Gorge
- Mt. Hood Railroad, Hood River – Families can visit this historic railroad and take part in numerous excursions. Passengers will be able to take in the scenic ride that offers views of the Hood River and Mt. Hood. Visitors can also explore the Hutson museum and even witness a Western train ‘robbery’.
- Multnomah Falls, Cascade Locks – Located in the Columbia River Gorge, this tiered waterfall is over 600 feet high, making it the tallest in the state. Visitors can take in the breathtaking views from a trail that leads to the Benson Footbridge . A visitor center in the Multnomah Falls Lodge offers trail maps and brochures to further enrich your visit.
- Mt. Hood National Forest, Sandy – Made up of more than one million acres and home to a volcano of the same name, this national forest is one of the most visited in the U.S. Families can take part in a number of recreational activities including hiking, nature viewing, free fishing clinics, visitor programs and more.
Homeschool Field Trips in the Oregon Coast
- Oregon Coast Aquarium, Newport – Opened in 1992, this aquarium features exhibits that focus on the plants and animals found along the Oregon coast. It is home to the largest seabird aviary in North America. Homeschool programs are available and allows students to participate in lab programs, family sleepovers, and more.
- Tillamook Cheese Factory, Tillamook – Homeschooled foodies can learn about the process of making cheese and even taste it at this creamery that offers free, self-guided tours. Founded in 1909, this creamery allows visitors to also learn about life on a dairy farm.
- The Astoria Column, Astoria – Opened in 1926, the Astoria Column was built to celebrate the early settlers of the area and the discovery and expansion of the pacific coast. Visitors can climb the 164-step spiral staircase of this 123-foot tall column and get a bird’s eye view of the Columbia River and the surrounding city.
- Thor’s Well, Yachats – This spectacular natural wonder is a popular tourist attraction, but but don’t stand too close. What seems like a hole in a rock is actually a collapsed sea cave that drain the ocean water right in during high tide and then spew it back out. Although it seems bottomless, it is believed to be about 20 feet deep.
Homeschool Field Trips in the Portland Region
- International Rose Test Gardens , Portland – Study plant life at this garden in Washington Park that offers guided and self-guided tours for visitors. Families can take in the beauty of more than 10,000 rose bushes in over 600 varieties within the gardens 4.5 acres.
- Portland Art Museum, Portland – Founded in 1892, this art museum is the oldest on the west coast. Homeschoolers can learn about art from different cultures including Native American, American, Asian, European and more. Artwork by artists such as Van Gogh, Cezanne, and Monet are on display. Family free days are held throughout the year as well as family tours.
- The Sloth Center, Rainier – Home to the largest captive population of sloths, families can slow down and learn about these arboreal anteaters at this conservation facility. Numerous programs are available, some of which allow visitors to interact with the animals and even take part in a ‘sloth sleepover’. Please note that visits are by appointment only.
Homeschool Field Trips in Southern Oregon
- Crater Lake National Park, Crater Lake – Established in 1902, Crater Lake is the fifth oldest national park in the U.S. and the only one in Oregon. At its deepest point, the lake is 1,949 feet, making it the deepest in the country. Students can learn about the area, important science concepts, and more by taking part in the Classroom at Crater Lake field trip.
- Wildlife Safari, Winston – Animal lovers can get an up close view of all kinds of wildlife at this park that opened its doors in 1972. Hundreds of animals are free to roam the 600-acre park that is home to elephants, lions, cheetahs, bald eagles, tortoises, and more. Students can take part in camps, classes, and even a junior zookeepers program.
- Oregon Caves National Monument, Cave Junction – Take a tour of the marble caves within the Siskiyou Mountains and learn about these unique formations. Homeschoolers can take part in ranger-led family tours and hike one of six trails where you will come across meadows, forests, waterfalls, and more. This educational trip is sure to be one for the memory books!
Homeschool Field Trips in Willamette Valley
- Oregon State Capitol, Salem – Kick your history and social studies lessons into high gear by visiting the state capitol. Families can take a tour of either the building itself or the tower to learn about the state’s history and legislative process. An art collection and numerous exhibits are also available for exploring on the first floor of the building.
- Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, McMinnville – Take off into this aviation and space museum that is home to numerous military and civilian aircrafts, as well as several spacecrafts. Visitors can explore two exhibit halls, watch movies in an IMAX theater, take part in numerous educational programs, and homeschool days.
- Silver Falls State Park, Silverton – The largest state park in Oregon is full of learning and recreational opportunities for homeschoolers. Be sure to check out the Trail of Ten Falls, which also includes the most visited waterfall, South Falls. Interpretive signage through the park allows students to learn more about the area.
OR Field Trips Unit Study Suppl.
Is there anything more fun than learning through field trips? To make your experiences at these destinations even more meaningful, Time4Learning members will appreciate this download of free activity tie-ins.