Portland Area Field Trips

Field Trips in the Portland Area

If you are looking for a place in the Portland area to take your homeschool group for a field trip, or would like to hire a presenter for a workshop,  here are some suggestions.  Tips  on space rentals are at the bottom of this page.    Many small businesses will give you a tour if you ask, so don't be shy!  There are some smaller museums on this list that would be fun to combine with a group walking tour of the neighborhood or playtime at a local park, since it wouldn't take long to see everything. As I complied this list, I kept running into revisions and additions so I doubt this list will ever be complete!

Environmental Education
Audubon Society of Portland:  http://audubonportland.org/
The City of Gresham: http://greshamoregon.gov/frogs/  Tadpole Surveys and amphibian lessons for school groups.
The City of Portland Environmental Serviceshttps://www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/article/267517
Columbia Slough Watershed Councilhttp://www.columbiaslough.org/
Columbia Springs: http://www.columbiasprings.org/programs/environmental-education/schedule-a-field-trip/ Fish hatchery and nature education center.
Jackson Bottom Wetlands Preservehttp://www.jacksonbottom.org/
Metro Portland's Field Trip Guide to Recycling Facilities and Gardening Organizations: 
Portland Parks and Recreationhttps://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/62975
Ridgefield National Wildlife Refugehttp://ridgefieldfriends.org/plankhouse/school-groups/
Tryon Creek State Parkhttp://www.tryonfriends.org/
Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation Districthttp://www.thprd.org/activities/nature/school-programs
Tualatin River National Wildlife Refugehttp://www.fws.gov/tualatinriver/education.html
Wy'East Expeditionshttp://wyeastexpeditions.com/groups/school-field-trips/ Canoe trips.
Many of these agencies depend on volunteers and/or interns who are different at each event, and you will find that some are both highly knowledgeable and great with kids, while others may not be.

See It Made
Cool Moon Creameryhttp://coolmoonicecream.com/
Pizzicato Pizzeriahttp://www.pizzicatopizza.com/
SCI 3.2http://sci32.com/ They make the floats for the Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade.
Subzero Ice Cream West Linnhttps://www.subzeroicecream.com/
Yamasa Soy Sauce Salemhttp://www.yamasausa.com/

Behind the Scenes Tours
Clean Water Services wastewater treatment plants of Tigard and Hillsboro: http://www.cleanwaterservices.org/Tour/Request
Metro East Community Media: http://www.metroeast.org/content/scouts-earn-badges-metroeast
Portland Aerial Tram: http://www.gobytram.com/tours/ 
Powell's City of Books: http://www.powells.com/tours.html 

For Animal Lovers

Chrysalis Farmhttp://www.chrysalisfarms.org/index2.html It's a nice farm, and the dozens of peacocks that roam the place are really memorable!
Guide Dogs for the Blindhttp://www.guidedogs.com/site/PageServer
Oregon Humane Societyhttp://www.oregonhumane.org
Oregon Zoohttp://www.oregonzoo.org/discover/field-trips-and-school-programs The Oregon Zoo is one place that does have terrific field trips, but they are not oriented towards homeschoolers. Be sure to ask for specifics on chaperone tickets and which animals will be presented in each class you book. They have several that present the same animals to different grade levels in much the same way, but the classes are described as if they are totally different.
Plumper Pumpkin: http://plumperpumpkins.com/spring_field_trips_home.php There are lots of farm animals here.  They have great spring field trips where kids can plant a row of pumpkin seeds together and come back in the fall to find their pumpkins.
Rosse Posse Acres Elk Ranchhttp://www.rosseposseacres.com/tpz.htm
Wolf Havenhttp://wolfhaven.org

Animal Presenters 

The Bug Chicks: http://thebugchicks.com/ A duo of lady entomologists.  Their presentation is 1 hour, but we like to have them in the summer at a nature park, and follow it with a half hour bug hunt so the kids can get their finds identified. They are supremely terrific!
Mr. Lizard: http://www.misterlizard.com/  Brett is a sweetheart and his "pixie frog" is a super hit!

Clackamas County Historical Societyhttp://clackamashistory.org/
Clark County Historical Museum: http://www.cchmuseum.org/education/field-trips/
Classic Aircraft Aviation Museumhttp://www.classicaircraft.org/
Columbia Hills State Parkhttp://www.parks.wa.gov/489/Columbia-Hills Tours of the historic petroglyphs and pictographs.
End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center: http://www.historicoregoncity.org
Friends of Lone Fir Cemeteryhttp://www.friendsoflonefircemetery.org/tours
Gresham Historical Societyhttp://www.greshamhistoricalsociety.org/
Kidd's Toy Museumhttp://www.kiddstoymuseum.com/
Lelooska Foundationhttp://lelooska.org/
Lone Fir Cemetery: http://www.friendsoflonefircemetery.org/tours Monthly public tours and at other times by arrangement.
McLoughlin Househttp://mcloughlinhouse.org/
Mike's Movie Memorabilia Collectionhttp://moviemadnessvideo.com/museum/
Oregon Historical Society:  http://www.ohs.org/  Multnomah County residents always get in free, and so do prearranged school groups, whether there for a visit or tour. See the penny that was tossed to decide Portland's name!
Oregon Jewish Museum and Holocaust Resource Centerhttp://www.ojmche.org
Oregon National Guard History Outreach Programhttp://www.mil.state.or.us/lc/index.htm
Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center: http://www.oregonnikkei.org/
Philip Foster Farmhttp://philipfosterfarm.com/
Portland Police Museum: http://www.portlandpolicemuseum.com/
Washington County Museum:  http://www.washingtoncountymuseum.org
Willamette Heritage Center at the Millhttp://www.willametteheritage.org/

Walking Tours
Northwest Ghost Tourshttp://www.nwghosttours.com/
Salem Tunnel Tour: http://www.salemtunneltour.com/
Secrets of Portlandiahttp://secretsofportlandia.com/
Walk Oregon Cityhttp://www.walkoregoncity.com/

Japan-American Society of Oregonhttp://jaso.org/japan-on-the-road-page-2/ Presentation about the lives of Japanese school children.
Hellenic-American Cultural Center and Museumhttp://www.hellenicamericancc.org/
Lan Su Chinese Gardenhttp://www.lansugarden.org/
Portland Japanese Gardenhttp://japanesegarden.com/

Craigmore Creationshttp://www.craigmorecreations.com This local publishing company gives presentations on natural history and workshops on  drawing comics and graphic novels and writing.
Evergreen Aviation and Space Museumhttp://evergreenmuseum.org/education/school-visits/
Lower River Road Materials Recovery Centerhttp://www.clark.wa.gov/recycle/school/field.html
Metro Portland's Field Trip Guide to Recycling Facilities and Gardening Organizations:  http://www.oregonmetro.gov/sites/default/files/2014_15%20field%20trip%20and%20resource%20guide.pdf  You just gotta read this! A really comprehensive list. There are some really neat places listed in here, from all over the region.
Microsoft Store: http://content.microsoftstore.com/en-us/events Game coding and game designing have been offered.
NOAA Portland Weather Bureauhttp://www.wrh.noaa.gov/pqr/requestatour.php
OMSIhttp://www.omsi.edu/ They offer a vast selection of wonderful and very inexpensive classes.  They also offer group rates to visit special exhibits, planetarium shows and IMAX shows.
Pearson Field Education Centerhttp://fortvan.org/Education/upcoming-programs.html
Portland Water Bureauhttp://www.portlandoregon.gov/water/article/384640 Tours of the Bull Run Watershed.
Reed Nuclear Research Reactor http://reactor.reed.edu/index.html Yes, there is a nuclear reactor in Portland, and yes, they give free tours and labs.
Rice NW Museum of Rocks and Mineralshttp://www.ricenorthwestmuseum.org/ This is a wonderful local treasure. They have over 50 meteorites, an awesome display of fluorescent minerals, impressive fossils, petrified wood, minerals from the Pacific NW, gems and crystals.
Water Resources Education Center: http://www.cityofvancouver.us/publicworks/page/school-visits
World of Speed race car museum: http://www.worldofspeed.org/education/

The Arts
Daniela M.: http://www.danielam.com/  Ukrainian Egg Decorating, Czech and Slovak culture classes.
Folk Dance Funhttp://www.folkdancefun.com/#!dances Folk dance lessons from around the world.
Kurumi Conleyhttp://www.kurumiconley.com/ Fused glass workshops.
Oregon Ballet Theater: http://www.obt.org/outreach_field_trips.html  Learn about a dance career and what it takes to put on a ballet.
Ping Pong's Pint Size Puppet Museum: http://www.puppetmuseum.com/PingPongsPSPM.html
Portland Art Museum: http://www.portlandartmuseum.org/
Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustratorshttp://www.scbwi.org/ An extensive list of authors and illustrators that make classroom and homeschool group visits,  searchable by location.  
Young Audiences:  http://www.ya-or.org/ There are hundreds of artists on their roster, and many are available to do one day workshops at very reasonable prices.
Youth Music Project: https://www.youthmusicproject.org/field-trips/ Hands-on sampling of group music lessons!  So cool!

Drop-in Art Making
The Craft Factoryhttp://craftfactorypdx.com/
Sparks Art Center: http://www.sparkartscenter.com

Matinees for School Groups
Northwest Children's Theaterhttp://nwcts.org/
Oregon Ballet Theaterhttp://www.obt.org/outreach_sps.html
Oregon Children's Theaterhttp://www.octc.org/
Tears of Joyhttp://www.tojt.org/

A.C. Gilbert Museum: http://acgilbert.org/field-trips/  A. C. Gilbert offers a little of everything; some art, some science, and some history workshops at very affordable prices.
Amtrak:  http://www.amtrakcascades.com/SchoolsOnTrains.htm  Schools on Trains day trips to Seattle and back.
Craigmore Creations: http://www.craigmorecreations.com/ Local publisher of children's natural history books and graphic novels. Drawing and writing workshops and natural history presentations.
Interactive Museum of Gaming and Puzzlery: http://www.imogap.org/home.cfm?CFID=1898205&CFTOKEN=34918656
Trimet: http://trimet.org/fares/fieldtrips.htm If you want public transit for your field trip group (if you're hiking the 4T Trail together, or your homeschoolers simply want to take a bus together like school kids!) Trimet can give you group discounts.
Trudy Ludwig: http://www.trudyludwig.com/present.html Anti-Bullying Workshops. Trudy is amazing!  You will love her and her advice is very practical.

Spaces for Rental

When your homeschool group is looking for a great place to meet or host a presentation, try community rooms at libraries, community centers, churches and other houses of faith.

At their locations in NE Portland and Beaverton, the Oregon Food Bank has meeting rooms that can be reserved for a requested donation.

On the east side, my current pick is definitely Taborspace, which also has a cafe with a toddler play area where parents are welcome to bring younger siblings while activities are taking place. There is also a playground and labyrinth on the grounds. Trackers and The Treehouse Boutique also offer community rooms. In NE, there is a community room within the Kennedy School that was donated to the Concordia Neighborhood Association which can be rented at quite reasonable rates.  The Community Music Center was our choice when we needed a good sized room and had a speaker who needed a screen and projector.

On the west side, community rooms are available for free for nonprofits at a Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue stations, but room capacity is very limited. The City of Beaverton also has free community rooms available at several locations, but there are many restrictions on usage. Currently my favorite west side spot for a low-cost room rental is Garden Home Recreation Center. Other community rooms available for rental include those at Multnomah Arts Center and Sunset Presbyterian Church in Bethany (Sunset is a good place to contact if you need to rent a/v equipment). Note: I called Bethel Congregational Church after many people told me it would be a great place to request a room rental. Bethel told me that they consider rental requests only from parishioners and Village Home.


jannette malone said...

love this list thank you. I did find that http://tweetsandtreefrogs.lutegrad.com/presentations-nature-walks/ link did not work. but I'll keep browsing though. thank you so much.

Laura Lucanidae said...

Thank you Jannette! Honestly you're the very first person to give me any feedback at all about this list! I'm glad to know about the broken link and I hope you find some good stuff here! Portland is full of awesomeness.

Clarissa said...

This list is awesome! As a new Oregon resident, we're exploring our new surroundings and this whole site is a gem. Thanks!