Great Ideas Keep Educational Trips Close to Home
Pacific Northwest vacations are cheap when the trips are close to home. Here are great educational ideas for any family with kids.
There are many options for cheap vacations in the Pacific Northwest and summer is a great time to unplug a child from the TV or the computer. Educational trips and experiences don’t necessarily involve excessive and expensive travel costs. Here are some options for Northwesterners that don’t involve a giant mouse or a plane ticket.
It’s more practical to skip the high travel costs of airfare, airport meals, rental cars, and ticky-tacky souvenirs. Tours include other children so kids will have pals.
For Older Parents: Elderhostel Pacific Northwest Vacations
- Coos Bay, Oregon: “A Summer Adventure on the Oregon Coast” which includes riding dune buggies, exploring tide pools, and jet boating on the Rogue River. $758 per person includes six night’s accommodation and all 17 meals.
- Chehalis, Washington: “Pacific Northwest Adventure with Your Child: Wildlife, Volcanoes, and Pioneers” include Junior Ranger classes at Mount Rainier, milking cows on a pioneer farm, exploring a wildlife park, and more. $873 per person includes five night’s accommodations and all 14 meals.
Some Educational Trips For Kids: Younger Families Can Copy These Ideas from Elderhostel
- Vancouver, BC: Young Scientists
- Portland, Oregon: Kayaking on the Columbia
- Mount Vernon, Washington: Back to the Farm
- Seattle, Washington: Jets and Spaceships
- Port Angeles, Washington: Olympic National Park
- Dayville, Oregon: Fossil Hunting
- Rexburg, Idaho: Yellowstone Adventures
- (Other Ideas below)
- Family Farm Vacations in Pacific Northwest
- Farmstays in British Columbia.
Cheap Vacation Ideas for Everyone: Clipper Vacations, Victoria Clipper, Amtrak Trains – Cheap Pacific Northwest Vacations
Here are ideas for other educational trips for parents and kids. Never underestimate the fun of going out on a boat or taking one’s first train trip. Many museums offer short classes.
- Victoria Clipper: Explore the Royal BC Museum, the Bug Zoo, and the Pacific Undersea Gardens in Victoria BC.
- Other Clipper Vacations include train, ferry, bus, and floatplane packages.
- Clipper Whale Watching Excursions: Alone or as part of a package
Cities within Clipper Vacations’ Sphere, and some child-friendly ideas
- Vancouver, BC: Bike in Stanley Park, Vancouver Aquarium, Aquabus to Granville Island
- Victoria, BC: see above
- Portland, Oregon: Portland Zoo, Max Train to Oregon Park, Tom McCall Waterfront
- Seattle, Washington: Burke Museum, Tillicum Indian Village, Argosy Locks Cruise
- Friday Harbor, Washington: San Juan Safaris Kayak Tour, look for seals near the docks, explore the town while eating Friday Harbor Ice Cream.
- Eugene, Oregon: Science Factory Children’s Museum and Planetarium, Splash Wave Pool
National Parks: Educational Trips with Rangers Talks
- Mount Rainier Camping or Lodges (Washington): Paradise Inn, National Park Inn at Longmire
- Cascades National Park (Washington): Stehekin Landing Resort, must take Lady of the Lake Ferry Boat to access the lodge
- Crater Lake National Park (Oregon): Crater Lake Lodge
Another way to take cheap national park trips is to rent camping gear at REI. Make sure to have reservations well in advance for these popular parks.
Cheap Pacific Northwest Vacations can be a godsend during tough economic times. Educational trips and exciting vacations are available for any parent or grandparent who wants to take the time to connect with his or her kids.