Backpack Explorers

 Preschool Learning Discovery

Preschoolers ages 3-5 engage their senses on an adventure created just for them and an adult chaperone. Go on a backpack journey throughout the Museum, observe nature, animals, science, and create art. Take home activities based on your discoveries. New themes each week.

Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10:00 am - 11:00 am.
Museum members: $10 per child. Non-members: $15 per child, plus admission for accompanying adult.
Buy a 4-Class Pack and save $5.

Please pre-register using the form at the bottom of the page to reserve your spot in class. If you have any questions please contact Marissa Ticus at or calling (541) 382-4754, ext. 329.

With support from Chambers Family Foundation.

February 15 and 16, sorry, both days are FULL

Moving and Grooving

Shake your leg. Flap your wing. We’ll explore music and movement this week, while moving and dancing like animals. Make your own instrument and bring it home for family fun.

February 22 and 23
Star Stories

Take your mind off of the long, dark winter nights and learn about the bright, shining stars up in the winter sky. Come hear stories about these stars.

March 1 and 2
Cool Chemists

What happens when you mix two things together? Be a chemist in our lab. Swirl colors together and make solutions that fizz and bubble.

March 8 and 9
Unbeatable Beaks

Why do bird beaks look the way they do? Have you ever seen a bird eat? Let’s look at some feathered friends and see what breakfast looks like for them. Find out what a barn owl ate for dinner!

March 15 and 16
Howling with the Wolves

Join the wolf pack and learn all about these wild dogs. There’s more to these creatures than huffing, puffing and blowing houses down.

March 22 and 23
Hoppin’ into Spring

Explore the “two lives” of toads and frogs, as these hoppers spend time in both water and on land. Find out which one is a faster swimmer and which is a higher jumper.

March 29 and 30


April 5 and 6
Wildlife Defenders

Some wildlife species are threatened and endangered. Discover what animals need to survive and how we can help them.

April 12 and 13

Nature’s Palette

Make a paintbrush from nature and paint a spring scene. The bright colors of spring will be our inspiration for artwork today.

April 19 and 20


April 26 and 27

Nature sure can be yucky and stinky. We’ll look at the messy side of nature. Who eats dead things and who creeps around in the dirt? Be prepared for a stinky animal visitor!

May 3 and 4
Rolling on the Railroads

All aboard! We’re traveling back to the year 1900. Marvel at the technologies of transportation as we roll on the wheels to an adventure.

May 10 and 11
Wily Weasels

Learn all about the group of animals called mustelids: otters, badgers, weasels and more! Our resident otters can show off how these animals bound, jump and slide through nature.

May 17 and 18
Tree Dwellers

What sorts of animals spend their days up in a tree? Let’s learn about how trees provide food and shelter for creatures big and small, pokey and fluffy.

May 24 and 25
Buzzing and Blossoming

Spring is here and the pollinators are out! Explore how bees, butterflies and hummingbirds help take care of the forest.