Family Farm Adventures

FAQs | Preview your visit to Oxbow | Cost/How to register


New for 2020! Developed in response to COVID-19 and the desire to keep kids engaged in the outdoors, Oxbow’s Family Farm Adventure field trips connect families to the magic of Oxbow in a safe and meaningful way!

When Oxbow first learned that large group field trips wouldn’t be possible for the foreseeable future, we immediately brainstormed ways to keep kids connected to food, farming, nature, and being good stewards of the land. While nothing can replace the energy and joy of excited groups of school children as they explore our fun, kid-friendly farm, we considered how we could offer a similar experience on a smaller, safer scale. Enter the Family Farm Adventure, a personalized field trip for household/family units that gets kids digging in to farming, exploring Oxbow’s magical outdoor spaces, and making new connections with nature!

Oxbow’s Family Farm Adventures bring science topics to life. Families will explore interdependent relationships, plant & animal needs, witness the cycling of nutrients, and learn how selection by farmers influences genetic traits of the food crops we love. As many schools continue 100% online learning this fall, support your child’s curriculum by coming to Oxbow for a hands-on science experience where we adapt our Next Generation Science Standard-supported Fall Farm Adventure Program at a smaller scale for family/household units!

Family Farm Adventures can be filled with open-ended exploration and play, or choose from potential themes:

  • Explore seasonal farm phenomena while learning about the season’s bounties
  • Engage with plants and their 6 main parts while studying their structure and function as Living Systems
  • Identify helpers and pests on a farm, and visit our decomposers to see nutrient cycling in action at our worm bin/compost station
  • And more! We welcome input on what your family unit might be curious about learning!


Family Farm Adventure FAQs

The Family Farm Adventure is a single, 2-hour visit for your immediate family or household. 

Time slots for Family Farm Adventures are on weekdays: 9AM to 11AM; 12PM to 2PM; and 3PM to 5PM. You can see all available slots online by viewing our calendar. Click on your preferred time and date to register!

Yes! As of July 7th, 2020, masks are required in WA state when visiting public indoor and outdoor spaces/businesses. Our Farmers will also be wearing masks and maintaining a safe 6-ft distance from your family. Masks and gloves will be required when entering any farm fields where food is grown. We will have disposable masks and gloves available for you to use, if needed. 

Here’s what to expect at Oxbow!

  • Face coverings must be worn by staff and visitors at all times, unless tasting/eating/drinking.
  • Sign in upon arrival and answer a few brief COVID-safe questions.
  • Follow the guidance of your Farmer-Educator and only harvest plants, enter farm fields, and taste plants when invited to do so by Oxbow staff.
  • Hand washing and sanitizing stations are located throughout Oxbow grounds. 
  • Farmer-Educators will maintain 6 feet of distance or more during your visit.

For detailed tips on what to expect and what to bring to Oxbow, check out the short video that we prepared to help you get oriented for your visit!

Parents and chaperones will be expected to be present, mind and body, throughout the tour. We ask that they are available to help the Farmers monitor that the kids in their group are following our COVID safety guidelines (mask wearing, hand washing, maintaining a six foot distance, and waiting to snack until invited).

With your help, our Farmers can direct all their attention and energy to providing high quality, engaging education for your group. Farmers will likely direct questions and learning topics toward the children in the group, but we hope that parents and chaperones will also engage and have a fun time. All ages are encouraged to ask questions!

When preparing your family at home, please consider packing and bringing the following items:

  • Hand sanitizer
  • A face mask for each member of your family (required)
  • Water and snacks
  • Sunscreen and hat
  • Clothes/layers for inclement weather (we’ll be outside for the entire 2 hour tour)
  • Boots for mud and hiking

While we want to share Oxbow with everyone, the Family Farm Adventure is intended for family units, immediate households, or small COVID “pods” only. Each individual Family Farm Adventure is intended for no more than 5 total participants and a maximum of 3 children under the age of 18. Participants must be from your family/household unit or COVID pod. Please see the additional FAQ below regarding larger homeschool groups/pods.

Also, while we love dogs, they are NOT permitted anywhere at Oxbow, including in the parking area. Please leave your furry friends at home!

Each individual Family Farm Adventure is intended for no more than 5 total participants and a maximum of 3 children under the age of 18. Participants must be from your family/household unit or COVID pod.

While we welcome the opportunity to engage with a larger household, homeschool group, or COVID learning pod in our Family Farm Adventure experience, we ask that you reach out to us before registering. If you are interested in signing up for a Family Farm Adventure with a larger group (more than 5 people or more than 3 children), please email us at education@oxbow.org before registering. In your email, include details about your group size and preferred date and time. We will assess our health & safety guidelines and staffing needs to your requested group size and preferred time slot, and will be in touch with available options.

Your family unit will be the only people embarking on your Family Farm Adventure, led by one or two Farmer-Educators. Think of it as a private tour of Oxbow! Other small groups (in adherence to WA State guidelines for gatherings) and Oxbow staff may be present on Oxbow grounds, but will maintain strict social distancing protocol.  

Produce from the Kids’ Farm is serving many diverse needs this season—including distribution for hunger relief. With this in mind, we ask you carefully follow Farmer instructions throughout your visit to the Kids’ Farm Field. When the opportunity arises, you will be invited harvest for your own field trip group (with masks and clean hands) and snack once produce is washed and we’re a safe distance from the fields.

We will provide opportunities for frequent hand washing at designated hand washing stations, and hand sanitizer will be available in throughout your visit. We have a designated outdoor Honeybucket just for visitors, and it is serviced and sanitized frequently.

Please arrive using the public entrance (turn onto 268th street off of hwy 203, you’ll see an “Oxbow” sign with an orange border!). Your farmer will meet you in the parking lot to begin your tour. For a map and more detailed instructions on getting to Oxbow, see our Visitor Info page.

Here’s what your Fall Family Farm Adventure field trip might look like…

When you arrive at Oxbow during your designated time slot, you’ll meet one of our Farmer Educators!

You’ll start your visit with an orienting activity, and then experience a guided tour of all the special places at Oxbow.

Your farmer will help you and the family harvest & snack on fresh, seasonal Kids’ Farm food, all while maintaining a safe distance!

You’ll hike on one of our nature trails, maybe even getting a little muddy along the way!

We’ll do a mini-farm project, and perhaps weed the squash beds or turn compost together at Oxbow!

Or…you might save seeds in the vine tunnels, examine the veins of changing leaves on our Lightboard, watch a slug race, look for signs of wildlife, spy the tippy top of Mt. Rainier, taste a flower, or meet some friendly worms! Our Family Farm Adventures are tailored to your family’s interests; there’s a little something for everyone to enjoy!

The Family Farm Adventure at Oxbow exceed our expectations in every way. From the initial communication, to the safety precautions taken on site, we felt very informed and safe. We appreciated our Farmer’s enthusiasm and knowledge. It was a great outing!” – Parent Participant

“What a unique experience! We have loved visits during Oxtober, but this extra special peek into the treasures on the farm felt so safe and comforting. My very young kids were still able to participate enthusiastically in learning about plants and felt welcome at all the stations (especially the seed saving and the tunnel). We would 100% come back!” – Natasha, mom of two

 


Registration and Cost

Family Farm Adventures are available on a sliding scale of $50-$150. In 2020, Oxbow’s Educators have dramatically re-imagined our programming to provide impactful, safe, and much-needed experiences in the outdoors. We invite you to pay what you can* on an open sliding scale, reflecting Oxbow’s mission to make programming as accessible as possible for students and families near and far. The program is valued at $150 per program.

*No one will be turned away; please reach out to us if program costs pose a barrier. Please contact us at education@oxbow.org if you have any questions or comments.

View Calendar and Register