Create a Children's Nature Play Area

The average American child is said to spend 4 to 7 minutes a day in unstructured play outdoors, and over 7 hours a day in front of a screen. Playing outdoors helps children acquire gross motor skills, eye-hand coordination and prevent obesity. Nature Play is a purposeful means of connecting children with nature. It reduces stress, and boosts the cognitive, creative, physical, social and emotional development of children. It also informs them about their connection to, and need to care for the environment.


The Aquarium was built on a mill site on Yaquina Bay. A former playground along the south nature trail will be replaced, greatly expanded, and pay homage to its historic origins in the timber industry. New facilities, outdoor climbing features, nature play components and interactives will engross children in the wondrous outdoors, inform them about sustainable forestry and its ecosystem, and engage them kinetically and educationally with nature.

Children will be able to scramble atop - and through - massive logs, climb a tower to view a nest, slide down a mock river chute, and crawl through tunnels to view organisms and forest creatures. The surrounding grounds will accommodate seating for parents adjacent to Café seating, and include an estuary viewing deck. Further down the nature trail, a new outdoor amphitheater will facilitate large group seating for animal presentations. A deck will surround a magnificent spruce tree at the end of the trail.

Starker Forests, Inc., Jeanette Bertea Hennings Foundation, Sunderland Foundation, US Bank, and several anonymous donors are investing in the Aquarium's new Children's Nature Play Area. 

Consider joining them by making a gift of any size to promote nature play.

Esc_Oregon Coast Aquarium Design Program 4.0-small_Page_18
Kids Nature Play Area

2820 SE Ferry Slip Rd
Newport, OR 97365


The Oregon Coast Aquarium is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization located in Newport, on the beautiful Oregon Coast. The Aquarium is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.