Field Trips

Wetland Discoveries: "Dip like a Duck" activity

Wetland Discoveries and Habitat Connections field trips include pond water investigation activities!

Birds of Magnuson field trip: "Nature's Grocery Store" activity

Birds of Magnuson field trip includes the “Nature’s Grocery Store” activity

Registration is open for 2016 spring field trips!


Each of our field trips is a 90-minute guided adventure, filled with age-appropriate investigation and exploration that all attendees will enjoy.  All field trip activities are aligned with Next Generation Science Standards, which you can view at the links below each theme description.
After a warm welcome and introduction to the field trip theme, students will rotate through activities at three “nature stations”, plus a simple stewardship activity that reinforces the concepts and vocabulary that they have learned.   Great for elementary schools, preschools, and more!  Teachers can chose from a morning or afternoon start time, and from 4 different field trip themes, each held in a different part of the park:


  • “Wetland Discoveries”– visit the Magnuson Central Wetlands trails to  learn about this amazing ecosystem and the wide variety of wildlife that inhabits it!   At the “Water Wonders” nature station, children will examine pond water samples to discover the aquatic insects and other creatures that live in this underwater world;  at the “Animal Signs” nature station, children will learn about the food chain of the wetlands by looking for tell-tale signs left behind by birds, frogs, insects, and mammals; and at the “Wetland Homes” nature station, children will take a short hike to learn the 4 basic needs of all wildlife, and how the wetlands provides each of them.

Wetland Discoveries NGSS Correlations K-2

Wetland Discoveries NGSS Correlations 3-5


  • “Birds of Magnuson”– visit the Promontory Point Educational Pavilion in Magnuson’s oldest forested area, which provides a safe haven for many of the 185+ species of birds who live or visit this fabulous park, from Hummingbirds to Hawks, and more! At the “Owl Extravaganza” nature station, children will learn what makes this specialized predator so successful and dissect pellets from our resident Barn Owls; at the “Nature’s Grocery Store” nature station, children will go on a short hike to learn about the varied diets of the foraging birds in the park, and at the “Bird Nest Bounty” nature station, children will examine a variety of songbird nests and build a nest of their own with the same “tools” that birds use!
Life in the Garden: "Snack Walk" activity

Life in the Garden field trip includes the ever-popular “Snack Walk” activity!


  • “Life in the Garden”– dig into nature at the Magnuson Children’s Garden and P-Patch to learn about the secret world beneath our feet and the plants we eat!  At the “Digging into Decomposition” nature station, children will examine worms and other compost critters that live in our worm bin and log pile, at the “Perfect Plant Protection” nature station, children will take a scratch-and-sniff tour of the garden to learn about the special features some plants have to prevent being eaten by animals, and at the “Snack Walk” nature station, children will have the chance to taste and plant a variety of crops growing in the healthy soil of our organic P-Patch plot!

Life in the Garden NGSS Correlations K-2

Life in the Garden NGSS Correlations 3-5


  • “Habitat Connections”– visit the Magnuson Community Center demonstration gardens, then hike the route of the “underground river” that brings storm water down into the Headwaters and Entry Marsh Wetlands!  Children will learn about the ways their own neighborhood is linked to Lake Washington at the “Where Does the Rain Go?” nature station, explore the Bird-friendly Landscape and Resource Conservation Landscape to learn the ingredients of a healthy habitat, do soil coring from multiple areas to compare and contrast, play “Habitat Bingo” to observe the ways that habitats in the Magnuson Historic District and the park’s natural areas are linked while we walk to the wetlands, and discover the linked life cycles of the plants, insects, birds, and animals in the wetlands at the “Dip like a Duck” nature station!
Stewardship activities are fun too!

Stewardship activities are fun too!


Leaders:  Emily Bishton and Magnuson Nature Docents
Fee: $165.00 for the first 20 children, $6 per additional child
(no fee for Teachers and Parent Chaperones)
Maximum: 30 children per field trip


All attendees are welcome to have a picnic lunch in the park before or after their field trip, with many locations to choose from!


If you’d like your class to learn and experience more time in educational and/or stewardship activities, you can add 1/2 hour to your field trip for an additional $60.00.

For small groups (around 12 attendees), visit our Customized Nature Walk page for additional options!


What teachers have to say:
  • “As a Montessori class, we appreciated the hands-on, kinesthetic activities and the docents’ calm tone and questioning teaching style. Thanks for being different”.  Ms. Becker, 1st-3rd grade at Eton School
  • “The adults leading the explorations stations were very knowledgeable.  This is our 3rd year of field trips, and it is always a very beneficial and enjoyable experience for all!”  Ms. Gonzales and Ms Salber, 2nd grade at Assumption/St Bridget School
  • “Thank you so much for the great field trip.  The 3 hands-on nature stations were perfect!  My students’ learning was greatly enhanced by the three activities, and I loved how writing was integrated into the Nature’s Grocery Store station.” Ms. Smith, 1st grade at Queen Anne Elementary
  • “Emily and the other Nature Educators are extremely knowledgeable about the amazing wetlands of Magnuson Park, and how to protect this beautiful park. Even more impressive than their knowledge and passion for the environment is their kind and inspiring rapport with students. Their fine program inspired me to completely change my spring science unit. I have taken what I learned from Emily on a field trip two years ago and built an entire wetlands science unit that addresses everything the Habitat Connections Field Trip Program teaches. My Wetlands Exploration unit addresses the plants, animals, water, insects, pollutants and history of Magnuson Park Wetlands, all first taught to me by Emily. Thank you Magnuson Park Habitat Connections Program!”  Ms. Smith, 2nd grade at Sand Point Elementary


Field Trip Schedule for the 2015-2016 School Year:
  • You can choose a morning field trip with a start time between 9:30-10:30am, or an afternoon field trip with a start time between 11:30- 12:30pm.


  • Registration for the Spring 2016 field trip season is open!  Spring field trips are available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, from March 29th to June 16th.  To see which dates are currently available, check our Calendar webpage.  Dates and times that are already booked are marked in blue.


  • Registration for Summer 2016 field trips is also open! Summer field trips are available between Monday June 27th and Friday September 2nd, but due to our summer camp schedule, availability varies week-by-week.  Contact us with the date(s) you have in mind!


  • Registration for Fall 2016 field trips will begin May 1st, schedule TBD.



For more information on any of these field trips, or to get started on scheduling a field trip for your group, email us at !


We also offer Customized Nature Walks for small groups. Visit our webpage to find out more info about these walks, which are perfect for adults, scout and campfire groups, birthday events, and more!