Family & Group Programs

Pacific Science Center offers a variety of programs for families and groups at Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center. Follow the links below to learn more.

Nature Club

Are you and your friends students who like to explore the outdoors while pursuing scientific field investigations of the natural world? What about canoeing in search of wildlife? Arrange your very own Nature Club at Mercer Slough!

Our educators will engage your group with hands-on activities, experiments, hikes, crafts and educational games.


  • Who: Groups of 6 or more youth, including students, homeschool groups, scouts, friends and more!
  • Grades: 1-5
  • Length: 2 hours one day per week for 8 weeks, offered weekdays and Saturdays throughout the school year.
  • Cost: $155 per student, or $145 for Pacific Science Center Members
  • Themes: Session themes can include animals, plants, observation and nature journaling, ecosystems, nature art and wetland science.

For more information about Nature Club and youth transportation assistance to Mercer Slough, call (425) 450-0207.

TO REGISTER, CALL (206) 443-2925.

Wild B'earthday Parties


Explore the wetlands, play ecology games, and then celebrate your party amidst the tree tops in our facility. Wild B'earthday parties are available on Saturdays from mid-September to early June. We head out rain or shine but will include some indoor activities if inclement weather clouds your birthday.


Bug Safari (ages 5+):

Explore the world of insects with bug boxes and magnifying glasses, play ecology games and seek out tiny creatures as you hike through the Slough.

Animal Mania (ages 5+):

Play various animal games, take home an animal track and hike the Slough in search of animal signs.

GPS Scavenger Hunt (ages 8+, max. 15 kids):

Learn how compasses and GPS devices work. Then with a GPS receiver in hand, follow the clues as you search out the coordinates on a GPS Scavenger Hunt to find some of Mercer Slough's hidden wonders


  • $200 for up to 20 total participants with a maximum of 15 children ($190 for Pacific Science Center Members)
  • $280 for up to 35 total participants with a maximum of 25 children ($270 for Pacific Science Center Members)


1.5 hour guided hike, a bug box, plaster animal track or compass clip (depends on theme), invitations, room usage for 1 hour PLUS thematic room decorations, table cloths, plates, cups, forks and napkins. Just bring the food and drinks!

Call (206) 443-2925 to schedule your child's B'earthday Party today!

Scouts in the Wild

SCOUTS IN THE WILD is an after-school and weekend program targeted at groups of children in grades K-5 that can include scouts, campfire groups, homeschool cooperatives or even an informal group of friends. Program options are loosely based on a variety of badge requirements for Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, but are fun and educational for any group interested in a guided hike through Mercer Slough Nature Park. All programs include a discussion of Leave No Trace guidelines and ways to be prepared for a hiking adventure.

Program options are listed below, along with PDF files showing which BSA and GSA badge requirements might be met by each program. Each program and group is unique and we may not complete every activity on the list. If there are specific things your group is interested in doing, please let us know when you register.


  • Length: 2 hours, all outdoors
  • Available Dates: After school and Saturdays, from September - June
  • Capacity: One Mercer Slough educator per 16 children, with at least one adult chaperone (Maximum 32 children)
  • Cost: $125 per group of up to 16 children ($110 for Pacific Science Center Members); $200 per group of 17-32 children ($180 for Pacific Science Center Members)

CALL (206) 443-2925 TO REGISTER.



Identify wild animals that live in the Slough, from the insects that crawl on the ground to birds that fly through the air. Start your adventure by making a plaster track print to take home. Then hunt for animal tracks in the wetland mud, play an active game of predators and prey and test how camouflage helps animals survive. View Badge Requirements

Insect Investigators: Insects are everywhere! After figuring out what makes insects different from other invertebrates, get out your trusty magnifying glass and bug box and hunt for slugs, worms, beetles and millipedes. Watch what bugs do as they go about their lives. Use natural materials to build the most amazing insect habitat, and make a butterfly craft to take home. View Badge Requirements

Sensory Trailblazers:

Use all your senses to explore the Slough! Touch a leaf, smell the soil, listen for birds and look for signs of wildlife. Practice your map skills while you feel the bog bounce under your feet, then search for all the colors for the rainbow. Bring your own healthy hiking snack to explore the final sense: taste. View Badge Requirements


Navigators:Use a map, compass and GPS to explore Mercer Slough Nature Park. Experiment with floating magnets to figure out how compasses work. Use a compass to find your way down into the wetland. Then, use a GPS to find our hidden geocache, trade treasures and sign a log book. View Badge Requirements

Ecosystem Biologists: Identify producers, consumers and decomposers in the wetland ecosystem of Mercer Slough. Go on a scavenger hunt to identify plants and find the signs animals leave behind. Explore impacts that humans may have on a wetland and brainstorm ways to make your mark a positive one! View Badge Requirements

Botanists: Within the boundaries of Mercer Slough Nature Park, explore the native and non-native trees and flowers of Pacific Northwest forests. Identify helpful and dangerous plants, and find out the variety of ways plants are useful to people. Make a plant press to take home with you.View Badge Requirements

Family Night Walks

Explore nature and nocturnal animal adaptations with your family at monthly Night Walks at Mercer Slough. Start off your Friday evening in the lab examining skulls and conducting experiments to discover the tricks nocturnal creatures use to survive at night. Then head out into the dark to call owls, listen for nocturnal creatures and participate in hands-on sensory activities.


  • Upcoming Dates: Night Walks will return this fall. Check out Family Twilight Science Nights, our spring version of Night Walks!
  • Time: 7-9 p.m.
  • Ages: Designed for families with children ages 6 and up
  • Cost: $15 per person, or $12 for Pacific Science Center Members

If you have a group of 10 or more you can reserve your own private Night Walk! Call (206) 443-2925 for details.

Family Twilight Science Nights

Join us for Twilight Science, our spring sessions of the monthly Night Walks, which feature an exciting evening of science with your family. We will engage in fun activities while we learn about water chemistry, plants and local animals.


  • Upcoming Dates: May 15
  • Time: 7-9 p.m.
  • Ages: Designed for families with children ages 6 and up
  • Cost: $15 per person, or $12 for Pacific Science Center Members


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