Joseph Oregon is the sweetest little town in what seems like the middle of nowhere. Past everything you enter the foothills below the mountains to the most quaint little town that ever was. We could have made the trip to Joseph in two days, but in the evening the kids fell asleep so we hunkered in and pushed through. Arriving at 1am with no where to stay we found an old road behind the town, put a note on the door that we were just trying to get some sleep and snuggled in. Since we couldn't check in to our RV spot until later the next morning we decided to wander the little town.
One of the firs things we spotted in the distance (after finding the closest coffee cart) was a large mammoth with the most colorful and inviting display to Wallowology the local natural history discovery center. Even though the building was pretty small from the outside we were amazed at what was inside. Every single exhibit was put together with not just children in mind, but they way they learned and understood the world around them. The displays were incredibly beautiful and the care that had been put into them was obvious. Upstairs was a birds nest, Great Blue Herron, geographic and garden exhibit. Downstairs there was a room to look at all sorts of bones, footprints and things under a microscope. The next room was dedicated to various birds, videos about them and a place you could see how big your own wing span was. They also have a room dedicated to learning about honeybees, pollination, photosynthesis and gardening. The last room displayed local art by other children, a bear and lots of fossils.
Our oldest favorite display was the bird nest that he could have played all day in. Our youngest absolutely loved the honeybee room where he took colored pollen off felt flowers and pollinated others. As much as I would like to ignore it, they are little so the thing that made them giggle endlessly was different examples of animal poop. I mean...poop is always funny when you're a kid.
The center is free with donations accepted. A calendar listed lots of talks, events and activities coming up for both children and adults. Even though it was small, we found ourselves easily spending the entire afternoon at this amazing hidden gem. If you are ever in Jospeh, Oregon with or without kids you definitely have to stop and look around.
If you're worn out from all of the discovery and learning afterwards there is an amazing old fashioned ice cream parlor just down the street. It's perfect for taking a break and relaxing after so much fun exploration!