Since that day, the response to the new Adventure has been truly overwhelming. Our June and July attendance have broken Museum records, and, much more importantly, the stories we're hearing are confirming our belief that Portland's children NEEDED this space.
For example, we heard from a woman who brought her son to visit Outdoor Adventure, where he played in the mud and dug in the sand. By the time they left, her child was covered in dirt and sand—the evidence of his rewarding play and exploration. The woman shared with Museum staff how happy and grateful she was for a safe place to let her child roam and play outside. Her family doesn’t have a backyard. Now our backyard is their backyard, and her son can have the kind of unstructured outside time she knows he needs.
Of course, that was in summer, and here we are in fall—the start of many months of changeable, damp and chilly weather. So, what does that mean for our big adventure? If you ask us, it's just getting started. The last stop before our visitors head outside is the Field Station, a transition room complete with spots to get suited up in rubber boots and rain coats. The Field Station is also a great place to warm up after a good session of outdoor exploring.
Because, when you get down to it, kids need to go outside. Not just in the summer, but all year. That's why we created the Outdoor Adventure,and why we put our hearts into making it an irresistible introduction to what we hope will be a lifelong love of the great outdoors. Rain or shine.