OSU Hatfield Science Visitor Center

OSU has an awesome free science center in Newport, Oregon located inside the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Visitor Center. They charge nothing for admission but do accept donations. They have a suggested donation of $20 for a family, but nobody asks for it, it’s entirely voluntary. If you cannot afford to visit the Oregon Coast Aquarium, this is a great alternative!

It’s a small science museum, but they have packed with kid-friendly, hands-on exhibits. The day we went there was an educational lecture on whales. They also have the Yaquina Estuary Nature Trail outside on the property that is open to the public from dawn to dusk. The trail is ½ mile paved and wheelchair-accessible.

Learning Exhibits

  • Tsunamis and Earthquakes – The Tsunami Wave Tank is a hands-on Lego engineering challenge! Kids and parents can build a house and then test it to see if it will withstand the energy of a tsunami wave.
  • Sustainable Fisheries
  • Tide Pools
  • Invasive Species
  • Octopus and Sunstars – An octopus is a fascinating creature to see, especially if you happen to catch it when it is active.


Touch Pools

They had touch tanks full of fun sea creatures and kids will get a kick out of seeing what happens when they touch the sticky tentacles of a sea anemone. Our kids spent most of their time here touching starfish and various anemones.

 touch pools at OSU Hatfield Science Visitor Center

Hatfield Marine Science Center is located at:

2030 S.E. Marine Science Dr.
Public feeding times are Monday, Thursday, and Saturday at 1 pm.
Winter hours: Open 10 am to 4 pm Thursdays through Mondays.
Summer hours: Open 10 am to 5 pm seven days a week.

Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport, Oregon