Rain Drums and Fresh Air at Cedar River Watershed Education Center

When the chilly Fall rain hits the Pacific Northwest, my first impulse is always to stay snuggled up inside.
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Sometimes I’ve got to fight that urge though, because my kids really need their outside time. That’s why I love the Cedar River Watershed Education Center.

This wonderful place sits near Rattlesnake Lake in North Bend. It serves as an educational  center for water conservation and a conference facility

The long, covered walkways that connect the center’s various conference rooms are a great place for your kids to get a little exercise:

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There’s also a partially-covered viewpoint which offers a glimpse of the lake, and a paved, flat trail that runs along the water.

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Inside the main building, there’s a wonderful education center with several exhibits about water conservation and the history of its use in society. They really make it fun, with lots of murals, games and interactive features. My kids especially loved the network of suction tubes around the room, which can be used with foam balls to demonstrate the flow of different kinds of water.

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The thing that makes Cedar River Watershed Education Center really special though is its rain drums. Just outside the main building, there’s a large courtyard filled with drums of different shapes and sizes. Each has a small tube positioned right above the drumhead, through which a computerized system sends strategically programed drops of water. The effect is an eerie, but beautiful percussion performance. When it is dry, the installation recycles previously collected water. On the day we visited, there was plenty of rain for the drums to run on their own:

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I highly recommend visiting this fantastic place anytime, but for an added incentive, the center is hosting the free event, Wondering About Wildlife Family Fun Day, on Thursday, December 27, from 10am to 3pm. The center and rain drums will be available as usual, and there will also be wildlife presentations, nature walks, crafts and activities.

One note: the center is  a great place to visit rain or shine, but keep in mind that the rain drums are shut off when the temperature drops below 34 degrees F. It is also a good idea to check the website before visiting, because of holiday closures.

More information about the Wondering About Wildlife event.