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Our Take School on the Road campaign is currently paused due to new Washington State restrictions. Read more on our Safe Travel page.

We invite you to check out our recommended readings and videos for inspiration!

Food Systems

Welcome to Road School: November Edition! We’re helping parents everywhere to get kids off of Zoom calls and into the community for an interactive education where it’s safe to do so. Get out and explore! Thurston County has experiences that will spark the curiosity in both kids and adults!

This month, we’re studying food systems and the complex web of activities involving the production, processing, transport and consumption of the foods we eat and beverages we drink every day.


Throughout the fall, and beyond, our team will concoct monthly daycation itineraries. Let us take away the indecision and pressure of making plans and give you an easy option to enjoy ALL our region has to offer.

Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters

Batdorf Cupping & Tasting Experience

Get ready for your day with your warm beverage of choice. Batdorf & Bronson Coffee Roasters has been handcrafting the finest coffees from around the globe since 1986. Their standards of quality also extend to the way they do business, lightening their environmental footprint through the purchase of 100% renewable energy.

All of the world’s coffee beans are grown in tropical regions near the earth’s equator. The beans are shipped to roasters around the globe for the freshest flavor. Did you know that the amount of shade that a coffee bean receives on the farm can affect the flavor of the coffee when that bean is roasted? Visit the Batdorf and Bronson Coffee Roasters and follow the coffee bean from the farm to the cup as you take in the heavenly aroma. They have hot chocolate and other beverages too for the non-coffee drinkers out there!

If coffee is your passion, check out our region's other local roasters and coffee houses!

Hands On Children's Museum

Hands On Children's Museum

Focused on healthy lifestyles and making good food choices, young visitors at the Hands On Children's Museum can role play in their healthy home or venture outside to the Children's Garden in their Outdoor Discovery Center. Recommended for ages 10 and under, the Museum's programs offer many their first opportunity to learn and play with food systems, science and more!

Farmers Markets Throughout the Community

Farmers Markets header

Farmers markets bring essential, healthy foods safely into our neighborhoods. These foods include fruits, vegetables and meats; and include goods made on farms, such as cheeses, yogurt and honey. Farmers markets are good for the economy, too. Every dollar spent at these markets stays with farmers and other small businesses that, in turn, is reinvested in the community.

The Olympia Farmers Market is one of the only vendor-owned and operated farmers markets in Washington State, meaning that the people who sell goods there also own it. It’s also touted as the second largest farmers market in the state behind Pike Place in Seattle.

Thurston County is blessed with many other farmers markets in most of the smaller communities, including Tenino and Yelm.

Many farmers markets also feature local artists, businesses and entertainment which make them fun for the whole family!

Helsing Junction Farm


Many of Thurston County’s working farms also sell their produce at farm stands, usually located on the farm or roadside somewhere nearby. Helsing Junction Farm is an example of Community Supported Agriculture, meaning that individuals pledge to buy the farm’s produce before the harvest, thus making sure that the farm operates profitably. Like farmers markets, these types of farms provide access to local organic produce.

Make sure to call ahead if you plan to visit the farm stand!

Adult Education at Sandstone Distillery

Sandstone Distillery

Any visit to Sandstone Distillery in Tenino will turn educational when owner John Bourdon talks. This distillery sources grains grown in all parts of Washington State, ferments them and distills them into spirits like whiskey, gin and vodka.

Fermentation is the process of breaking down sugars into alcohols using beneficial bacteria. Distilling is the process of purifying.

Sandstone Distillery has been a key community partner during the COVID-19 pandemic, at one point pausing all distilling operations and repurposing the equipment to produce hand sanitizer for businesses in need of it.

The tasting room is open Thurs.-Sat. and Mon., 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.


Don’t forget to share.

Don’t miss out on any of these easy to plan adventures. Check back monthly for new trip ideas and daycations (or staycation if you’re a local) and don’t forget to share! Tag your social posts #DecidedlyDifferent and connect with us on Facebook, Twitter (@Experience_Oly) and Instagram (@ExperienceOly).