Wander Woman: Pearson Field Education Center

Wander Woman: Pearson Field Education Center

What do you get when you combine historic aircraft, engaging activities and top-notch volunteers who are passionate about planes, aviation and science? You get one of Southwest Washington’s true gems: Pearson Field Education Center.

Located just south of Officer’s Row on Reserve Street in Vancouver, the only downside to this treasure might be its limited hours. It’s open to the public every Saturday, 1-5 pm, and admission is free. When I told my boys they were going to have to give up some screen time to explore Pearson Field Education Center with me, they were reluctant at best. There might even have been some grumbling in the car along the way.

As we approached the open airplane hangar that houses the Education Center, my reluctant aviators started to perk up when they saw the pool noodle rocket launchers and Quidditch-type hoop in the open field. However, upon entering, they were drawn like magnets to the flight simulator computers.

Right away, a volunteer was at our side, offering to show us the ropes. I expected my boys to try a flight or two, and quickly move on to another activity; but they stayed seated, happily working to keep their plane in the air as they flew over a virtual Clark County.

I reminded them that they didn’t want to spend too much time here.

“No. It’s OK, Mom,” 12-year-old Isaac reassured me. “This is more fun than I thought it would be.”

To read more, pick up a copy of the November 2016 issue at any of these locations, or view the digital archive copy here.

Find more of my adventures here.

Have a favorite gem in Clark County? Let us know in the comments below!

Afton Nelson is a wife and mother of three boys, and a writer who loves exploring the Pacific Northwest with her family. Get to know her better at

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