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Portland Children's Museum

Certificate of Excellence
Children's museums, Museums
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Address: 4015 SW Canyon Road, Portland, OR 97201
Phone Number: +1 503-223-6500
Website
Today
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Description: Specialties A museum's name tells you a lot about what it treasures. You...
Specialties A museum's name tells you a lot about what it treasures. You hear the name--art museum, history museum, automobile museum--and you immediately know what you'll find there: objects, rare and wonderful; encounters with the unusual; beauty for beauty's sake. The specifics differ, but in each case, the collection takes center stage. Our name shows what we treasure, too, and it tells you how we're different. We're a museum that doesn't act like a museum because our audience--children and the adults who care for them--is more important to us than anything we collect. Indeed, our audience is the essential component that gives our exhibits meaning. Instead of investing in precious objects, we use familiar materials to craft priceless opportunities for children to learn through play. Our approach is inspired by the early childhood schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy; built on inquiry-based learning strategies; and influenced by a strong image of children as intelligent, creative, and resourceful. History Established in 1946. In 1946 visionary Portlander, Dorothea Lensch, founded the "Junior Museum and Adventure House," as part of Portland Parks and Recreation. Lensch, who served as Portland's recreation director from 1937 to 1972, was particularly dedicated to meeting the needs of Portland's underserved communities. She developed innovative programs for children with special needs and for economically disadvantaged families, a legacy that lives on in our mission and core values. We moved to our current location in Washington Park in 2001, thanks to the incredible efforts of our partners including the Rotary Club of Portland and Portland Parks and Recreation. Our new building, the former home of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), is five times larger than the one we left behind, allowing us to expand our programs and add a school. In 2014 we completed Outdoor Adventure, opening new kinds of exploration and discovery to our community. We now host over 313,000 visitors every year.
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 153 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 88
    Excellent
  • 38
    Very good
  • 23
    Average
  • 3
    Poor
  • 1
    Terrible
Most recent review
Kids have a BLAST

This is a great place for kids of all ages to learn, have fun and enjoy the rooms with in the Children' Museum. You can buy a annual pass, a one day ticket and enjoy the... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed March 4, 2015
Ron S
,
Santa Rosa, California, United States
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153 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
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English first
Santa Rosa, California, United States
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
5 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2015 NEW

This is a great place for kids of all ages to learn, have fun and enjoy the rooms with in the Children' Museum. You can buy a annual pass, a one day ticket and enjoy the adventures. Great place for the Grandparents to bring the grand kids. Fun for all and you can get wet if you want. Parking on... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Pleasanton, California
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2015

We just moved to Portland area and this was the one place besides the zoo that was highly recommended. It was amazing. Whoever thought of this place is a genius. I would say the optimum age of kids would be walkers to age 4-5. They have play rooms that each have a different theme. My 2 year old granddaughter did... More 

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Portland, Oregon
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
15 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 18, 2015

Smaller kids will love this place but older ones will be bored. Not a lot to keep you busy more than an hour or two.

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Portland, Oregon
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
12 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2015

We were quite impressed with the variety of activities available at the Children's Museum. Our grandson is only 1 1/2 so a lot of stuff was too old for him but, even so, he had a great time and found things he could do in each area. I did find it a little overwhelming after a while and was happy... More 

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Tualatin, Oregon
Senior Contributor
49 reviews 49 reviews
11 attraction reviews
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 29, 2015

There are so many different themed areas at the museum. Some of them are the veterinary hospital, the grocery store, the water play area, theater (to act, not watch), and also the clay room. There are so much for them to do, that we usually stay for a few hours and don't even do half of the activities. There is... More 

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Victorville, California
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
10 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2015

It was a family trip, so the ages varied as we had kids and grand kids. But everyone had fun. There is so much to see and do, and most everything is hands on.

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Portland, Oregon
Top Contributor
117 reviews 117 reviews
42 attraction reviews
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 13, 2015

We just purchased an annual pass to the Portland Children's Museum, and have very much enjoyed our visits there this winter. Our 18 month child loves running through all of the exhibits - playing in water, making clay figurines, playing in the veterinary clinic and grocery store, tucking baby dolls into bed, and the current exhibit is neat. Parking is... More 

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Fresno, California
Top Contributor
78 reviews 78 reviews
14 attraction reviews
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2015

More for the youngsters, but if you up in age and have a youngster mindset it is really a blast with the grandkids. We love going there and when the day is over we look like indians going on a war path...you got to go!

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singapore
Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
17 attraction reviews
87 helpful votes 87 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 8, 2015 via mobile

our 1.5 year old toddler enjoyed herself tremendously here at what i would describe best as an interactive indoor playground with super realistic spaces for them to let their imagination run wild! frankly, i enjoyed myself just as much, if not more than my daughter at the grocery section! they have a water play area which was great fun, and... More 

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Burlingame, CA
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
9 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 6, 2015

We brought our 4 1/2 and 1 1/2 granddaughters here, and there were so many fun learning experiences for both ages. Some parents looked like they were having as much fun as the kids - and who doesn't love to see children play, laugh and learn? If you live in Portland, buy the membership. Worth every penny. The kids will... More 

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?