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Portland Children's Museum

Address: 4015 SW Canyon Road, Portland, OR 97201
Phone Number: +1 503-223-6500
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Ranked #23 of 277 Attractions in Portland
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Children's Museums, Museums
Owner description: Specialties A museum's name tells you a lot about what it treasures. You hear the name--art...
More attraction details
Attraction details
Type: Children's Museums, Museums
Sun - Sat 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Owner description: 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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148 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Victorville, California
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
8 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
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
73 reviews 73 reviews
11 attraction reviews
25 helpful votes 25 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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Top Contributor
75 reviews 75 reviews
17 attraction reviews
86 helpful votes 86 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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Walla Walla, Washington
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2015

After visiting Pretend City (in Irvine, Ca) many times, we expected a major children's museum to be bigger and better. This one had many broken items, old displays and was pretty small. Also, our six year old was bored as most areas are geared for kids 5 and under. Our two year old was entertained the most in the rubber... More 

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Port Moody, British Columbia, Canada
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
6 attraction reviews
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 25, 2014

Our kids (4 & 2) had such a good time at the museum as did my husband and I. Lots of different things to do and kept both kids totally occupied. Face painting station (do it yourself), outdoor maze, wizard of Oz section, stage with costumes etc - all interactive and fun. We were there for 2 hours and never... More 

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Portland, Oregon
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
3 attraction reviews
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 27, 2014 via mobile

I have a 2 1/2 year old and always find myself looking for things to keep him busy. We go to the Children's Museum on a weekly basis -- he gets to run around for 2 hrs amongst those his size. He gets to play with toy cars and trains; do face painting; go to the clay workshop and make... More 

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Eugene, Oregon, United States
13 reviews 13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2014

Lots of stuff to do for young kids and bigger kids.. especially great if you're looking to socialize babies or small toddlers with other ones. We had a good time. :)

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Fairbanks, Alaska
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
9 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2014

The Portland Children's museum is a real gem for children. We especially enjoy the outdoor maze, outdoor children area, and all of the interactive things to do at the museum. As an added bonus, my kids loved playing the piano at the entrance. One even got a "tip" while playing!!!

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  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?