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Portland Children's Museum

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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 164 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 94
    Excellent
  • 42
    Very good
  • 24
    Average
  • 3
    Poor
  • 1
    Terrible
A must for smaller kids.

First off, my seven year old is a little mature for this place as we found out. But it was super fun for our two year old. Definitely worth going to once if you've got smaller... read more

4 of 5 starsReviewed April 13, 2015
samangiealexnatalie
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164 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
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English first
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2015

First off, my seven year old is a little mature for this place as we found out. But it was super fun for our two year old. Definitely worth going to once if you've got smaller children and have never been. Good, little cafe near the entrance with fair prices if you choose not to bring your own food. Several... More 

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Seattle, Washington
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2015

One of my favorite children's museums from Honolulu to the Rockies. The outdoor exhibits are especially fun in warm weather.

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The Dalles
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
4 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 8, 2015

we always just go to the zoo but i was like why not museum this time. we have 3 kids and all of them just loved how everything was so real like at the museum. the food to play kitchen looked so real and everything else at the museum was just great on how hands on and kids can act... More 

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Portland, Oregon
Top Contributor
227 reviews 227 reviews
53 attraction reviews
94 helpful votes 94 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 6, 2015

This museum is great for toddlers through elementary school, but there's not really areas specifically for smaller kids, so if you go when it's crowded or there are school groups it's more difficult for the little ones. I think a weekday morning would be ideal. It's a little pricey - even 1 year olds are charged $10. If you plan... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Grangeville, Idaho
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
22 attraction reviews
78 helpful votes 78 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2015

I visited the Portland Children's Museum recently with my young grandchildren. This is a great children's museum. There were numerous areas set up like real life. There is a Vet Clinic, Theater, Circus, and tons of other things. We were there on a Sunday and it was raining in Portland so it was pretty crowded, which was a bummer. I'd... More 

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Cottonwood, Arizona
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
13 attraction reviews
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2015

This is a very hands on museum for young children. I know that children ages 3-8 can stay and explore for hours. It's the parents who tire before the children.

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Portland, Oregon
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2015

For the younger kiddos that are crawling there is a room that has a staff member present that makes sure kids go in and out of the room with an adult. The room is upstairs and away from the hubbub of the older kids.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Marietta
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
3 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2015

This is a well thought out place, really designed for kids to enjoy, learn , interact and express themselves freely. Just lots of fun, with a super nice staff.

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Portland, Oregon
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
23 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2015

If you are traveling with toddlers this is a pleasant stop especially because it is right close to the zoo. Not remarkable as children's museums go but the kids will get a kick out of it.

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Portland, Oregon
Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
13 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2015

I took my three year old grandson to this place and couldn't get him to leave willingly. Every room is different and exciting for kids. There was a train room with lots of wooden trains for the kids to play with - track to experiment with. There was a treehouse reading room with quiet spaces to play or read. There... 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?