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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
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Today
9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Open 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

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  • 27
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Hands-on, great for under 10's on a rainy day

This is where all parents of toddlers leave a good chunk of change on many rainy days ostensibly to find something to do for the kids. I dare you to not get involved. Kids, don't... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed August 20, 2015
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205 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 20, 2015

This is where all parents of toddlers leave a good chunk of change on many rainy days ostensibly to find something to do for the kids. I dare you to not get involved. Kids, don't be put off by the word "Museum", this is just so your parents feel like they are checking off the "culture" box.

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Palm Coast, Florida
Level Contributor
57 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 19, 2015

This is one of the best children's museums we have ever been to in our travels. We enjoyed all of the indoor and outdoor activities. We spent an hour in the clay room alone and my son was so excited to climb the tree outside. We even pid a little extra for him to make a tye dye shirt for... More 

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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
26 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2015

A really good children's museum, but know that it's geared for the toddler set. Lots of interactive stations, but probably tops out at 5-6 year olds.

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Tucson
Level Contributor
51 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2015

Went with our Grandaughter and family. It is a wonderful place so many things for them to see and experience.. We spent a lot of time there Many educational things for them to learn sharing, hand to eye, cooperation with other children. Take the time and visit a very neat place to spend family time... While your there walk across... More 

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Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
44 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2015

It's not big, and if your kids are older than 5-6, they probably won't like it. That said, for the 5 or younger crowd, this place is a good way to burn a day. Exhibits on water, construction, digging, pottery, shopping, and story time at the tree house will keep your little ones engaged for hours.

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london
Level Contributor
32 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 15, 2015

Our kids are 18 months, 5 and 7.5 year old boys - all three of them had to be dragged away, and we must have been there for 4 hours. So many great imaginative play areas to explore, and so many brilliant props - staff were great, food was good, and the place was clean and tidy - really a... More 

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east midlands
Level Contributor
252 reviews
56 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 163 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2015

Took two grandchildren [at their suggestion] and it proved immensely successful. This isn't a museum in the conventional sense, more a place full of interactive displays for kids including a small theatre, a supermarket, a vets and so on. Our kids would have stayed all day quite happily but we wanted to do other things. We were happy spending a... More 

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Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 13, 2015

My friend and I took his boys (3 and 5 yrs) here and had an absolute blast! From playing in the water works, to the tree house, space station, the outdoor areas... this was a place where a kid can run wild, learn new things, and let their imagination be free. We made little pottery pieces, face painted, and even... More 

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Level Contributor
47 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 12, 2015

I would recommend this place for children 6 and under, it's not really for older kids and 6 might even be too high. Lots of hands on things for little ones that they can touch and play and experience. Lots of fun but lots of germs since it's little hands everywhere, bring your sanitizer! You can also bring lunch which... More 

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Kapaa, Hawaii
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2015

We had 9 kids in total and it was really a fun time. Word of wisdom: try to do the water room last..... you'll see why (wet, squeaky kids throughout the rest of the museum otherwise - because of course my kid refused to wear the cover-up).

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