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Portland Children's Museum

4015 SW Canyon Road, Portland, OR 97201
+1 503-223-6500
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Ranked #26 of 262 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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142 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Portland, Oregon
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2012

we go often with a group. always fun for all of us. great selection of stuff to do and see. never bored and i thing they put alot into this place...thank you

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Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
18 attraction reviews
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 7, 2012

We recently spent a fun-filled afternoon with our two year old granddaughter at the Portland Children's Museum but could have spent the entire day here! She especially loved the water room but also enjoyed the construction rooms, vet, and grocery store. In the grocery area she was able to shop for “food" and scan items at check out. The museum... More 

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Beaverton, Oregon, United States
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
27 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2012

I've watched the Children's Museum grow and develope over the past 2 decades. It has always been a delight for the kids. I've taken children to birthday parties & we've always always had a great time!

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Washington DC
Top Contributor
72 reviews 72 reviews
27 attraction reviews
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2012

Great place to entertain your children and grandchildren.

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Tualatin, Oregon
Top Contributor
93 reviews 93 reviews
20 attraction reviews
80 helpful votes 80 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 21, 2012

Our family finally visted PCM on their free Friday and were pleasantly surprised. While a little crowed there were lots of things for kids of every age to do.

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Vancouver, Washington
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
18 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2012

It is a highly recommended place for kids to go and play. Very creative. Plan on staying hours!

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Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
10 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2012

This is a very nice children's museum in the same area as some other great Portland attractions: the zoo, rose garden, and park. It has many of the common features: little city, water play, theater, light play, toddler area, etc. One room that was a hit that I hadn't seen before was a whole section just for digging. One thing... More 

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Salt Lake City, Utah
Top Contributor
103 reviews 103 reviews
49 attraction reviews
41 helpful votes 41 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2012

Great activity for your little ones if you're stopping in the area. The wide variety of exhibits and fun activities await you here. I wish our children's museum were like this. My son loved the veterinary clinic and the water play section. I personally could sit for hours watching the kids play on the stage with all the props and... More 

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San Rafael, California
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
73 helpful votes 73 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 9, 2012

The Portland Children's Museum may be one of the best designs I have ever seen for the little ones. Upon entering with our grandson, we were amazed by the variety and intelligence of the design. The "real life" store with its beeping check out stand was great, and the shopping carts with grocery items was a big hit. I LOVED... More 

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Phoenix, AZ
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
4 attraction reviews
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 11, 2012

This is the best children museum I have been to (out of 4 different ones between Portland, Orange County CA, and Phoenix AZ).

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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?