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“No longer worth a visit.” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Portland Children's Museum

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
Type: Children's Museums, Museums
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Attraction details
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.
Tucson, Arizona
Top Contributor
240 reviews 240 reviews
55 attraction reviews
Reviews in 116 cities Reviews in 116 cities
122 helpful votes 122 helpful votes
“No longer worth a visit.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 26, 2014

Besides an entrance fee, there is now a $1.80 per hour parking fee.
No new activity has been added to the museum, the old stuff is getting really old. Most is really boring for any kid over 5. There are not enough things to share. It gets easily overcrowded. Some areas seemed to be closed for classes. The face painting area had two tiny pieces of crayons. In the clay area they wanted us to pay $2 to walk out with a small lump of clay. That is pure greed. This place has seen better days and needs a major face lift. I highly recommend to skip it. Most kids have probably better activities at home.

Visited August 2014
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141 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Vancouver Island
12 reviews 12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Excellent for children and parents”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2014

One of the best children's facilities I have ever been to. Our children were entertained for many hours and the facility staff were polite and helpful, conveniently located adjacent to the Oregon Zoo

Visited August 2014
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Phoenix, Arizona
16 reviews 16 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Decent fun, but average overall”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 21, 2014

This children's museum was fun for the kids (5 and 3), but lacked the excitement, scale, and variety of others we have seen, particularly St. Louis. We spent a couple hours here whereas the kids would have been content to spend the whole day in other kids museums.

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Chichester, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“An unmissable attraction for children under 10”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 17, 2014

We took our grandchildren aged 1 and 8 to this most unusual museum on a recent holiday in Portland it provides a safe environment to play with craft materials, play shops, blow giant bubbles , climb trees play in streams and very shallow water both children enjoyed there time there and when asked the older child said it was there favourite day out,a word of warning! Don't take your children in new or expensive clothes as play in and with water,crafting use paints and glue and other hands on events is best done in second best clothing. There is a family friendly restaurant as well as plenty of places to eat your own food

Visited July 2014
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Honolulu, Hawaii
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Another Wonderful Visit”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 14, 2014

This was our second visit to the Portland Children's Museum. We had visited 2 years ago on a family vacation, and since we were back in Portland this year, we decided to take my 4 year old daughter again. It was another wonderful visit. We spent a lot of time playing with my daughter in all the hands on exhibits, from dressing up and preparing the back stage area of a little theater to splashing around a water exhibit to climbing a mini rock climbing wall. But this time, the highlight was the outdoor exploration. a man made creek where the kids can see how debris can clog up the water flow to a maze of bent branches in the shapes of huts that was just big enough for my little girl to scamper through. There was also a great climbing tree where kids were encouraged to climb up and enjoy being in, on and on top of nature. I'd recommend the children's museum to anyone with kids of maybe 8 and under. My daughter had a great time and I loved seeing her learn things and ask questions while she had the time of her life.

Visited June 2014
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