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“Fantastic play area for Kids to stretch their imaginations” 5 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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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.
Vancouver, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
“Fantastic play area for Kids to stretch their imaginations”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2010

Our 23 month old had a blast, and had a look of rapt concentration on her face as she played in all the exhibits. This is a wonderful place for young children and I would certainly by a yearly pass if we lived in Portland. The miniature grocery store where children can shop and ring in their purchases, and the construction zone can dig and build in the rubber "rocks"

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141 reviews from our community

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English first
Colbert, Washington
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
12 attraction reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
“Best Place we have ever taken our kids, back next year!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 2, 2010

This place was amazing to say the least! We took our 3 & 4 year old boys there and they had a blast. Let me say that even us parents were having a great time. We were playing with all of the cool toys they had! This is a must do. It's $8 per person but well worth it! They have the best construction dig pit, this was incredible, along with the biggest grocery store complete with scanners and grocery carts. Your kids will NOT get bored! We were a group of 14 and everyone loved the museum. Do not miss this opportunity while in Portland, it was just as great as the zoo! They also have a coffee shop that helps out the parents if you're tired from a long trip.

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Scappoose, Oregon
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
31 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Sesame Street Exhibit”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 18, 2010

We went to the Children's Museum and saw the Sesaem Street exhibit. Ayanna was able to meet Elmo and the look on her face was priceless. The exhibits change so Sesaem Street is not always there. There is lots of activities for the children as well.

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1 review
“Best place in Portland for KIDS!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2009

We took our two children, ages 2 and 4 this amazing museum. We were there for 4 hours when we told the girls it was time to go...their reaction....NO!!!! We ended up staying at the museum for 5.5 hours and the girls still could have stayed longer. There was so much for them to explore, see and do!
This is hands down the best children's museum around. Parking is close and cheap, food is inexpensive and the admission was completely affordable. More cities should have museums like this!

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Eugene, Oregon
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Fun for little ones, variety for kids, crowded, understaffed”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 8, 2009

This is not really a museum but more like an indoor children's play center. The rooms and activities are best for young children, probably no more than 6 to 8 years old. Our boys are 4 1/2 and 3, and their favorite rooms are the water play room, and the theater.

You can bring a small stroller, but large ones are not allowed. It is generally crowded on weekends so it can difficult to maneuver strollers. I would recommend carrying one backpack with all of your snacks, extra clothes, diapers, water, etc. The food options are quite limited there.

There are aprons for the water room but my boys are always wet, head to toe, after that room, so we save it for last! The clay room is also fun but makes a mess. The clay is real clay, not soft playdoy, so it is difficult for the kids to work with. In general it is hard to find staff people to ask questions, so you may be better off asking parents.

You could stay all day but I would be surprised if your kids would last that long. In general it is loud and echoey there, with some quiet spots. I would recommend a 3-hour visit before or after lunch.

If your family will go 4 or more times per year, it is probably a better deal to buy the annual membership.

Overall, my kids love this place and we will go at least 3 times per year.

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