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“This will wear the kids out.”

Portland Children's Museum
Ranked #31 of 442 things to do in Portland
Certificate of Excellence
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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.
Vancouver, Washington
Level Contributor
34 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“This will wear the kids out.”
Reviewed April 5, 2012

Lots of hands-on fun stuff for kids to do. Arrive early or take the train. Parking is scarce.

Helpful?
Thank Real_MacGyver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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297 reviews from our community

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English first
Sw Grand Mound,
Level Contributor
17 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Very Creative and Entertaining Place to take your kids for hands-on fun!”
Reviewed March 28, 2012

Our kids love coming here. We ended up investing in a membership and now bring our friends and family to visit frequently. The kids love venturing through the different rooms. There is a "dig pit" that is filled with construction-themed materials and toys, a veterinary clinic, a fully-stocked super-market, a water-play room, a performance theater, and much more.

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
Thank morianfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Washington
Level Contributor
22 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Fantastic fun learning environment for all ages!”
Reviewed March 27, 2012

A great place for kids to learn and have fun all in one!

Helpful?
Thank 360ccd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, BC
Level Contributor
53 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“More of a play area than a museum”
Reviewed March 22, 2012

The "museum" is geared towards children 5 years and under. Our daughter, 7 years old found it a bit boring. There is plenty to do there, and if your kids are younger it is a great place to visit on a rainy day.

Visited March 2012
Helpful?
Thank NVanFamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Battle Ground, Washington
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“OK Kids Museum”
Reviewed March 2, 2012

Nice to have something for the kids, but honestly there are very few new exhibits and the ones which are there have been there forever and are very run down and kind of boring... Kids like it, can do the whole thing in an hour... Less of a museum and more of an indoor play area.

Helpful?
Thank jrd1mra
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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