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“Great for kids”

Portland Children's Museum
Ranked #39 of 453 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.
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.

Thank Junker79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (307)
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239 - 243 of 307 reviews

Reviewed July 16, 2012

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

Thank Teresa S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 14, 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 that made it a little tough was that many winding lengths of the museum come together by the entrance, which is wide open, so if you are chasing a small child and they make it that far without you they could take one of several turns and be out of sight in seconds.

Thank Anna R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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 funny sounds. It is quite a bit more expensive than many children's museums I've been too, but it's worth it on a rainy day. Highly recommended.

Thank WeveSeenItAll
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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 the vet clinic with the stuffed animals and, again, real life experience of being in a veterinarian's office. The theater was lots of fun for those little thespians, and the nearby room with all of the tactile experiences was great too. Our little guy also loved the "construction site" with trucks, bark, and lots of hills. Our very favorite thing was a vacuum tube that spun ping pong balls. Don't miss that one! And finish up with a story time session or a walk through the outdoor hedge maze.

We will be back to visit soon, and you bet our next stop with our almost two year old grandson will be the Children's Museum.

Thank MarinMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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