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“A wonderful place for Children”

Portland Children's Museum
Ranked #35 of 448 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.
Portland, Oregon
Level 6 Contributor
195 reviews
54 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
“A wonderful place for Children”
Reviewed March 28, 2014

In fact we are going there today -- my grandchildren 4 and just turned 7 and myself. There is a new exhibit (and new exhibits are frequent and keep you coming back) plus loads of fun things to do for children of all ages. You must bring a camera. And, it is one of the few places in Washington park where you can buy lunch outside of the zoo.

Visited March 2014
Thank margaretcov
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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304 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Italian first
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  • Any
English first
Barnsley, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
298 reviews
183 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 148 helpful votes
“Worth a short visit”
Reviewed January 19, 2014

We went into the Childrens Museum after we had been to Oregon Zoo, and it was worth going in. When we first went in, we were worried that our son was a little old (he's 8) for some of the attractions, but I'd say that, whilst it is probably better for slightly younger, there was enough to keep him occupied for a couple of hours.

I wouldn't recommend a special journey, but if you're going to the zoo with young children then it's worth a visit.

Visited July 2013
1 Thank KeithJenner
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Level 5 Contributor
78 reviews
20 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“The perfect escape from cabin fever.”
Reviewed January 15, 2014

After a few days indoors, it was a great escape for the whole family. Our 3 year old loved it, we enjoyed it. It certainly under promised and over delivered. We left to Hawaii the next day, and after two days there, our son asked to fly back to Portland and back to the Museum. ;)

Visited January 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Louisville, Kentucky
Level 6 Contributor
180 reviews
90 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Save time to stop in after the Zoo”
Reviewed January 12, 2014

This is in the parking lot the Zoo is in, so if you have time you can go there after. It is a great experience for the kids. If your looking for food the best place is the restaurant at the entrance of the zoo.

Visited December 2013
1 Thank realtortothestars
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Level 6 Contributor
92 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
“Great Museum for Children”
Reviewed January 9, 2014

This is a great museum for children because things are very interactive. Unlike most kid's museums this one is fairly large so expect to spend at least two hours. Given the number and variety of exhibits, they do a good job of catering to children of all ages.

Visited August 2013
1 Thank ConstantTraveller74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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