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Portland Children's Museum

Map & Directions
(8 Reviews)

4015 SW Canyon Rd, Portland, OR 97221

(503) 223-6500

CLOSED NOW
Today: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tomorrow: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
20
YEARS
IN BUSINESS
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General Info
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.
Hours
Regular Hours
Mon - Sun:
Extra Phones

Fax: (503) 223-6600

Payment method
cash, check, amex, debit, discover, master card, visa
Neighborhoods
Arlington Heights, Neighbors West-Northwest
AKA

Portland Children’s Museum

Portland Childrens Museum

Other Email

Categories
Museums, Children's Museums, Tourist Information & Attractions

Reviews

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PDXCHICK

08/06/2010

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
WOW!

This place was so amazing. I took my 3 1/2 year old son and he was thoroughly entertained for hours. They had a grocery store exhibit where the kids can actually shop for food and checkout. Carts, aisles, shelves, cash register and all. That was just one of many amazing exhibits. We both loved it so much. I can't wait to take him again. Word to the wise: Get there right at opening. By 11am it's already quite busy.

haylee123

02/16/2009

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Below expectation, unfreindly staff, and great place to pick up the flu

Well, I have been looking forward to go going to this place for a long time, but it wasn't as great as I expected to to be. Some staff (some were nice though) was unfriendly and snobbish, and I feel like I was discriminated against racially and unfairly singled out several times. I also noticed there were a lot of sick people there who were quite obviously ill. I, personally, would stay at home if I were that sick, as not to infect others, but now I am sick as a result of going there. There was very limited and unaccomadating bathroom facilities, and the dining area was so small I literally saw about 10 people standing around a table trying to eat standing up. There must be only 7-8 tables in the whole place. The exhibits were substandard, I have seen better exhibits in my small town childrens museum. For the price, I would say go to the zoo instead!

hardboiled

04/09/2008

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
ok place every now and then

Compared to some of the other Children's Museums we have been to like Seattle and San Jose, Portland's seems lacking in the amount of interactive and learning fun. We used to have a membership but after a year's worth of playing at the Children's museum, my son actually got bored of it.

We go every now and then, but the exhibits are often disappointing and I feel like they have so much space and don't use it very well. The new theater shows do not hold the attention span of my now 5 year old and the shadow/tree walkway seems like filler for what could be so much more interesting. The train table area is always a disaster when kids won't share and the building area doesn't seem to quite work all that well. The market is really fun but overall, there are a lot of useless exhibits. That being said, my son does enjoy going there now that we only go every 6 months or so and we had a very good birthday party there as well. As family friendly as Portland is, I think they should up the quality of the museum and put more into it.

mudder91

03/01/2003

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Great Place for Children

We love this place! Every month or so something changes and they keep opening new exhibits. My 3 year old has loved it since he was 9 months old. A membership is a GREAT value.

KenIverson

03/01/2003

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Wonderful Outing!!

I took my 4 year old grandchild to the Children's Museum and we both had an absolute ball! The water play - well, we could have spent all day in that one room trying different things. Finally, a place to play with water, INDOORS, and not have to say ""no, that'd make too big of a mess""! We also loved the music area. Try the musical bridge, everyone can play it at once. The bathrooms were clean and spacious for changes too. Wonderful place, I bought a pass after our first visit. Very friendly & helpful staff, both on phone and in person.

Jayotta

02/14/2003

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Used to be Great

The children's mesuem had a great homey, learning, creative environment before it moved. Now it is overpriced and not nearly as much fun.
I don't find most of the staff particularly helpful or friendly and I felt like my child of color was not treated fairly.
My children have as much fun at Old Wives Tale and the adults can eat.

heatherfiona

12/10/2002

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
Rip off for toddlers..not worth the 5 bu

I was very dissapointed, I took my 16 month daughter there and paid 5 dollars for her to get in, I was expecting there to be lots for her to do. Once I was inside I realized I was very wrong, the only thing there for her to play with was the kiddie area which was more for babies, not walking..There was no staff to help with the paints or coloring area, the puppet show was a joke, a small room, and no where to stand or sit..its great for older kids but horid for younger ones...

swank

12/05/2002

Provided by Citysearch - 
Overall
fun for kids of all ages

Great programming and EXCELLENT location. I highly recommend it for kids of all ages.