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Portland Children's Museum

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 4015 SW Canyon Rd, Portland, OR 97221-2759
Phone Number: +1 503-223-6500
09:00 - 17:00
Open now
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Sun - Sat 09:00 - 17:00


A museum's name tells you a lot about what it treasures.

You hear...


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.


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.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 278 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 162
  • 65
    Very good
  • 33
  • 5
  • 3
A Museum where you are invited to Touch!

I took my three year old grandson to this fun museum. Each room has a theme such as the Vet hospital where the child pretend to be a vet. There is a grocery store where the child... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 18 October 2016
State College, Pennsylvania
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278 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 268: English reviews
State College, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 18 October 2016

I took my three year old grandson to this fun museum. Each room has a theme such as the Vet hospital where the child pretend to be a vet. There is a grocery store where the child can scan the groceries. If you have a small child this is the place to visit. Right now they are having themes from... More 

Thank cathyannm65
Level Contributor
131 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 October 2016 via mobile

We all had fun here ! Lots of things to do for kids! Craft and clay play was fun!! Go and enjoy with your kids and family

Thank kmorris677
Harrogate, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
36 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 September 2016

My 4 year old did enjoy this place, although it was a luittle limited until we found the outside area. Messy play seems to be the theme and there's lots of water, clay, sand etc. However my big gripe is that we went with 3 adults and 1 child. Under 1s are free and then 1-65s are over $10 each... More 

Thank Chris F
Orlando, FL
Level Contributor
14 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 September 2016 via mobile

This is such a fun place for kids. Our two year old had a blast indoors and outdoors in the different areas!!

Thank Doglando
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 August 2016 via mobile

We came here right after the zoo. So we had 2.5 hours only. My regret, we should have came here earlier. My 5 yr old girl had so much fun! She didn't know what to do at first as this was her first time in a place like this. Her fave was the water part. She enjoyed all this place... More 

Thank January P
Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 August 2016

When I was nannying, this was one of my favorite places to take kids who were 3 and older. The interactive play areas are amazing. I loved being able to play along with them, but it was nice to have certain areas where I could hang back and watch them do their own things without feeling like they could run... More 

Thank Julia L
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
25 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 August 2016

My son is only 14 months old. So I figured we would just walk around and look at things but he was in love with every "room" we went to. I think he could have spent ALL day there. We didn't check out the outside areas b/c it was almost 100 degrees that day, but the inside was great. We... More 

Thank AlanaK221
St. Kitts
Level Contributor
43 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 13 August 2016

Our little granddaughters were visiting us in Oceanside (which is an amazing place to live but not a lot for little girls to do int he winter). They live in Phoenix where there are tons of things to do year round so i came up with a schedule for them including a great live play, movies, feeding the fish at... More 

Thank Turtlejane
Vancouver, Washington
Level Contributor
28 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 August 2016

Fun with water, creative play spaces, build a bike station and a climbing tree all great fun. The Grand kids loved it.

Thank Ron B
Los Angeles, California
Level Contributor
56 reviews
26 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 July 2016 via mobile

I have an 11 and a 6 year old and we went with 3 other kids (3, 5, 6). Never considered going to kids museum thinking my 11 year old would get bored. As it turned out everyone had a great time. Their favorites were the clay area, the water play. And the animal hospital. Had a hard time getting... More 

1 Thank pedsRx

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Questions & Answers

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?