Portland Children's Museum

4015 SW Canyon Rd
Portland OR 97221
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Opening Hours

  • Mon: 9am-5pm
  • Tue: 9am-5pm
  • Wed: 9am-5pm
  • Thu: 9am-5pm
  • Fri: 9am-5pm
  • Sat: 9am-5pm
  • Sun: 9am-5pm

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The Portland Children's Museum's motto is "the museum that doesn't act like a museum." And it doesn't. Visitors are encouraged to touch, manipulate, explore and get wet. The museum's permanent exhibits include a water play area, pet hospital, outdoor maze, construction site and theater. It also hosts regular story times and music from members of Portland's thriving kindie music scene.

How to get to Portland Children's Museum
The museum is conveniently located off of Highway 26. Take the exit toward the Oregon Zoo, then turn right on SW Zoo Road. Follow the signs for parking. The museum is located at the south end of the large parking area. Visitors are encouraged to take public transportation. If coming from downtown, visitors can take MAX (Portland's light rail system) by taking the Blue Line toward Hillsboro and getting off at the Washington Park MAX station. If coming from downtown by bus, take Bus 63 to Washington Park. During the summer a free shuttle bus is available to explore the other attractions in Washington Park.

Best and worst times to go to Portland Children's Museum
On rainy days - and Portland has a lot of them - the museum can be quite crowded, especially in the 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. timeframe. If you are looking for a quieter day, try coming when it's sunny or after noon.

Admission to Portland Children's Museum
Admission is free for children under one. Admission is in the ten dollar range for others, with a small discount for seniors and military. If you drive, you will need to pay a small hourly parking fee.

Must see/do at Portland Children's Museum
Check out the clay room, where kids can pound, shape and create imaginative clay creatures. In the water room, kids can experiment with creating dams, floating balls and other water-themed activities. Although smocks are provided, be prepared to get a bit wet. The museum also features several rotating exhibits throughout the year.

Other places to visit near Portland Children's Museum
The museum shares a parking lot with the Oregon Zoo and the World Forestry Center/Discovery Museum. It is a short walk or shuttle ride to the other attractions of Washington Park, including the Portland Japanese GardenInternational Rose Test Garden and Hoyt Arboretum.

Insider tip for visitors to Portland Children's Museum
The museum offers free admission on the first Friday of every month from 4 to 8 p.m.

Author's bio: Ali Wilkinson is a mom to three young children and a frequent visitor of Portland Children's Museum. She is the founder of a Portland events website aimed at families, and writes about parenting on her blog run.knit.love.