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Children’s Museum
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What’s to Love: Location, location, location! Portland’s Children’s Museum is right next to the Oregon Zoo, Forestry Center, and Hoyt Arboretum. It’s easy to make a whole day out of a trip up to this area of Portland. The $7 admission fee can add up, but they do offer a $55 two-person membership,which is excellent if the same parent takes the child to the museum. A family membership is only $80/year and $95/year gets you the family package plus 1 guest. The museum itself was one of my favorite places to take my son 12 months to 3 years. It’s a clean a well kept – there are so many great exhibits and things to do here, and you can easily occupy an entire morning or afternoon. My son has always been partial to the kiddie shopping area where he could push around a shopping cart, grab some fake fruit and vegetables, and proceed over the the checkout lane.

Caveats: The price is fairly high ($7), which applies to all family members ages 1-54! This is where they really get you, because if both parents pay, you’re looking at $14 just walking in the door. If you have 2-3 kids, you might end-up paying $28 – $35 or more. In addition, all activities in this area will charge a $1.00 parking fee.

Website: Children’s Museum

Distance from Portland: Within 5 miles of downtown.

Recommended Ages: All ages, but older children will certainly get bored quickly. To me, it seems most appropriate for ages 1 – 7.

Parental Stress Factor: Low stress! If it gets crowded, this could change, but it’s a small place, and it’s easy to keep track of your kid/s.

Physical Difficulty: Low – fully accessible

Family Fun Factor: Medium – I rate it here, because the fun for parents is mainly socializing with other parents. OMSI provides a better experience for sharing with your children.

Pet Friendly: No

Weather Considerations: Great for rainy days!

Portland Children’s MuseumInsider Info: I prefer the Children’s Museum over OMSI for children under 2 years old. They have an area closed-off just for kids under 2, and it’s a bit more relaxed. This area keeps big kids from knocking them over, or stealing their toys. We like taking our bikes on the Max Train. After we’re done up at this area, it’s a nice downhill ride, which is suitable for confident, trailer-bike riders, or older children.

Family Tips: Avoid the $1.00 parking charge and the hassles of parking by taking the Max Train up to the the Washington Park stop. You may end up paying more for train tickets (out of fareless square), but you’ll not have to worry about parking.

Technorati Tags: Portland Family Fun, Portland Family Adventures, fun for kids in Portland, Children’s Museum, Portland, Oregon, zoo, World Forestry Center

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Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum on November 22nd, 2010

Rice Museum of Rocks and Minerals on June 6th, 2017

Audubon Society of Portland on August 1st, 2008


  1. Definitely…as I said in the post, the Children’s Museum can break the bank for a big family, or if you’re taking a group of kids. Membership is definitely the way to go. Think about how many times you think you’ll go and work from there. Most likely, a membership will pay off big time. Thanks for the comment Juliette! Vince

  2. Thanks for such a great list of activities in and around Portland. We are a larger family, so we tend to purchase memberships to everything! We love all those place!

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